The fashion industry has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity, but in recent years, it has witnessed a revolution driven by technology. Fashiontech marketing is the marriage of fashion and technology, and it’s changing the way brands connect with consumers, create products, and deliver unique experiences. Here are recent examples of how fashiontech marketing is reshaping the fashion landscape and why it’s more important than ever.
Personalized Shopping Experiences
Fashiontech marketing leverages data analytics and AI to understand individual preferences. With the help of algorithms, brands can recommend clothing and accessories tailored to each customer’s style, size, and past purchases. This level of personalization enhances the shopping experience, increases customer satisfaction, and boosts sales.
Some retailers are installing virtual mirrors in their brick-and-mortar stores to provide consumers with a personalized, interactive and convenient shopping experience. With a virtual mirror, shoppers can quickly see how an item of clothing looks without the hassle and time taken to swap clothing. Smart fitting rooms are also enhancing the shopping experience.
In the stores of clothing brand COS, which is part of the H&M Group, smart fitting rooms allow consumers to request items without having to leave them. Smart mirrors installed in the fitting room can recognize products, including size and color, and offer personalized product and styling recommendations. These mirrors, if available on a large scale, could be revolutionary for shoppers who do not have the time or desire to try on products in-store.
Virtual Try-Ons and Augmented Reality (AR)
Virtual try-ons powered by AR technology are becoming a game-changer in the fashion industry. Customers can visualize how clothing and accessories will look on them without ever setting foot in a store. This innovation reduces the rate of returned items and helps buyers make more confident decisions.
Seamm is a digital fashion wardrobe for virtual worlds. Its in-app augmented reality (AR) try-on feature, which is powered by Snapchat, aims to boost sales and customer loyalty by giving consumers a realistic fashion shopping experience for both real world garments and virtual ones. Users can see how different sets of clothes would look and fit on them in real life, helping them make informed fashion choices and bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds of fashion.
Sustainability is a major concern in the fashion industry. Fashion and its supply chain is the third largest polluting industry. Fashiontech marketing is facilitating the move towards sustainable practices by enabling brands to trace the entire lifecycle of their products. Blockchain technology, for instance, can track the origin of materials and the conditions under which items were manufactured, ensuring transparency and ethical production. This technology also identifies fake products.
London-based Sojo is a tailoring, repairs and delivery app, boosting sustainable fashion and the circular economy by extending clothing’s life and adapting outfits for other wearers. Despite many rejections, its founder raised £1.9 million in 2022 from investors.
A growing number of other platforms are also making it easier for owners to recycle their pre-loved fashion items to other users. One in the UK is currently crowdfunding to accelerate its business growth. London-based Big Sister Swap is a personalised clothes swapping service, making circular economy sustainable fashion more accessible. By early November 2023 it had beaten its equity crowdfunding target of £160,007 target with a few days left.
Founder and CEO of Whering, Bianca Rangecroft, has created an app that focuses as much on repurposing clothing as it does on reducing the consumption of natural assets to make clothing in the first place.
Social Commerce and Influencer Collaboration
Social media platforms have become vital for fashion brands. Fashiontech marketing incorporates social commerce, allowing users to shop directly from social media posts. Brands also partner with influencers who promote their products to a massive, engaged audience, driving sales and brand visibility.
Social media marketing has fewer barriers than traditional marketing tactics which makes it a great option for smaller businesses. A business can use its social media account to advertise new products and services with more success because followers already engage with the brand.
A report from Morning Consult Pro shows 61% of Gen Z and millennial consumers trust social media influencers. Brand owners are moving to use a wider range of influencers with smaller crowds of followers, though they consider them to be more authentic. The Because I Love It platform, BILI for short, introduces and acts as an interface between brand owners looking to expand their marketing activities and influencers who are keen to open a new income stream.
3D Printing and Customization
3D printing is changing the way fashion products are designed and produced. It allows for customization on a whole new level, with customers having the ability to design their own unique clothing items. This not only reduces waste but also offers consumers a sense of ownership and creativity.
Dutch fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht has collaborated with Chromatic 3D Materials to create a dress with a shining, motion-activated display. Wipprecht used 3D printing to attach nearly 75 flexible LED domes to the fabric of the dress without adhesive or stitching. Chromatic says the capability could also be used to create innovative running apparel, bags, footwear and other products including automotive and aerospace interiors, outdoor recreational equipment and personal protective equipment.
Smart Fabrics and Wearables
The integration of technology into clothing, such as smart fabrics and wearables, is a fascinating aspect of Fashiontech marketing. These items can monitor health, regulate body temperature, or provide navigation assistance. They offer both functional benefits and style innovation.
Can you imagine operating tech devices by touching your clothes? In September 2023 US tech giant Apple filed a patent for a touch-sensitive smart textile containing conductive threads that is “configured to detect the occurrence of a touch, the location of a touch, and/or the force of a touch”. Apple said the smart touch-sensitive textile may be incorporated into articles of clothing or any textile-based garment, as well as wearable electronic devices.
Fashiontech marketing relies heavily on data analytics. Brands can gather insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends. This data-driven approach informs marketing strategies, leading to more effective campaigns and product development. It also lets retailers make better forecasts and tailor their assortments to avoid overstock and keep margins high.
Intelligent automation uses bots with decision-making capabilities to increase scheduling productivity and accuracy, evaluate the connectedness of task management and automate end-to-end processes.
Virtual Fashion Shows
With the rise of virtual reality (VR), fashion shows are no longer limited to exclusive venues. Virtual fashion shows bring high-end fashion to a global audience, increasing accessibility and engagement.
French luxury goods group LVMH announced in June 2023 a partnership with Epic Games Inc. to bring customers new types of immersive experiences, including virtual fashion shows. And in September 2023, Gucci premiered its Milan Fashion Week collection in the metaverse. This initiative builds on Gucci’s initial presence in the metaverse in 2021.
Fashiontech marketing represents an exciting frontier for the fashion industry. It blends innovation with style, enhancing customer experiences and redefining industry standards. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the opportunities for fashion brands to connect with their audience in new and exciting ways. Embracing fashiontech marketing is not just about staying relevant; it’s about leading the way in a fashion revolution that is reshaping the industry for the better.
BOLD Awards 2024
Boldest FashionTech is one of 33 categories in the fifth edition of BOLD Awards for digital industries. This category recognizes the technology applications in fashion. This may include, but is not limited to: production, consumption, retailing, merchandising, and logistics.
Entries can be submitted from now until the end of 2023. Entrants can return to their submission and update it as many times and as often as they wish – so waiting for more information or results is no reason to delay entering now. A round of public voting in January 2024 will establish a shortlist of finalists in each category, and an international panel of judges will add their assessment to the public votes to decide winners. All finalists will be invited to attend the gala dinner award ceremony held in Venice, Italy, on March 22, 2024, when the winners will be announced.