Automation and the Fashion Industry: A Quiet Revolution

Many believe that we have recently entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is characterized by new modes of design, production and marketing. Being one of the world’s largest and most innovative industries, fashion is at the center stage of this shake-up.

This is not surprising, since fashion is big business. In the UK, for example, the fashion industry is valued at £26 billion, making it the country’s biggest creative industry.

From algorithms that detect what we will be wearing next season to targeted pricing, here are just a few ways automation technology is transforming the fashion industry.

Design

Garment style trends change surprisingly fast, says fashion guru from STYLESPRING, Mary Wislon. “The textiles, colors and cuts that are in vogue one season might end up at the back of the wardrobe the next. Luckily, AI can be used to help predict upcoming trends, helping designers stay abreast of fresh styles,” she continues.

AI algorithms do this by analyzing designs and using this information to see what sells and what does not.

Pricing

It does not matter how amazing a product is if nobody is going to buy it. AI can be used to analyze a specific customer segment to come up with appropriate pricing. It can also analyze competitor pricing to help retailers gain an advantage over the competition.

This information can be used to come up with perfect product pricing, resulting in fewer surplus products. It also reduces the necessity for price cuts once the product is already on the market.

Inventory Management

AI can look at customer behavior to help retailers determine what sells and what does not. This, in turn, can help them plan their inventory and future orders. AI can also help retailers make more accurate “time to market” predictions by analyzing weather forecasts. After all, nobody wants to shop for winter clothes in summer and summer clothing in winter.

Marketing Strategy

Creating promotional campaigns tailored to each customer has never been easier. This is because AI can analyze each customer’s past purchasing behavior and preferences to predict what type of garments they may be interested in.

This enables retailers to reach out to specific customers with outfits that are in line with their individual tastes. In addition, if a customer has already bought an item of clothing, AI can suggest products that go along with that specific purchase.

What makes AI-based marketing great is that it can also reduce the number of returned items. Since AI only suggests garments that a specific customer is probably interested in, they are less likely to impulse purchase an item that does not go with their taste.

Main image courtesy of Pxhere

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