Fashion players will double their investment in technology by 2030, says a new report

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The pandemic has accelerated the digital shift in the fashion industry, with the expansion of online shopping, virtual gear and trials, and even social shopping and the emergence of the metaverse.

And that’s just the beginning.

A new report reveals that fashion players will double their investment in technology by 2030 to optimize customer experience and address climate change issues, with a primary focus on personalization, connected stores, the new digital world and sustainability.

2020 is a very important year when it comes to digital engagement.

The pandemic has had a major impact on screen time, which is increasing sharply, especially among young people, changing consumer buying and interaction habits, leaning more towards social networks, games and new virtual worlds.

And the key players in the fashion industry, across all segments from fast fashion to luxury goods, are paying attention, creating a number of projects and initiatives based on technological innovation.

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Online shopping, in-person shopping, NFT, digital fashion and virtual trials have left their mark on the shopping habits of customers of many brands and fashion houses. Fashion labels are even experimenting – perhaps a little prematurely – with the possibilities offered by the first Metaverse Fashion Week last March.

While these transformations appear to already represent a significant shift in the industry landscape, they could well be pioneers of a true fashion revolution, as a report by McKinsey and Fashion Business.

Fashion companies are expected to invest heavily, if not record, in technology in the near future, increasing from between 1.6 and 1.8% of their revenue in 2021 to 3.0 and 3.5% in 2030, almost doubled in less than a decade.

These numbers underscore how important it is for brands to integrate technological innovation, starting with artificial intelligence, to help “support sustainability and create great customer experiences”, the report emphasizes.

Integrating digital processes, personalization and durability

In their report Country Fashion TechnologyMcKinsey and Fashion Business have outlined areas where the fashion industry should act to “maximize their technological resources”.

Metaverse, through NFT and digital fashion, tops the list, but the analysis emphasizes an important point: “The marketing value of digital fashion and nonfungible tokens (NFT) may now be obvious, but fashion brands need to separate concrete opportunities from hype to generate a sustainable revenue stream.”

While brands are rushing into this universe with a seemingly endless stream of initiatives to win over young consumers, it seems from several surveys that this demographic has not been completely convinced.

The brand’s goal is to hone the initiatives that will make all the difference.

“Fashion companies focused on innovation and commercialization of the metaverse could generate more than five percent of revenue from virtual activities over the next two to five years. But it’s the decision-makers’ job to focus on specific opportunities.”

It can also involve increasingly personalized experiences, using, in particular, artificial intelligence designed to improve the relationship between brands and their customers, and to build loyalty.

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It could have started with online shopping, but will continue, according to the report, in stores with the aim of offering increasingly connected physical locations.

“Fashion executives can address consumer concerns by using in-store mobile apps to enhance the in-store experience and micro-fulfillment technology to leverage stores for the fast-paced commerce era,” said the experts.

The overall idea is to reduce the gap between physical and virtual stores, and make them complementary.

Technology also needs to be leveraged to a greater extent in more sustainable and transparent fashion services, in response to greater consumer demands on the issue.

“A traceability system powered by traceability software and big data will help fashion brands reach deep into their supply chains to understand their entire product lifecycle.”

Whether dedicated to creativity, craftsmanship, sustainability or the shopping experience, technology will be an integral part of the consumer fashion buying process in the not too distant future.

The question now is how the brand will put it into practice. – AFP Relaxnews

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