To continue our coverage of the WWD Magic seminar series, we hit up the one titled Hot Technology: Taking the Fashion World Forward. Some interesting points were covered, giving us food for thought with minimal amounts of company promotion on the part of the speakers, which can sometimes happen when several companies are represented in a panel.
The speakers started off highlighting what they saw as the trends in technology; things we all, as business owners, should be aware of and understand, regardless of the size of our businesses. Here’s what they had to say are growing trends in fashion and technology:
- Direct to consumer sales from brands, while still maintaining relationships with third party distributor and using technology (things like StitchLabs) to accomplish this.
- Brands are embracing multi-channel distributor wholeheartedly: e-commerce store, pop-up shops, retailers, third party e-commerce.
- Augmented Reality will cause a digital overlay on everything. Think Google Glasses and imagine you can see the name of the label, the price, and where to buy the clothes on the woman walking down the street.
- Fit Information technology is growing. Think Xbox Connect and the ways in which you can scan your body.
- Personalization. This is similar to fit information but goes beyond that. The Minority Report is a great way to picture this. You enter a store and they know enough about your preferences (probably through Facebook’s data collection but also through places like Etsy) to make you feel special and important.
The panel was asked, What about these newer platforms effecting the industry like Instagram and Pinterest, do we jump in full force?
- The key to embracing new platforms without getting overwhelmed or wasting your time is discipline. You must have discipline when it comes to technology trends just like (most of us) do in fashion. Chill out a little, let the market mature a bit, and don’t invest time until you know you can do something well.
One last point of note: When it comes to multi-channel distribution, which is becoming ever more possible with the onset of new technologies, remember to take a holistic approach. What doe this mean?
- Remember that you are serving different markets; a large retailer will make the sale differently than you will on your website, and a boutique retailer will make the sale yet an even different way. A pop-up shop will be special and, you guessed it, different; as will a third party retailer.
- You need to acknowledge the eco-system of not only online sales and offline sales, but also the hybrid of the two. remember that you want your customer to buy in whatever way they want to buy. Give them options.
So what do you think of what the panel had to say? Do you agree with the fashion technology trends they pointed out? Do you have to add?