As the global fashion industry iscontinuously changing tremendously, companies need to be updated and correspondquickly to new demands of the market. While many experts already pointing outthe “death of retail” as we know it, companies are enhancing their onlinepresence by getting more digitized than ever. In this new digital era fashionmarketing tries to jump on trends immediately, developing innovativedirect-to-consumer trends that will contribute on international business growthlong term. Unlike older generations who grew up used to physical stores,millenials and generation Z consumers seek for an entire new, digital and morepersonalized shopping experience.
Forward-thinking retailers and brands areaware of this and are developing marketing strategies focused on mobile, takingadvantage of new technologies.One major trend that is observedlately in the fashion industry is the increasing usage of augmented reality,which is set to completely change the fashion and retail industry. While thiscutting-edge technology is not new or emerging, it has not been until recentlythat brands started to incorporate it into their businesses. From virtualdressing rooms and virtual fitting to lifesize catwalks in your room, manybrands are teaming up with tech companies to launch innovative applicationsthat will boost their popularity and growth. The utility of augmented reality,as long as the real time live actions that provides in 3D, makes it quitetempting to every smartphone user. So, the importance of this technology to theglobal fashion industry is more than high, considering that almost 900 millionsmartphones will be augmented reality-enabled by the end of 2018, according tothe latest report of Digi-Capital. In words of retail and marketing, this meansthat augmented reality allows both brands and designers to engage with theircustomers in many different and unique ways. However, the fast-moving nature offashion continues to generate the pressure of competition and authenticity onbrands – which is why many of them fail to adapt to new technologies.
It is asignificant challenge that many brands should overcome, by testing the newtrends while staying true on being authentic. With this in mind, retailers andbrands that interpreted augmented reality features are currently experiencing anoteworthy growth, which makes many people believe that is going to beseriously influential over the next years.But how do brands approachedaugmented reality? A couple of great examples are the cases of Gap’s “DressingRoom” and the collaboration between HoloMe and RIXO London. Approximately ayear ago, the American retailer Gap introduced the “Dressing Room” on GooglePlay store, which is an application that helps shoppers try on clothes from thecomfort of their home. The user is asked to provide some mandatory information,such as height and weight, so as to create an identical virtual 3D avatar thatwill do the fitting for him/her. If he/she likes the way an item look on theavatar, he/she can purchase it right away directly through the app.
While there are many more improvements to bedone, online users responded enthusiastically to this idea with many of thempointed out that how smart and innovative it is such a shopping experience. Farfrom a virtual dressing room, the British fashion brand RIXO Londoncollaborated with the augmented reality start-up HoloMe a few months ago, tocreate a holographic version of a catwalk show. In other words this means thatusers can take a look at the latest collection of the designer in a lifesizecatwalk show from the comfort of their room. Whereas this project is in a veryprimary stage, it is undeniable that is about a revolutionary idea that willinfluence the global fashion industry long term significantly as much as the shoppablecontent on the internet. Shoppable content is an emergingfashion marketing trend that many brands and e-retailers are already using toprovide a more creative and unique shopping experience. Gone are the days thatsimple visual content, like magazines’ editorials, was enough to capturepeople’s attention and transform them into customers. Due to the abundance ofbranded content on press and lately, on the internet, people need something tobe inspired, informed and entertained, all at once. Needless to say, that it iscrucial for brands to build a stronger relationship with their customers basedon storytelling rather than traditional techniques.
As Facebook, Instagram andYoutube developing their click-and-shop features though videos and images, brandsstart to use more user-generated content (UGC) on social media increasing theinteraction with viewers. In other words, shoppable content is paving the wayfor a distinctive shopping experience, providing a direct purchasingopportunity right via a digital editorial, social media post and/or a video. Luxury e-tailer Net-A-Porter wasthe first one to introduce shoppable content in the e-commerce industry. In2013 it launched two digital magazines, “The Edit” and “The Journal”, offering afresh and eclectic insight from the industry, that looked like typical editorialsexcept that all fashion pieces could directly purchased with a click. By now,Net-A-Porter it is said that has revolutionized the global fashion retail withthis new feature that attracted millions of unique users from all over theworld. Another significant, yet different, example is the case of Americanbrand “Kate Spade” that is using content marketing in vary creative ways.