To say that the fashion industry is undergoing a marvelous digitalization transformation would be an understatement. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the top fashion brands quickly employed their digital know-how and launched tactics that gradually closed the gap between the real and the virtual world.
Things went a step further very fast as today, we are experiencing hyper-real fashion through our gadgets, and modern technology is enabling every out-of-the-box idea to come to life. The future of fashion, the age of digital fashion – these are no longer topics of digitalization trends that we discuss or explore. They are happening all around us.
Tommy Hilfiger partnered with Obsess to build virtual stores that feel and look like the real thing. If you have a VR set, you can fire up the Tommy Hilfiger application and walk around in its virtual store – checking out the apparel collection, looking at prices – all directly from your home. The realistic experience helps to mimic the store experience.
The digital innovation in retail shot to popularity during the pandemic when shops were shut down to prevent the spread of the virus, but brands did not want their customers to miss out on the excitement of walking into their stores.
And if that feels futuristic, HUM.AI.N is developing virtual models to showcase designer apparel in showrooms, walk the ramps of virtual fashion shows, and do almost everything that is digital. Moreover, brands can hire these models online and use them for ad campaigns, just like real models. This surely is one innovation in fashion that will soon take over the industry.
Gucci recently sold a $12 virtual sneaker online where the customer got to try on the sneaker virtually before buying and can continue to do the same after owning it.
Tanishq also partnered with mirrAR to bring a similar feature for its customers where visitors can use their smartphones to virtually try on Tanishq products in real-time before purchasing one.
Augmented Reality is spearheading the digital trends of 2021 because of the convenience it is bringing to both parties. Businesses get to offer their try-and-buy feature without anyone touching anything, while customers can shop in the same way without heading over to the store.
This digitization in the retail industry has particularly shot to fame among the young crowd because most AR applications now directly allow its users to try a product virtually and post a picture of the same on social media immediately. No waiting for the product to actually arrive at the doorstep.
Additionally, AR technology is improving to offer a more immersive experience at the physical stores. Brands can have the virtual try-and-buy option at the store itself in the form of smart mirrors and expose a greater inventory to their customers. AR-led fashion digitization transformation has already picked up the pace.
And that should include everything – right from online shopping to online marketing. First up, delivering an excellent customer experience is crucial. So, clean up your website, employ AR tools, remove all frictional points in the customer’s journey, and shift your attention from offline to online.
Digital innovation in retail fashion should begin by having an immersive website. And then, shift to online marketing where you must really work on your social media presence. Dior has a massive outreach in Snapchat and it sells directly through the application. Users do not have to visit Dior’s site to complete a transaction.
Yes, fashion trends change fast, but they also bring a massive amount of traffic in a very short time. For example, virtual try-ons have broken all trend records, and almost all e-commerce websites are adopting the technology to allow customers to try their products. Integrate the feature and let your users know that you offer virtual try-and-buy now. They will not look at other brands if you are trending.
Similarly, explore digital fashion and digital modeling. These can be your digital transformation marketing strategy when others are sticking to the conventional methods. Take cues from Calvin Klein, who partnered recently with Miquela, a hyper-realistic bot that has over 3 million followers on Instagram.
Even when people are not buying, you cannot fall out of touch with your digital customers. Use every possible channel available to communicate with your followers and keep them engaged virtually.
Van Cleef & Arpels sends out interactive stories on Instagram to keep its followers hooked. You can use email or Facebook posts to remain in the minds of your customers.
Whether you sell apparel or jewelry, irrespective of the way you're involved in the fashion industry, it's important you adopt digital alternatives and solutions to keep your business afloat. Top brands are already rallying behind refined practices and enhanced technologies. Follow suit and stay ahead of your competitors.