London Fashion Week 2017 celebrated innovation and imagination in design and style as usual last week, but this year there was the opportunity to see some truly eye-catching technology solutions on the runway. Read on to find out more about how the world of fashion and retail are embracing smart tech to improve the consumer shopping experience.
Making headlines on the catwalk at this year’s London Fashion Week were clothing designers TwentyFour15, designers and creators of a brand new line of connected clothing that ‘merges fashion with science’. With colour-changing clothes that can sync to music via an app and in-garment RFID technology, TwentyFour15 delivers on the fun side of tech as well as the practical one. The clothes are internet-connected and enable consumers to personalise their look as well as coordinate and interact with friends. This kind of digital technology looks like it could be the next big thing amongst the younger generation of consumers, with connected clothing a strong contender to take over from social media profiles in terms of individual expression and interaction with others.
The future of customer experience
Fashion tech isn’t just about how we look though, it’s about how we shop.
Intel is at the forefront of investment and innovation in terms of retail technology being used to improve shopping experiences, with their Responsive Retail Platform already being put into practice by some huge names such as Levi Jeans. With Intel technology installed in stores, Levi’s and other retailers can keep track of their inventories much more efficiently, with RFID sensors collecting precise and accurate stock location and quantity data in real time. This system could be transformational in terms of improving the customer experience, with staff freed up to deliver direct customer service rather than spending time on inventory management. There is also the strong possibility that it could eliminate the problem of customers not finding the right size in store as the technology is used to trigger replenishments when stocks get low.
Data-driven shopping service
Retailers are able to use connected and cloud technology to collect vast amounts of data from inside stores before transforming it into insights to improve service and offering. Watch this clip from Intel to find out more about how Levi’s are improving the customer experience through data analytics.
Fujitsu’s Retail Engagement Analytics solution delivers specific insights into shopper location and behaviour, enabling retailers to use the data to improve and optimise the shopping experience for consumers. This video shows how this kind of technology can work to improve retailers’ understanding of their customers’ behaviour and buying patterns. It looks likely that decisions about store layout planning and even staffing rotas could be made in response to data insights in the not-so-distant future.
Although connected clothing is still new enough to be making exciting headlines at events such as London Fashion Week, there is one sector embracing it wholeheartedly enough for it soon to be considered mainstream. The world’s largest Digital Fitness brand, Under Armour, produces connected sportswear that allows consumers to track their own fitness levels and workouts, but more significantly, it gives retailers data insights which help them to optimise service and product offering.
As wearable tech and connected clothing become mainstream across all retail sectors, both retailers and consumers will undoubtedly start to see the difference. The shopping experiences of the future look set to be exciting, stress free and personalised, as connected technology and data analytics enable retailers to focus on the individual preferences of every consumer while problems like stock control become a thing of the past.
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