A well established industry like fashion is still on the lookout for modernizing itself. AI is inherently changing the fashion industry at every level of the supply chain(design, manufacture, logistics, marketing or sales). AI is transforming and adding more value to the way apparels are manufactured or the way they are being sold. The global value of the fashion industry is amongst the largest, estimated at around 3 trillion dollars as of 2018 and with a market share of 4% globally. One of the major reasons for this is the individuality that buyers connect with, while purchasing clothes. As AI is helping the industry grow it is also raising a few challenges. In this blog we will understand the changes AI has brought and the challenges it has created.
The convenience of AI:
Fashion industry has to give weightage to demands and brand management as much as it gives to designing and manufacturing fashion products. Many brands are regularly finding innovative ways to get their products for buyers to see and create brand awareness to generate demand. Plenty of brands using AI and machine learning to increase their buyers’ shopping experience, refine the sale systems with automation, and grow the sales procedure with predictive analytics and guided process. Plenty of fashion sites are using AI like chat boxes and automated response to FAQ’s which are making the user experience better and helping them with post sale services. These conversational interfaces also help brands to collect data and understand patterns, trends and suggestions that help in upselling. The chat boxes are capable of solving small and generic problems providing customer satisfaction.
AI is also helping the E-commerce fashion brands with the help of Augmented reality. The buyers can shop with smart image recognition system where they can take pictures of clothing and try on their virtual self.
The constant changes in the designing of apparels are also making the most of AI. The designers and retailers have to keep in mind the upcoming trends and fashion waves to predict and design accordingly. They have to also be careful that while being in production the trend should not go out of style. This is where AI comes into play, it help manufacturers and designers to understand the seasonal trends and plan accordingly based on the data of purchases and searches. It is not always accurate as the sale can be dependant on many factors and can vary from the predicted numbers. However, it is estimated that with the help of AI the errors can be reduced up to 50%, in hindsight that are good odds for the designers and the manufacturers.
As AI is making lives easy it has also raised a few new challenges for the industry to face. As for the designing field, it often includes the intricacies of the artistic works. The hand woven materials, embroidery and regional designs. With the dawn of AI, many brands are opting for machine made designed as they are affordable and require less manpower. As for big labels, they still opt for hand made designes and work so that the brand value increases. It catapults the prices and makes the product premium stating the amount of hours individuals have put in the product. Since it is not an economic option, it is not possible for common retail sellers to source their apparels from artisans. Hence, it is putting people out of jobs and somewhat compromising on the value of the art that had made it famous in the first place. In addition to that it is also increasing the prices as anything hand-made makes the product exotic in the global market.
It is crystal clear that in the future of fashion industry, AI will be involved for its advancements and machine learning technology. Manufacturers, designers and retailers will leverage AI to uplift cost efficiency and give a better shopping experience to the shoppers. If implemented correctly AI does provide a competitive advantage by using every data at its disposal. There is a slight worry as where it is taking the art of designing and is it making it completely artificial by eliminating the human touch. We have to wait and observe. ')}