Estimated to be worth $3T by the end of the decade, per CB Insights' Industry Analyst Consensus, the fashion industry is growing at a fast pace, led by cutting-edge technologies. From robots that sew and cut fabric to AI algorithms that predict style trends, VR mirrors in dressing rooms, shopping off the runway and a number of other innovations show how technology is automating and evolving the industry. In 2016, Google collaborated with online fashion platform Zalando and production company Stinkdigital to launch predictive design engine, Project Muze. The algorithm consisted of a set of aesthetic parameter and trained a neural network to comprehend colours, textures and styles derived from Google Fashion Trends Report and data sourced by Zalando -- to create designs in sync with with style preferences identified by the network. Amazon is taking an algorithmic approach to fashion as well.
The urgency to solve for virtual fit, once relegated online, has extended to stores, where the pandemic has made trying on clothing more complicated. Reopened stores are mostly contactless, meaning that fitting rooms are closed, restricted or just unappealing; 65 per cent of women feel unsafe trying on apparel in dressing rooms, according to First Insight. Thus, shoppers are left to guess size and fit -- and more inclined to adopt the buy-then-try behaviours that mimic e-commerce. The phenomenon has compromised a key value proposition for stores; fit is the top reason for online returns, which for apparel can be 40 per cent. "People are using their bedrooms as fitting rooms," says Haniff Brown, founder and CEO of fit-tech startup Fit:Match.
True Fit, the data-driven personalization platform for footwear and apparel, today announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud that makes it easy for retailers to leverage the Fashion Genome, the largest connected data set for fashion. Retailers can use the Fashion Genome to insert style, fit, and size recommendations into every phase of the customer journey. Together, True Fit and Google Cloud are helping retailers go beyond the hype cycle of artificial intelligence and machine learning, to drive value straight to retailers' P&L. Retailers that use True Fit's platform on Google Cloud's infrastructure drive incremental revenue, reduce returns and increase customer lifetime value and loyalty. With True Fit on Google Cloud, the improved processing power, speed, and reliability results in faster machine learning for improved shopper experiences, relevance, and insights.
The fashion industry did $3 trillion in business, 2% of global GDP in 2018; e-commerce fashion amounted to $520 billion in 2019. AI is poised to revolutionize the fashion industry by providing insights into fashion trends, purchase patterns, and enabling better inventory management. The global brand H&M has been applying AI solutions to boost business operations. One example is a system to organize and allocate masses of unsold stock to retail stories with highest demand, reducing the need for discounted sales. This is achieved by optimizing the supply chain and inventory management, reducing the amount of wasted clothing.
U.S. retail ecommerce sales of apparel and accessories is expected to surpass $103 billion in 2018. That comprises nearly 20% of total retail ecommerce sales this year and makes apparel and accessories the largest single product category in the ecommerce industry. The next few years look even better for apparel and accessories ecommerce retailers, as sales are projected to top $170 billion by 2022. If you want your share of the massive profits in this category, your ecommerce site is going to have to be best-in-class because the competition is fierce. The following fashion brands have built exceptional ecommerce sites around giving customers the best shopping experience possible.