Marketing Trends in Fashion Industry

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Personalising user’s experience and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the two contemporary marketing trends in the contemporary fashion marketing. The technological advancement and emergence of eCommerce have allowed the industry to shift the operations from brick-and-mortar to a more social media-friendly and mobile space. Therefore, firms in this industry are forced to look for the more advanced way such as AI and personalisation of user’s experience to leap optimal benefit of eCommerce. In other words, the change in consumers’ behaviours on lifestyle and shopping has forced the marketers to explore immense potential options.  With this light, this essay will discuss how personalising user’s experience and using AI will influence the global fashion industry in the next five years. 

Over the years, AI has transformed various industries such as Information Technology (IT) industry. For instance, the transformation can be depicted by the huge success of tech firms such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Besides, other industries such as healthcare, logistics, and transportation have started to benefit from the AI and are anticipating full transformation soon (Evans, 2017, p.19). Similarly, the AI can be used to transform the fashion industry by enhancing the fashion value chain by enhancing product sourcing, product manufacturing, and product distribution. 

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In addition, the AI will help the fashion firms to shift from traditional machine operation to consumer interactions and creative processes, and hence bridging the gap between creativity and technology (BOF & McKinsey & Company, 2017, p.27). Besides, 75 percent of the fashion retailers are planning to invest in AI between 2018 and 2019, indicating that AI is getting real (BOF& McKinsey & Company, 2017, p.27). This massive adaption of the AI by the firms in the fashion industry indicates that they consider AI as one of the immense potential options to conduct business in the contemporary world. 

In addition to bridging the gap between creativity and technology, AI will play a significant role in solving some of the challenges fashion marketing is facing now and in the future. For instance, the fashion industry is facing the challenge of an inadequate amount of data to help forecast what items to order and when to give the discount, and the needs and preference of different consumers (Abnett, 2016). In the digital world, brands are struggling to integrate end-to-end experience to allow consumers share services and products, enhance genuine information and conversation among consumers (Tung, 2017). 

As a result, AI will be used to help brands to gather substantial information regarding demand, consumer preferences such as style and colour, and identify micro-trends and trends. The fashion marketing is also expected to face challenges such as the inability to analyse large amounts of data gathered from various channels in the digital world. As a result, fashion marketing requires AI to analyse such amount of data and provide real-time solutions (Marr, 2017). Therefore, AI will help the fashion brands to predict anticipated challenges and hence help the brands to position themselves better in the market. 

In the contemporary world, technology has played a significant role in changing consumer behaviours, especially in the fashion industry. As a result, fashion marketers are struggling to gain the consumer loyalty by fulfilling a consumer’s impetuous need for a product or a service.  This necessitates the need to personalise the user’s experience to enhance the shopping experience for the consumers. Personalising the user’s experience will help the fashion brands to focus on prioritising personalisation of consumers to gain consumer loyalty and increase sales. BOF and McKinsey & Company (2017) found out that personalisation of the shopping experience is number one trend for 2018, and 41 percent of the consumers are demanding for this personalisation (p.26).  

Today, individuality and authenticity are increasingly shaping the consumers’ shopping experience. As a result, fashion marketers are focusing more on gathering relevant data that can allow them to tailor consumers’ preferences and engage personal experience and influencers (BOF & McKinsey & Company, 2017, p.44). Personalisation has become a top priority for the retailer in 2018 because it helps them to create the true personal experience for their online and offline consumers. It is due to this reason that 70 percent of the retailers are focusing on the personalisation of the store experience and 75 percent of the consumers are responding to personalised experiences, recommendations or offers (Tynan, 2018). 

In future, the fashion marketing is anticipated to face challenges of meeting the unique needs of the consumers within the shortest time possible. This is because consumers are increasingly changing their styles of purchasing products. The demand for more signature and unique products, and products that are cheaper, high quality, authentic and exclusive is increasing (BOF & McKinsey & Company, 2017, p.44). However, instead of critically determining what the consumers want, some companies are broadening their products. Fashion brands should embrace personalisation of the user’s experience by producing products and services, which are tailored to match the consumers’ individual needs. 

Personalisation and the use of artificial intelligence will have a tremendous impact on the growth of international business. The two trends are anticipated to increase sales of the brand utilising them, and hence substantial revenue growth. According to Abraham et al. (2017), brands utilising personalisation have experienced a revenue growth that ranges between 6 percent and 10 percent. For the next five years, revenue for the sectors such as retail, financial services, and retail is anticipated to grow by 15 percent due to personalisation (Abraham et al., 2017). Similarly, the use of AI and personalisation will lead to the global economic growth of 14 percent by 2030 (PWC, 2017). In addition, the adoption of AI is anticipated to affect the entire fashion industry by reducing forecasting error by around 50 percent and reducing inventory by 20 to 50 percent (BOF & McKinsey & Company, 2017, p.27). 

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As expounded above, the two trends have a significant impact on shaping the consumers experiencing and helping brands to tailor their products to match the needs of the contemporary consumers. In addition, the two trends will not only give the first adopters that competitive advantage but also help them to achieve business growth and compete in the global environment. As a result, AI and personalisation should be a top priority for fashion industry because they significantly influence the industry in the next five years. 

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  1. Abnett, K. 2016, April 7. Is Fashion Ready for the AI Revolution?
  2. Abraham, M., Mitchelmore, S., Collins, S., Maness, J., Kistulinec, M., Khodabendeh, S. … Hoenig, D. 2017, May 8. Profiting from Personalization. 
  3. BOF & McKinsey & Company. 2017. The State of Fashion 2018
  4. Evans, G. W. 2017. Artificial Intelligence: Where We Came From, Where We Are Now, and Where We Are Going (Doctoral dissertation, University of Victoria). 
  5. Marr, B. 2017, July 15. Why AI Would Be Nothing Without Big Data. 
  6. Pani, A. and Sharma, M., 2012. Emerging trends in fashion marketing: a case study of apparel retailing in India. International Journal of Business and Management Tomorrow2(10), pp.1-8.
  7. PWC. 2017, June 27. AI to drive GDP gains of $15.7 trillion with productivity, personalisation improvements.
  8. Tung, F. 2017, March 16. Future Challenges for Fashion Marketers.
  9. Tynan, D. 2018, January 28. Personalization Is a Priority for Retailers, but Can Online Vendors Deliver? 
  10. Wei, X. 2018. The application and development of artificial intelligence in smart clothing. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering320, 012017. 
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