The future of fashion: 4 ways that AI is changing the game
With eternally evolving trends and a consumer base that demands quality and convenience in equal measure, the fashion industry is turning to AI for support. Here, we will explore how AI is changing the game in the fashion world as it hyper-polarizes marketing, streamlines design and maximizes sustainability.
AI-powered Shopping Experiences
AI-enabled apps are transforming the way we buy clothes. Focus groups continually report that people lack the time to relentlessly peruse shopping shelves or endlessly scroll webpages in search of the perfect product.
In response, mobile apps, such as that developed by Screenshop, enable customers to avoid the browsing all together. Screenshop’s platform allows users to screenshot outfits they encounter online. Taking this image as input, the AI system analyses the featured clothes or accessories, and identifies sites that will provide the exact outfit or similar styles.
Similarly, subscription services are also extracting the brutality of browsing from the shopping experience. Stich-Fix, a US-based retail company, deliver monthly outfits to users’ homes. Machine learning algorithms take design trends, previous purchases and user feedback to provide clothing customers are likely to value. As such, customers receive a steady stream of quality clothes that match their style perfectly.
Seemingly, AI is enabling companies to capitalize on the busy and hectic nature of life in 2020. Consumers who either lack the time or struggle to find fits can now maintain a fresh wardrobe while effortlessly keeping up with current trends.
Intelligent Sales Assistants
The way clothing is being promoted is also changing. As convenience becomes increasingly valuable, fashion guidance has shifted form in-store to online. AI sales assistants are facilitating this shift by enhancing the sales process and offering hyper-personalised services to online customers.
Firstly, machine learning algorithms develop individualized customer profiles. They identify patters in a given customer’s shopping habits, compare their patterns to those of other shoppers and incorporate general sales data so account for current trends. This then feeds a virtual assistant that suggests clothes that match individual profiles.
The recent rise of conversational interfaces such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa has permitted the development of increasingly sophisticated artificial assistants. Apps built for these platforms can now converse with consumers to streamline the buying process. For example, a user can simply ask Alexa to recommend their next dress purchase and, knowing their fit and style from the aforementioned AI-generated profile, Alexa can suggest the perfect dress as well as appropriate add-ons or accessories.
As these modernized smart assistants permit back-and-forth dialog, they can then ask for customer feedback and consider this in future interactions. Consequently, they generate increasingly effective suggestions and provide an ever-improving service.
Streamlining Fashion Design
As fashion is such a rapidly evolving industry with forever changing trends, designing lines before seasons is a tricky task. Machine learning and big data is easing this process. As is used in multiple industries, AI algorithms permit accurate and efficient demand forecasting. Taking sales stats and data pertaining to current trends as input, these algorithms anticipate demand to guide the designing process. Consequently, designers can be confident that their clothes will sell well in target locations.
Similarly, designers can utilize advances in machine vision to ensure their lines are bang on trend. AI systems analyse thousands of clothing images from across hundreds of retail websites. They evaluate the pictures and use sales data to identify clothes and styles that seem to be more, or less, popular. Designers can then consider these data-driven insights when developing their ideas, thus maximizing the likelihood of a successful line.
Maximising Sustainability in Fashion
Fashion is one of the guiltiest industries when it comes to climate change contribution.
Firstly, as a species, we are making and throwing out too much clothing. AI is helping minimize waste. For example, computer vision technology can be used to detect defects in fabric before they are stitched into products. Consequently, the fabric can be used for different purposes and the clothes that do get made are of the highest quality and have the best chances of lasting longer.
Similarly, Ai can encourage consumers to maximize the longevity of their clothes. Bespoke online tailoring can ensure purchases are the right fit, while AI-driven systems guide consumers to the perfect product. Consequently, consumers buy clothes that they like more, value higher and keep longer, thus eradicating the throw-away culture that is impeding the industry’s path to sustainability.
Evidently, there is little doubt that AI is transforming the world of fashion. As it continues to boost customer experiences in increasingly innovative ways and empowers designers to generate bang-on-trend clothing, AI is propelling fashion towards a fabulous future.