The sad true about fashion industry is that many small brands do not hire marketing managers or CTOs. In effect, they lag in online retail. Even though, nowadays, the internet becomes very crowded, the future of ecommerce looks bright for non-technical fashion designers – thanks to big tech companies.
Thinking about retail of the future – we have to remember that there are trends which we can predict. But we can not go too far into the future. We simply can not be sure how current innovations will affect society. That is why, when writing about the future of e-retail – I will have next 2-5 years in mind.
The future of ecommerce in 5 trends
Thinking about e-retail, we have to have in mind that some of technologies – like augmented reality or blockchain – will probably be very important for retailers. But, in my opinion, they will not be key factors in the next few years. However, we can be quite sure about some technologies that will have a big influence on retail in fashion industry. But not only our industry. Working in fashion, we can not forget that there are indeed other buisnesses that sell online. For example it is food industry, electronics retailers and many more are be influenced by tech. So while thinking about e-commerce trends for future, we should think outside the fashion box.
AI powered voice search in fashion
Artificial Intelligence is already used aby some brands that are selling online. By AI I mean machine learning, including deep learning, which already influence our lives. Voice search for fashion technology means ability to look for specific products without touching computer or smartphone. Right now, the most popular “AIs” are: Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and Cortana. If you have seen Google IO 2018 – you probably know that company’s AI can already talk almost as natural as humans do. AI’s examples in e-retail might be Amazon Echo Look or H&M Home Assistant (just as seen on the video). According to comeScore and Google – in 2020 – 50% of searches will be done with use of voice interface.
Personalization of offers for clients
Also thanks to AI, more e-retailers will be able to personalize their marketing (including mailings) and websites. Machine learning will use information about clients to personalize what they see on websites and in marketing campaigns.
The rise of marketplaces
This trend is also already happening and will grow in the future. Ecommerces like Alibaba, Amazon, Allegro, Zalando, Farfetch, Net-a-porter will get even more popular than they are now. Their marketshare will be bigger. And there will be less gamers on the market. As marketplaces we should also concider Facebook and Google. Advantages of this trend? Designers will be able to outsource technology and marketing to tech companies. Disadvantages of it? Monopoly of big, tech players.
Mobile and social shopping
I consider Facebook and Google as marketplaces, because we can already sell our products with their platforms. Social media is the real future of ecommerce. Shoppable videos and images are already there. Inclugin stories. The trend will grow in the future thanks to 5G technology and popularity of smartphones. It means less work for designers on the one hand, but more crowded social media on the other. Payment services providers (like PayPal or Stripe) will not stay behind. Payment will be easier and in the end – brands will not even have to have their own ecommerces.
Omnichannel in fashion
This trend will happen thanks to 5G, AI, IoT and the way that millenials (and generation Z) are consuming. Stores will be using abilities of smartphones. Clients will be able to spend a great time in malls, touching products, interacting and having fun with the brand. Purchases will take place just like in Uber. Consumers will not even think about it.
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