How technology is disrupting the fashion industry
Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 by Charlotte Hanna — 1 comment
Fashion retail is one of the key industries that is currently being redefined by digital disruption. We’ve seen a shift towards digital fashion shows but how far is technology taking the fashion industry? In this blog, we want to look at just that, as we discuss how technology is disrupting the fashion industry.
Technology plays a huge role in the fashion industry, from production planning through to online shopping. We first saw this as a result of the ‘Fast Fashion’ movement, as it was evident that the current manufacturing model, at the time manufacturers were not keeping up with consumer demands and more precision production planning tools helped to reduce the development lead times. For some businesses this gave them a distinct advantage, suppliers normally allow 6 to 12 months for development with increased demand from retailers such as Primark the development cycle has been reduced dramatically, in some cases, 12 days from design through to production and delivery the shop floor. Technology has allowed for quicker the increased speed to market but it often comes with compromised to quality and fit.
3D sampling software has also helped to stream line the development process not only does it save on sample cost but also time is a huge factor. Digital printing is allowing for smaller print runs with small-batches saving on stock holding costs with little impact on the production and delivery lead times to consumer.
As a result of the current lockdown restrictions, a lot of stores, including Topshop, have suffered greatly from not being able to open their doors. All stores are currently closed, which means that if brands weren’t already utilising their websites, they’ve had to quickly play catch up to e-commerce giants like ASOS. For many, technology has provided a solution to the problems brought by the coronavirus pandemic and has shown that digital really is the future. The fashion industry has been slowly taking steps towards a digital revolution, however, with the pandemic closing the doors of all major retailers, the industry has been catapulted towards technological solutions. For many technology has saved them from having to shut their doors forever, and for others, technology has provided a solution to slow manufacturing problems. Key players in the online market such as ASOS and Boohoo.com are often ahead of the curve in terms of introducing new features such as ‘buy now, pay later’ options and new technologies to improve the shopper experience, such as ASOS’ augmented ‘See my fit’ tool. Amazon should not be ignore within the fashion industry. According to the report by Global Data Amazon grew 20.7 per cent in the UK last year, marking the highest level of growth in the last five years. This growth means Amazon is now the second largest online fashion retailer in the UK with a 4.8 per cent market share, coming behind only Asos which has a 6.6 per cent market share.
If you have enjoyed this blog, why not check out our other blog on 3 technologies that are revolutionising fashion retail. Alternatively, you can read our other blogs here.