With the dawn of a new year approaching I am making a prediction that this year in fashion technology will be the ‘Year of the Virtual Stylist’.
This past year we saw the rise of the power of the consumer in consumer centric commerce trends were all over the industry. My most favorite trends were:
Omni Channel Retailing Became a Norm– Stores like UK Retailer Oasis gives customers the flexibility to browse inside the store and then purchase online.
3D Technology – 3D technology such as Magic Mirrors made international news this year giving shoppers a more advanced fitting room experience. Clueless got it right almost 20 years ago!
Knit Technology – Knitting reemerged and dominated the shoe industry for more flexible shoe technology. Nike introduce the Flyknit Airmax
More Wearable Technology– Although we have not quite wearing out cellphones on our t-shirts, Ralph Lauren, Opening Ceremony and Rebecca Minkoff are some of the names aligning themselves with wearable tech. I expect to see more wearable devices in the future.
I’m not saying Virtual Styling will be the only trend of 2015 because I do believe the aforementioned trends will be even bigger this year, but I believe Virtual Styling will evolve to be a major connector between online stores and the online customer. My reasons are based on a working hypothesis I’m developing dealing with social commerce, peer review and online sales. ( Want to know more about this work, email me)
As more and more consumers transition into online shopping, virtual styling services are gaining more and more attention. But why?
Although shopping online is a convenient way to view selections of clothing, customers still need a bit of guidance before making purchase decisions.
When it comes to fit, virtual applications helping to guide customers by suggesting similar sizes and recreating fitting room experiences.
But the need for a virtual styling goes even further. Many people shopping online use virtual styling services to suggests full outfits based on their personal preferences. Virtual Stylist put together wardrobes and send customers full looks (accessories included) and customers can pick and choose what they want and return the rest.
Believe it or not, even online customers like the ability to engage in a conversation about products and this is a big missing part of online shopping right now. A new online store can be a lonely strange place for some shoppers and shoppers often have questions. While working at Nordstrom, I learned that immediate engagement of the customer often made the sale. When operating my own online store, I used social media to answer questions from potential customers, then used the questions to create content just in case anyone else had the same.
Virtual stylist are valuable for both the customer and brands! Take a look at the list below and be on the lookout, I have something in store as well.
|Tog + Porter|
|Brit + CO|
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