AI is transforming the fashion industry- true or not? Let’s find out. Many industries have been entrenched in using AI for their business operations. However, you may not instantly relate the same with the fashion and retail industry. This is because the fashion industry has been rather slow to adopt and understand the potential of AI. Lately, the scenario has changed. Being one of the largest industries with a contribution of 2% to the global GDP, the fashion industry has now become one of the pioneers in experimenting with AI technology.
‘Do you know that the global expenditure by the fashion and retail industry on AI will be reaching $7.3 billion by next year? It is also estimated that the AI software market will be generating a global revenue of $118.6 billion by 2025. The ingrained use of AI in fashion has left 44% of the retailers in the UK bankrupt due to lack of AI technology.’
Be it the online selling eCommerce segment or the internal supply chain, brands and retailers worldwide are embracing AI to optimize their operations. AI has evolved the fashion and retail industry by channelizing customer satisfaction with personalized shopping experiences, omnichannel presence, and environment-friendly garment design and construction. Many homegrown brands and local labels too have integrated AI into their business model to sustain themselves in the fast fashion market.
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Introducing The Latest AI Tech Trends Of 2021
AI has opened up a new set of creative possibilities for brands and designers. It is cost-effectively driving smarter technologies to the multiple stages of the fashion supply chain. Brands and retailers are deploying AI-enabled software for trend forecasting, merchandise planning, production simplification, and shipment ordeals. The goal is to achieve flexible yet efficient processes that enable accelerated turnaround time. Here are some of the latest trends trailblazing AI adoption in fashion-
Predicting Trends & Personalized Selling
Fashion trend forecasting is a research-intensive process that requires a lot of manual observation. By introducing AI for customer data collection, brands can easily access and manage all their user information. This retrieved data helps brands predict the needs of their consumers to plan and produce relevant future collections. Besides, they can also use this data to make suitable product recommendations based on their buyer’s previous purchase decisions. It offers a more personalized buying experience resulting in customer retention.
Easy Product Discovery
Do you know Pinterest uses AI technology to pull out visually relevant pins from its database for your search results? Well, many brands are using integrated AI technology for smart product discovery. Consumers can find their desired or similar product options by just uploading a picture to receive instant results. For example, you can use Google Lens to click a picture of a product and then get similar product recommendations on your screen.
Shudu Gram Is A Digital Sensation
In unprecedented times like Covid, designers had no choice but to release their collections virtually. Digital models like Shudu Gram helped them showcase their latest collections to a worldwide audience without actually manufacturing any real garments. Shudu Gram is a CGI (computer-generated imagery) model created by James Wilson, the CEO of The Diigitals. She has over 200,000 followers on her Instagram handle.
Design & Develop In 3D
Gone are the times when designers stuck to pen-and-paper to illustrate entire collections. AI technology has reshaped the way the fashion industry designs and develops garments today. Designers are using 3D design software to generate realistic creations of their designs. 3D technology helps them review their final product from a 360-degree overview without producing any physical samples. They can make multiple iterations in fractional time and save their sampling costs as well. It is also a sustainable alternative to the traditional sampling process.
AI On-Model Imagery Is Replacing Traditional Photoshoots
One of the major segments of the fashion industry to benefit from AI technology is eCommerce. Brands and retailers selling on online platforms need to generate thousands of product images in a short period to take their products online. In the eCommerce segment, the competition is marginal and a delayed turnaround time is not an option. However, to generate a single product image, a retailer typically has to go through the challenging process of organizing a product photoshoot. It involves everything from booking a photo studio to hiring photographers and selecting models. Then there’s post-production time as well.
This is where AI comes in and helps them generate effortless on-model product imagery without going through the hassle of arranging an actual photoshoot. It completely alters the whole process of product imagery. Here’s how replacing the traditional photoshoots with AI on-model imagery can benefit your eCommerce business-
You Get An Increased Turnaround Time
With AI imagery you don’t need to rent a photo studio or hire a professional photographer. It helps you generate catalog-ready images within minutes instead of days. All you need is a trained operator and AI will generate virtual models for your products. You can use on-mannequin or ghost images as input, and AI will automatically turn them into on-model images. This means you can experience increased productivity without compromising the quality of your images.
Maintaining Visual Consistency
Typically, online retailers and brands tie up with multiple vendors to generate thousands of product images daily. This often leads to visual inconsistency as it can be tasking to get the same quality images from multiple vendors. By using AI technology, you can create thousands of images with the same specifications in a single go. You just have to enter the right information such as desired angle, lighting, or shadow and AI will rapidly replicate it on all your product images.
Subscribe To Model Inclusivity
Featuring products on models of different body types and sizes can be an advantage for your eCommerce business. It broadens your consumer base and helps you increase your sales revenue. However, in a traditional photo shoot, it can be difficult for you to find and hire multiple models with distinct features. With AI technology, you can gain model inclusivity by generating virtual models. AI can generate virtual models of different ethnicities, body shapes, and sizes. For example, you can include categories like kid’s wear, maternity, or plus-size to your collection.
Is AI The Future Of The Fashion Industry?
From paper sketches to virtual runways, to creating personalized customer experiences, AI has impacted the fashion industry enormously. This is also a reason why more and more brands and designers are inclining towards AI adoption into their conventional processes. While many see it as a replacement for human workers. We cannot deny the fact that AI is helping the fashion industry eliminate its global waste production by introducing a digital fashion supply chain.