As the fashion industry rapidly adapts to new technology, brands are leveraging AI and ML to reach out to existing customers and attract new customers. Leading fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger turned to AI to improve its designs when it tied up with IBM and Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in 2019. Their project Reimagine Retail, was directed towards using AI to map out future industry trends and also in improving the design process. Popular sports fashion brand Nike uses AI to keep the customer happy by personalizing customer experiences and improving engagement. As per Nike 60 % people wear the wrong shoe size and to fix this problem, the folks at Nike created the Nike Fit tool and integrated it with the Nike app where customers will be able to find their right size and even see how the product looks on their feet. This is done using a combination of technologies including Computer vision, Data science, Augmented reality, Recommendation Engines, and Machine Learning.
Nike also has access to a wide range of customer data from its supply chain, enterprise data, and the app ecosystem. In 2017, the company had announced Nike Direct, a direct-to-consumer sales channel. To attract customers using product recommendations, the company has acquired four data science and analytics firms since 2018. Each of these acquisitions contribute to the ultimate goal of taking a step towards better customer experience. While ‘Invertex’ brought powerful 3d scanning technology that creates accurate models of one’s anatomy to Nike, ‘Zodiac’ projects revenue streams at the individual-customer level as it applies predictive behavioral models and customer analytics to target data, and Celect helps in optimizing inventory by predicting demand for the future by applying ML to the current data. So, by integrating varied tech, Nike uses the huge amount of data at its disposal to create customized recommendations and create demand. If financial figures are anything to go by, Nike Direct sales have shot up from USD 11.7 billion in 2019 to USD 16.3 billion in 2021.
Moving on to the luxury segment, Dior too, has used AI to launch its chatbot or beauty assistant called Dior insider. It chats with customers on the Facebook messengers and helps the customer with what they are looking for.
A new study from Juniper Research found that the global spending by retailers on AI services will reach $12 billion by 2023, up from an estimated $3.6 billion in 2019. Juniper expects over 325,000 retailers to adopt AI technology over the period. The future of the fashion industry clubbed with AI looks promising for sure