5 Digital Trends Transforming Fashion in 2016

5 Digital Trends Transforming Fashion in 2016

The Digital Apparel Revolution has arrived.

Today we are in an increasingly fast-paced market. Brands need to get to market fast while still adapting to consumer trends and needs. There’s a shift to design and develop as close to the season as possible, and 3D technology has been a key factor for shortening the time to market.

As the technology improves and adoption for 3D grows, we are seeing more brands and retailers go digital. If a business wants to keep up with the fast-fashion world, they need to step into the digital realm. “Going digital” doesn’t mean changing your whole business structure, but to understand its impact to improve speed and quality, maximize revenues, create the right products for consumers and maintain an innovative and competitive edge.

What are some trends to look at for the upcoming year?

Wearable Technology

Wearable technologies provide solutions to everyday lives. According to a report by eMarketer, one out of four adults in the US will own a wearable device by next year, with an estimated 81.7 million adults using wearables by 2018. Today, we have bracelets and bras to monitor heart rates and fitness levels and even handbags to charge a smartphone. Fashion is one thing, but if a product is also multi-functional, it can widen the target market and add an extra level of appeal for consumers.

Omni-Channel Retailing

There’s no doubt that mobile commerce is the new way to shop, and it’s on track to grow 300% faster than traditional eCommerce by 2016. With online and mobile shopping, preferences and profiles are recognized and customers can be re-targeted with similar products, discounts and ads, purely based on a user’s browsing history. Mobile means data, and data means a whole new level of understanding about consumers, and the path to create better products.

While fashion has moved online, it won’t get rid of the in-store experience, but it will change it. What does this mean for the future? The lines between offline and online will become even more connected, and we’ll see more immersive shopping experiences both online and offline. This will include virtual fashion shows, digital changing rooms, increased personalization for online shopping, and more to bring consumers as much as they want, at their fingertips, as soon as possible.

Green is the New Black – Sustainable Fashion

Manufacturers and retailers are realizing that they need to improve on production, not just grow production. As consumers want to be more aware of where and how their goods are being made, the industry need to adapt their business strategies to be more natural and environmentally friendly. In some cases, this is shifting to more responsible, green suppliers, such as using natural dyes or better utilization of fabric materials. In other cases, companies are seeking more digital or smart manufacturing options to be more sustainable.

IoT – Data is the new “Oil”

According to Gartner, in 2016, 6.4 billion “things” will be connected to the Internet – a 30% increase from 2015. By 2019, worldwide spending on the IoT will reach $1.32 trillion. These “smart” machines are more connected and provide a high level of information and the ability to instantly collect useful data for design, production, manufacturing and retail & sales.

Smart use of big data will bring success. Knowing how to utilize the wealth of information and data is key to building new profitable strategies. For example, smart data can analyze what trends are popular with consumers, and instantly provide feedback to the whole supply chain.

Mass Customization and Immersive Shopping

Currently, 25-40% of all online sales end in returns, with the main reason being fit. By enabling consumers to see a realistic visualization of the garment on themselves, how it moves, and the fit, before they make a purchase, it will greatly increase customer confidence and save costs for retailers over time.

Previewing an outfit in real-time through scanning 3D models not only creates an interactive shopping experience for the consumer, but also provides retailers and brands with key information about their target audience.

All of these digital trends are making a huge impact for the apparel industry to become more efficient, save time & money, create better products, and revolutionize the way they develop, produce and market fashion. The digital apparel revolution is here – are you onboard?

Want to learn more about the top digital trends in fashion? Click here to download our ebook that covers 5 top trends in 2016.

Mark Faber

Mark Faber

VP Global Customer Success at Optitex
Mark is a highly versatile business and software executive with over 15 years of international experience in driving operational efficiency and business growth in both software and apparel/textile industries. Mark holds a BA and MSc from the London School of Economics & Political Science.