The fashion industry is undergoing an AI revolution – TechHQ

Artificial intelligence is being woven into every facet of the dynamic fashion industry, from storeroom to shop window.
16 June 2020 | 21 Shares

AI is optimizing retail operations. Source: Unsplash
The fashion industry is one of the largest sectors and amount to 2% of global GDP
AI applications are increasingly being blended into the dynamic fashion world
Retailers are reaping the benefits of AI in inventory management and customer service 
In 2018, the fashion industry accounted for up to 2% of global GDP, responsible for about US$3 trillion. The following year saw the e-commerce fashion industry amounting close to US$520 billion. The stakes are high for a dynamic and glamourous sector. 


Fashion retailers must tackle the ‘flaw of averages’
Adding to the mix, artificial intelligence (AI) is set to revolutionize the fashion industry by providing fashion brands with greater intelligence. With the power of AI, fashion companies can gain insights into fashion trends, purchase patterns, and guidance for inventory management. Inevitably, AI will supercharge the fashion industry by scaling up business operations with more intelligence added to the decision-making process across its value chain. 

Beginning with inventory management, AI can be applied to increase productivity within stores and digital platforms. For instance, AI can ensure the record of sales and returns are securely and accurately documented. In combination with the available products in stores and incoming stocks from warehouses, AI is efficient in helping retailers keep track of inventory. 

Taking it to a higher notch, large streams of inventory data can help businesses predict the amount of stocks needed in specific stores and plan ahead for warehouses to deliver high-on-demand products, ensuring no sales are lost. 

Capgemini revealed that the global annual spending on AI by retailers is projected to hit US$7.3 billion by 2022 and AI could potentially help retailers save US$340 billion annually due to optimization in processes and operations.  

Global brands such as H&M have been enlisting AI-inspired solutions to boost their business operations. By employing AI, the clothing-retail giant is able to organize and allocated masses of unsold stocks to stores with high demand, reducing the need for discounted sales. Essentially, H&M is able to optimize their supply chain and inventory management, reducing the number of wasted clothing. 

In the back-office, AI is weaving seamless operations in retail. In the front-office, AI is emerging as a familiar face for shoppers online.

What’s driving the growth of AI in the fashion industry is also a rising demand for hyper-personalization. This idea of superior personalization can come in the form of customer experience when shopping, such as the option to try on a variety of products at the comfort of one’s home, the ability to customize products to suit a shopper’s individual taste or simply the quick response to queries that AI advisors have been known to fulfill. 
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