3 Challenges Fashion Businesses Face Today and How to Address Them Using AI

The fashion landscape has weathered the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, global conflicts, and economic uncertainties, and now it's poised for a revolutionary transformation. As if that weren't enough, digitalization, sustainability, and empowered consumers are shaking up the fashion game.

In this article, we're about to explore the major shifts and trends that are painting a brand-new canvas for the fashion industry, all with the help of AI.
How is the fashion industry changing?
The fashion industry – from global discounters to exclusive luxury brands – makes an important contribution to the global economy. It faces particular challenges as it is particularly vulnerable to global economic uncertainty and is subject to certain trends and industry-wide changes. To enable growth and cost efficiency, many brands have taken measures to enable faster time to market and sustainably innovate in core product design, manufacturing, and supply chain processes.

Times have changed! Shoppers are no longer just on the sidelines; they are increasingly standing as active contributors. With all the digital magic happening, they want more than just buying stuff. They're into interaction, impacting, and being part of the brands they love. These savvy shoppers are all about style and ethics, and they care about their image and their brand's image on social media. McKinsey highlights some risks to fashion businesses in 2023/

Let's focus on a few of them in more detail.

Consumer attention in the spotlight
In the fast-changing fashion world, challenges like abandoned carts and customer churn are a big deal. The fashion industry is in a tough spot, with lots of brands fiercely competing for the attention of today's smart shoppers. This happens because so many fashion companies are out there, saturating the market and making it a battleground for customer attention.

Social media, like TikTok, has made it easier for new players to join the fashion scene. This means consumers have even more choices, making it hard for brands to stand out and grab attention.

Convenience matters the most
Today's shoppers are all about speed and simplicity. They're in a hurry and don't want any shopping hassles, especially regarding returns or exchanges. The fast-paced, online world we live in means they make decisions in the blink of an eye, and fashion companies are feeling the heat to offer an effortless, one-click shopping experience.

Moreover, the elevated inflation rates worldwide have increased the cost of living, resulting in cautious spending habits. In fact, from April to July 2022, a significant 75% of U.S. consumers turned to more budget-friendly brands and products. This economic squeeze has left brand manufacturers with another challenge of staying appealing to their customer base.

Supply chain issues
In the fashion world, e-commerce is a game-changer, but it's not all smooth sailing within supply chain management. The fashion industry wrestles with a closet full of challenges, from keeping tabs on inventory to getting orders out the door and dealing with returns. Now, here's the plot twist: fashion supply chains don't just stretch across the street; they span the globe. And just to keep life interesting, they've got to keep up with ever-evolving trends and the whims of fashionistas. It's like trying to stay in style while changing outfits on a fast-moving train. On top of all that, there's a growing desire for eco-friendly practices, making agility and sustainability the new must-haves in supply chain management.

How are businesses supposed to address the challenges above? Emerging business technologies are already on duty to support the fashion industry.

They enhance the consumer experience, foster loyalty, boost satisfaction levels, and entice repeat visits. Simultaneously, they help reduce cart abandonment rates and product returns, leading to higher profits and an expanded customer base. Is it magic? No, it's AI-based solutions.
AI Comes to the Rescue For the Fashion Industry
Respondents cited 3D printing technologies, the metaverse, and augmented and virtual reality as particularly relevant to future developments in the industry. Let’s look at the new technologies and trends in the fashion industry and explore their impact on user experience:

Virtual try-on and augmented reality (AR)
Virtual try-ons and AR enhance the online shopping experience by allowing customers to visualize how clothing and accessories will look on them. This reduces returns and improves overall customer satisfaction.

Sustainable fashion technologies
Sustainable practices, such as recycling materials, reducing waste, and adopting eco-friendly production processes, are gaining traction. Products marketed as sustainable grew 2.7X faster than products not marketed as sustainable. 77% of businesses indicate sustainability leads to increased customer loyalty as sustainable shopping directly links to the environmental impact.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and hyper-personalization
The goal of AI-driven recommendations and hyper-personalization in e-commerce platforms isn't simply to collect and use as much data as possible. It's to use that data to provide a truly personalized experience that meets each customer's needs and preferences, simultaneously helping them make more informed choices that reduce unnecessary purchases.

Blockchain for transparency
Blockchain is being used to provide transparency in the fashion supply chain, allowing customers to trace the origins of products and verify their authenticity, ultimately promoting ethical and sustainable consumption.

These trends and technologies are significantly impacting the fashion industry by improving various aspects of consumption. And at the intersection of the most advanced technologies, the Dress2Save solution has been developed.
Win the Customer Hearts and Save the Planet: Dress2Save Know-How
As a solution built for fashion businesses based on the most advanced digital AI tool, Dress2Save aims to achieve two goals. The first is to provide technological support for the sustainable development of companies. The second is to give customers a straightforward solution for conscious shopping that will help save the environment effortlessly.

With the Dress2Save AI-driven plug-in, retail businesses achieve a powerful tool for retaining old and attracting new customers at once in several ways:

Reduced churn and return rates
When shopping for clothes on a website, customers are not always quite sure which size or style will suit them best – it happens to all of us from time to time. With a virtual try-on system like Dress2Save, users can see how those clothes look in real time.

AI algorithms can precisely measure a user's body and suggest the right size for clothing or footwear. Customers can adjust sizes, colors, and styles until they find the perfect match. A virtual fitting room not only saves you time and money by avoiding returns but also reduces the environmental impact of shipping and restocking those unwanted items.

Less the consumption, less the damage
Overconsumption in the fashion industry contributes to waste and pollution, which became the reason for strict government regulation in this field. Fashion production contributes 10% of global carbon emissions, surpassing the emissions of international flights and maritime shipping combined, as per Business Insider's analysis.

Virtual try-on systems promote a more mindful shopping approach, potentially decreasing the environmental impact of fast fashion. By letting customers virtually try on and buy clothing they truly love, a virtual stylist can help retail companies cut down on the environmental toll of shipping and manufacturing.

An involved customer is a happy customer
Fast fashion is responsible for much of the 100 billion garments produced each year, while $450 billion worth of textiles are destroyed annually. Such facts fuelled consumer interest in brands that are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental damage.
Consequently, when consumers have a positive and reliable shopping experience from a brand that shares their values, they are more likely to be satisfied with their purchases. Millennials getting involved in eco-friendly actions show a trend unique to their generation, which will affect how the market works in the future.

Personal stylist for any sophisticated taste
AI-powered virtual try-on systems are like a fashion-savvy friend for customers who know everyone’s style inside out. They don't just suggest random clothes; they actually get you!
Let's say you're shopping for a new jacket. AI-driven virtual try-on systems smart systems remember that you've been eyeing earthy tones and sporty designs lately. So, when you start browsing, they gently nudge you towards a fantastic olive green jacket with just the right amount of sporty flair.

For business, It's like having a personal style assistant for each customer that guides them towards choices they'll love, making the shopping experience more tailored and less of a hurried impulse. Therefore, such a hyper-personalized approach not only uncovers impactful insights about customers but also contributes to sustainable consumption.

In summary, virtual try-on systems in AI-driven apps provide consumers with tools to make better-informed purchasing decisions, reducing overconsumption by decreasing returns, increasing customer satisfaction, and promoting eco-friendly shopping habits.
Choosing wisely as consumers holds immense power to reshape our world for the better. This isn't just a niche concern; it's a global agenda. The United Nations has placed sustainable consumption at the core of its plan for a greener and more supportive global economy by 2030.

Dress2Save solution, with its sustainable and cost-effective business approach, aims to play a pivotal role in realizing this harmonious vision. By providing businesses the state-of-the-art AI-driven tool, Dress2Save empowers their customers to make a positive environmental impact while discovering their ideal, purposeful piece of clothing. Thus, we strive to create a win-win scenario where both the business and the planet benefit.

Explore the opportunities for your business with Dress2Save today by scheduling a quick call with us!