Any fashion enthusiast will know what an insurmountable task it is to keep up with changing and capricious fashion trends. With ecommerce leading the way for the Indian startup ecosystem, fashion websites have carved a niche for themselves. With Indian ecommerce slated to touch the $100 Bn dollar mark by 2020, the fashion industry stands to own up to 35% worth of shares in the pie.
These improving prospects of online fashion retail only add to the increasing competition. Confronted with the challenges of longevity and sustainable growth, fashion sites are keenly turning towards artificial intelligence (AI) to rise over the challenges and provide customers with a customer service that is truly extraordinary and next generation.
Indigenous AI startups are working in close sync with the fashion industry, to identify upcoming trends, automate repetitive tasks that often lead to massive cash burns, whilst making the platform truly intuitive. Here’s a list down of 5 ways in which AI is assisting the fashion industry evolve and combat the present challenges!
Making Product Discovery A Cinch for Users
Searching for the apparel by its name, if even a possibility, is a herculean task nonetheless.
Let’s say, you, a user or a fashion enthusiast, watched a movie in which the actor wore a beautiful dress. You want to own the exact some dress but the problem is – you can’t describe it in text. After all, the human brain cannot convert every scene/image into text.
For such problems, an AI-powered image search is a really helpful technology which can assist the user to search an item just by clicking the pic.
Curating Fashion Trends Effortlessly
In general, when we search for any particular apparel on any of the ecommerce websites, the results shown are based on current fashion trends in the market. For example, if you are searching a shirt on some ecommerce platform, there is only a niche collection of results curated by the platform.
Currently, choosing which items to show is done manually by fashion curators which not only makes it a time-consuming task but also economically unfeasible. Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, is capable of learning the fashion trends by analysing social media feeds and based on that analysis, it can assist ecommerce companies in incorporating those trends while showing the results.
Product Description Simplified And Automated
For the sake of better understanding, let’s take an example of a user searching for a “Floral Anarkali Kurti.” There are typically three tags in the search, namely, “floral”, “Anarkali” and “kurti”. In general, if this particular tag is not present in the product descriptions of ecommerce platforms, the same will never be discovered by the end users. This is the reason why every ecommerce company invests a lot of money in generating relevant tags for their end products.
However, describing the entire myriad of products for the purpose of cataloguing and meta tagging, is not only tiresome but also lavishly cost-intensive.
Artificial intelligence is supporting some of the big ecommerce brands to generate such important tags with just the image of the product. Our proprietary AI technology at Staqu is reducing the time and cost involved in this operation for ecommerce portals.
Making Recommendations Really Relevant
Proper recommendations play a critical role in increasing the sales of online shopping sites. By recommending similar or complementary products, fashion brands not only have a wider scope for upselling, but also connect better with the customers, extending a better experience.
The same process can be automated with AI. After carefully analysing the popular trends and studying the images a user has typically searched for, artificial intelligence makes room for real-time and most precise recommendations.
Deep Analysis And More
Given the present state of the economy, data is the new oil.
Companies today are fastidiously leveraging the power of data, in order to predict users’ behaviour. The learnings from the same can be further utilised to improve the service, product positioning, pricing and more. In order to extract such crucial information from the raw data that is getting accumulated every day is another area where AI is utilised. Although there is limited penetration of AI in analysing data, for now, the same functionality is going to hold greater significance in times to come.
In essence, artificial intelligence is not only helping the fashion industry to cut down costs and overheads but is also making the entire platform superior, intuitive and smart. Given the bloodbath set between the fashion ecommerce players, with Amazon India, Snapdeal and Flipkart vying to get their hands on a bigger share of the pie, AI is only going to increase in its scope and utility.
The young brands, established OEMs and other aspiring players in the fashion domain, would have to welcome the technology, in order to maintain their edge in the industry and make their pursuit of long-lasting business success, a reality.
Courtesy : Atul Rai - Inc42