Can you Retail more intelligently with AI?

If you’re a key decision maker or an investor in the retail and fashion industry, and thought artificial intelligence (AI) is the stuff of just games and movies – well, you may want to reconsider that stance. 

There’s actually a lot the fashion sector can learn from the entertainment sector when it comes to AI. In fact, AI can be a very powerful tool for fashion retailers when it comes to digitalization or digital transformation – which is indeed the way forward in this era. 

The Problem with Digitalization in Fashion

Depending on whose opinion you seek, digital transformation in fashion design and retail is seen as an opportunity as well as a threat. The perceived threats, naturally, revolve around subtracting the human factor from the equation, creativity, job security, etc. 

Now, the opportunities, on the other hand, span across time and cost savings, massive and swift sustainability gains – like a reduced need for dyeing, faster removal of textile waste and reduction in carbon emissions due to physical sampling – but especially being able to very profitably produce small quantities of the desired product very quickly. 

Other creative industries, in fact, have already embraced digital transformation and platforms which link design with every single person and process needed to bring the design to life. And when we talk about creative industries like fashion, design truly is the lifeline of all products. So have the gaming and film industry inadvertently provided the fashion industry with a blueprint to follow?

Why Fashion absolutely needs AI for Digital Transformation

Let’s put this into context, shall we? 

The fashion industry is currently facing a fair amount of pressure around sustainability and this points to one thing, and one thing only: digitalization has now become a must and is no longer an option to consider. 

With our planet’s resources becoming scarcer each year, the cost of raw materials keep rising faster than most brands can keep up with. Not only that, but the financial costs of manual garment sampling along with shipping products between manufacturers in different regions or switching up the seasons from annual to monthly (even weekly in some cases) due to changing social media trends – has forced many fashion retailers to look to AI in order to keep up with demand and changing digitization trends. 

With AI in the picture, the fashion industry on a whole stands to boost its creativity – probably way beyond what it ever thought possible. 

However, one of the barriers to embracing digitalization through AI in the fashion industry is how solution providers still see fashion: just like any other industry. They tend to provide fashion brands with the same tools as they do to, for instance, architecture or automotive brands. 

In reality, fashion demands a platform which effortlessly plugs creative design directly into the supply chain, and that too with the designers not changing how they fundamentally work. 

Closing thoughts

The traditional retail industry must invest in new AI tools for analysis, unless they want to be continuously dwarfed by retail giants like Amazon. 

Norna is the world’s most advanced AI for pricing and assortment decisions – enhanced decisions lead to increased earnings, a serious competitive edge and much more.

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