Though initially slow to embrace eCommerce, luxury retailers are catching up fast. In fact, some of the most exciting innovation has been happening in this sector recently, as major fashion brands seek to create immersive customer experiences that amplify and enhance traditional in-store transactions.
And the financial incentive is strong. Growth of luxury sales online soared 24% in 2017, according to Bain & Company, yet that figure accounts for only 9% of the total global market.
So what does the future hold? Which brands are making the biggest strides? What technologies are having an impact? And what changes can shoppers expect to see soon? To answer these questions, we scoured the web for the most insightful articles as part of our "Recommended Read" series.
First up, an article from Forbes that outlines the biggest stumbling block: how to successfully sell online while maintaining the luxury aspect of the brand. It also spotlights five major movers and shakers, including two of our favorites – Farfetch and the Yoox Net-a-Porter Group (YNAP) – both of whom are taking online fashion retailing to the next level. Read it here: 5 Brands That Reveal The Future Of Luxury Online.
We also like this in-depth piece by the market intelligence firm CB Insights, which focuses on the technology powering fashion innovation – from virtual reality dressing rooms to temperature-changing fabrics. For industry insiders, this report is a must read, with updates on product design (including how AI is influencing brands), manufacturing (particularly the impact of 3D printing), inventory management (with an examination of how blockchain will affect the supply chain), and more. Here's the full story: The Future Of Fashion: From Design To Merchandising, How Tech Is Reshaping The Industry.
The Brooklyn-based tech blog Futurism.com has a chatty overview about 3D body scans, which promise to revolutionize the fashion industry by making poor-fitting clothes a thing of the past. Leading the charge is Amazon, which snapped up the startup Body Labs in 2017. The biggest reason may be to address a major downside to the eCommerce boom, which is that consumers are returning items (particularly clothes) much more often, negatively impacting bottom line revenue. Give the piece a read to learn more about some other companies in the mix: Ill-Fitting Clothes: One More Thing We (Probably) Won’t Have to Deal With in the Future.
Finally, this post from the website Futures Platform provides some thoughts on the role brick-and-mortar stores will play in the future. It's a breezy piece but a quick read and raises some interesting points. Here's the link: The Future of Retail - Online vs. Brick-and-Mortar.
Enjoy these articles and stay tuned for our next Recommended Read!