The Future of Fashion: Top 10 Fashion Industry Trends and Technology in 2022 and Beyond
By Multidev Technologies · PUBLISHED August 22, 2022
The fashion industry is constantly evolving and changing. This can be seen in the rapid technological advances and the rise of new fashion trends. The fashion industry is always on the move, whether it’s the evolution of how we shop or the latest fashionable clothes.
As customers’ real lives become increasingly immersed in the digital world, many designers and brands must embrace the latest technologies to push the boundaries of manufacturing, production, marketing, and wearables. From the cutting edge of artificial intelligence to the rise of mobile commerce, digitization and blockchain, we’ve rounded up the most exciting trends in fashion and some of the technologies on the horizon.
Here are the top 10 emerging trends that the fashion industry is responding to with technology as it continues to evolve into a better version of itself.
1. The Role of Digitalization
Without digitalization, the fashion industry would not be able to reach the level of consumer engagement that it has today. For example, digitalization has allowed for more customization of clothing and shoes, which allows for a greater level of satisfaction for the consumer. Digitalization has also made it possible to view clothing in real-time, which has revolutionized the fashion industry. The digitalization of the fashion industry is expected to continue, which will allow for further consumer engagement.
As the market evolves, both traditional and emerging fashion brands need to strengthen their online presence and use analytic data to offer more personalized solutions and capture a larger market share. The prevalence of live streaming and customer service video chat are just a couple of ways brands are adapting to a more digital world.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that is slowly becoming more and more popular in the fashion industry. AI will be able to do everything from designing and making clothes to making decisions on what colors to use. AI will be able to read emotions and enhance the shopping experience of customers, analyze data, drive sales, predict trends, and offer inventory advice.
As more and more shoppers choose to buy from retailers that match their values, personalization and relevancy are growing trends throughout the e-commerce industry. To solve this new problem of putting the customer at the heart of their marketing strategies, online fashion retailers are increasingly turning to AI and, more importantly, chatbots. Whether it’s welcoming visitors to a page or creating recommendations through a conversational service, artificial intelligence has made itself indispensable with its effortless work to nurture and engage potential consumers.
3. Virtual & Augmented Reality
As the digital world continues to grow and evolve, more and more fashion eCommerce retailers are striving to attract new customers and retain existing ones through the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences. Fitting rooms try on AR & VR experiences that allow visitors to see themselves in a brand’s clothing, allowing people to use holograms and virtual worlds to create fashion. It is expected that virtual reality will be used in the design and manufacturing of clothing. This will make the process more efficient and cost-effective. It is also possible that virtual reality will be used to show the wearer how they will look in the end product. In the future, it is expected that virtual reality will be used to design and create clothing in a 3D environment.
4. A Seamless Supply Chain
As fashion enters a new era, products made using hyper-rapid manufacturing systems will be tracked and distributed using next-gen inventory management tools. Many retailers are moving toward automating their supply chain and delivery methods.
Blockchain in the Fashion of Supply Chain
Blockchain is an excellent tool for transparency, traceability, and efficiency in the supply chain; it allows retailers to be connected and exchange information, documents and data directly and securely. Fashion brands are started to explore how blockchain tracking can inject more transparency into the apparel creation process while making it easier to verify products. The technology can be used to efficiently track and maintain traces of garments and supply chains through technologies such as inventory tracking and management. Blockchain technology is expected to provide a secure way to share data, which will also make it easier for retailers to connect with their customers.
5. Multi-Channel / Mobile Commerce
Multichannel demands immersion through social media marketing has become a necessity. Multichannel e-commerce involves establishing a consistent, purchase-centric experience across consumers’ digital spaces. Whether it’s targeting new audiences, experimenting with new social media platforms, or testing new designs, multichannel marketing is key to growth in the fashion industry.
Mobile technology is becoming increasingly advanced. Mobile commerce is an essential tech tool, from Instagram shopping to smart wallets. It has impacted our day-to-day life, and it has become one of the fastest-growing sectors in eCommerce. These mobile sales sites have revolutionized the online sales industry, demonstrating how mobile commerce innovates every aspect of the fashion industry.
6. Omni-Channel Operations
Fashion brands are instead turning to omnichannel strategies, such as direct-to-consumer; they must offer seamless online and offline shopping experiences as they navigate the world of balancing brick-and-mortar stores with surging eCommerce sales. For physical retailers, strengthening their digital presence allows them to drive traffic to their physical stores and make their catalogs easily accessible to a wider online audience.
For e-commerce retailers, having a dual approach to attracting shoppers between an offline and online presence could not only be a way to unify brand experiences while helping to maintain the profitability of a brick-and-mortar store but also to meet different consumer needs by segmenting the approach to the offering, such as making certain products available only online in a direct-to-consumer strategy.
7. The Importance of Sustainability and Ethical Fashion
More and more consumers are concerned about the future of the planet and are putting pressure on retail brands that do not have eco-friendly practices.
The growing increase in sustainability and transparency is a result of consumers choosing to shop from brands whose values and ethics reflect their own, and these ethics don’t just extend to the natural environment – they include issues related to human rights and the natural world. As a result, some companies are working on modifying their business models and developing products made with more sustainable materials.
In addition to concerns about climate change and the health of the planet, consumers are also becoming more aware of exploitative working conditions in factories and are demanding living wages and safe working conditions
8. Continued Growth in Athleisure
The future of the fashion industry is looking bright. New technologies will be used to create the perfect fit for your body and the perfect look for your style. More and more people are becoming interested in athleisure, a term that refers to casual clothing that can be worn for exercise or social occasions. The growing popularity of wellness has given yoga-inspired clothing a unique appeal.
This trend will continue to be a major fashion trend in the future, and it won’t be limited to women. Men will also wear more casual clothing for both works and play. These fashion trends will be coupled with other important industry trends, such as the continued growth of the e-commerce industry, the use of artificial intelligence, and the continued diversification of the fashion industry.
Modern fashion consumers are actively seeking personalized experiences. Hyper-personalization focuses on the customer’s behaviors, preferences, and purchase history to determine how best to deliver value in the future. Fashion and apparel brands are exploring how 3D printing can help them produce goods on demand and create new customization opportunities.
Rising obesity levels around the world have spurred demand for on-trend, a shift from Plus Size to Size-Inclusive fashion. In the past, plus-size clothing was rare at many retailers and often relegated to separate sections next to maternity wear. This is beginning to change as size-inclusive initiatives become more widespread.
10. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)
While online fashion retailers and consumers are still dealing with the economic ramifications, a new shopping landscape seems to offer a potential solution to the question of how luxury fashion retailers, in particular, will make their items affordable to a new range of savvy buyers going forward.
You can give customers great options by accepting alternative payment methods in your store. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is a new form of purchasing that is being integrated into a range of online fashion retailers; to better control their budgets, shoppers are giving retailers more frequent conversions with higher average order sizes.
The apparel industry is challenged to respond to the latest changes in the overall consumer and retail environment. The future of the apparel industry depends on manufacturers and retailers focusing on the current needs of each critical consumer segment.
Fashion will meet and conquer new frontiers. With each change, fashion returns to its roots of accessibility and identity, reaching out to new audiences through technology and adapting its values and ethics to meet the needs of sustainable, size-conscious fashion.
For fashion retailers, it’s time to try on these easily transitional changes. To help you to grow and win in this competitive and rapidly changing marketplace, ChainDrive provides the most comprehensive and in-depth global view of the apparel industry based on a best-in-class point-of-sale (POS) system with real-time consumer data.
We also offer BI and analytics solutions such as new product forecasting, segmentation, pricing and promotion evaluation, market forecasting, and more. ChainDrive’s retail analytics solutions leverage these unparalleled data resources to provide data-driven insight as you navigate the complexities of a changing market landscape.
Retailers who want to compete in the future must consider all of these trends. If you want help scaling your fashion brand with ChainDrive, request a free live demo with us today.