Last week was big for retail technology on the east coast, with both LiveWorx and PI Apparel NY bringing the world’s leading fashion, apparel, and footwear brands together with some of the most innovative technology providers.
Taking place at the Union League Club (pictured above), the topics at PI Apparel ranged from digital fabrics to artificial intelligence to on-demand manufacturing. Just like at LiveWorx, 3D design was a big focus.
Companies like Nike, VF, Perry Ellis, Kohl’s, and more participated in engaging panel discussions around digital transformation and solutions to meet the most complex retail challenges.
From a virtual display case that presents digital objects from physical material samples, to a smart mirror that lets shoppers dress themselves with virtual garments, applications of 3D technology are making their way to both businesses and consumers through virtual and augmented reality. With these new ways to visualize and experience a digital product, early adopters of 3D retail technology solutions will be recognized as differentiators in a hypercompetitive market.
As David Grant from Fast Retailing Co. explained in a session on how AR platforms raise 3D and PLM digitization to the next level, the future is here for AR and the time is now for your business to understand its benefits.
Companies like Perry Ellis International are reaching the market faster by leveraging 3D design tools, which eradicate the need for physical samples and their associated costs. Others from Kalypso, Fullbeauty Brands, Ralph Lauren, and the IEEE Standards Association discussed the need for 3D technology standardization and the steps retailers must take to achieve it.
The ability to apply machine learning has also become a compelling opportunity for brands and retailers, illustrated by PTC’s Mike Curtin in a session discussing how to turn insight from data into profits and deliver customized experiences.
Machine learning is valuable because it identifies patterns that humans cannot see to recognize shifting trends faster. Brands and retailers using machine learning and predictive analytics can then make intelligent predictions and recommendations that will help to drive positive outcomes and automate some of their decision making.
Retailers can also better understand the voice of their customer, as Josh Mallett from Kurt Salmon and Accenture explained, by using AI to interpret data on consumers’ interests, behaviors, experiences, complaints, and desires. Putting this insight directly into the hands of product designers, buyers, and marketers drives more meaningful business decisions across organizations.
For those getting started with machine learning and predictive analytics, it’s important to focus on one to two key business issues and prioritize the ones with complex cause-and-effect relationships. According to research from McKinsey & Company, retailers that apply machine learning correctly can “increase their operating margins by up to 24%.”
As machine learning and AI become a larger part of customer journeys, supply chains, merchandising, marketing, and product development, as predicted by IDC, retailers will be able to proactively:
If you missed the chance to witness the evolution of the fashion, apparel, and footwear industries and experience the hottest technology disrupting retail, you can register for PI Apparel’s next World Series event in Milan, Italy now. We hope to see you there!
To learn more about machine learning and predictive analytics in retail, view this gifographic.