Artificial Intelligence Is Revamping The Fashion Industry Modus Operandi. Here’s How!
From mom and pop shops selling garments to stores, mega stores, exclusive stores, and e-commerce, the fashion industry has come a long way. Just when one thought the industry couldn’t get any better, it is now on the road to become smarter. Fashion houses took to AI with a mixed sense of eagerness to innovate and measured reluctance. This has, however, changed with time. AI is increasingly changing the Modus Operandi of the fashion industry. Here’s how!
Design and manufacturing
Earlier retailers would estimate their sales for the current year on the basis of data from the year gone by. But this data may not be quite accurate as sales are driven by a variety of factors that are not factored in. AI can make demand projections quite accurately and save a lot of effort and manufacturer’s money or fashion brands. Post-designing too, AI helps in determining defects, if any, in fabrics, and also better streamlines the quality assurance process with the aid of computer vision tech.
Sales and promotion
As with all consumer goods, the fashion industry too is always exploring new ways to reach more people by creating brand awareness and consequently, demand. AI and ML help in bringing the customers closer to the brands by way of interactive chat systems or chat bots in e-commerce which speak to the customers and answer questions or concerns, and also gather data which aids the business of fashion. Burberry, for example, started using chatbots during London Fashion Week 2016 to provide behind-the-scenes insights to customers. The brand is now using the Facebook Messenger to notify customers of new product launches, pre-order invitations etc. Not only do chat bots aid the customer in getting what they want they gather valuable data for the brand which can be implemented to drive sales.
AI helps consumers get near-precise to precise results of what they are looking for thus boosting sales. In one of our engagements for a fashion giant, if a consumer keys in the words ‘glittery teal stilettos’ on an e-commerce portal, the search engine tries to match these words with that of the product description to display on their screen the desired results. In case, there is no match for those words in the product description they get ‘No Results’ on the screen. The descriptions that a search engine has are called vectors, and each product has 10-12 vectors. Our proprietary tool, sherlock.Ai is changing this by providing another layer between the search engine and the product description. In this new layer, the search engine additionally searches its knowledge base such as dictionary, Wikipedia, and even metadata of product images to increase the previous 10-12 vectors to about a 100. To a customer this would translate to greater chances of finding what they are looking for and lesser chances of getting a ‘No Results’ display on their screens.
Like the luxury watch industry, luxury fashion brands too face the issue of counterfeits. Exact looking but inferior quality products leave a negative influence for the brand in the customer’s eyes and AI is here to help. Drawing from big datasets and pictures of online marketplaces, AI is used to detect goods that may be counterfeit. Furthermore Machine Learning enables computer vision to detect counterfeit or fake products which was the job of human experts earlier. AI can constantly track fake products and such tech is increasingly put to use by customs officers.
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It’s most obvious in the digital media space, from click buys to personalized web experiences. For marketing, the AI journey has just kick-started, while in the tech sector it has been applied for a while now. We are still at an early stage where inroads are being made into AI content via chatbots and even some explanatory content creation but what will make anyone jump up and embrace it is when we will start seeing a lot of mainstream content being created by AI.
Prior to joining Infinite Analytics, Richard served as the CFO of CrowdFlower, COO and CFO of Phoenix Technologies, as a member of the board of directors and chairman of the Audit Committee at Intellisync, and previously as CFO and executive vice president strategy and corporate development at Charles Schwab.
Pravin Gandhi has over 50 years of entrepreneurial operational and investing experience in the IT industry in India. He was a founding partner of the first early stage fund India - INFINITY. Subsequently a founding partner in Seedfund I & II. With over 18 years of investing experience, he is extensively well networked in investment and entrepreneurial scene and is an active early stage angel investor in tech & impact space. Pravin holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, and serves on the board of several private corporations in India. He is on the board of SINE, IIT Mumbai Incubator.
Puru has his Masters in Engineering and Management from MIT. Prior to MIT, he worked with Fidelity Investments building electronic trading products and high volume market data processing applications. He has completed his BE from VJTI, Mumbai.
Deb Roy is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT where he directs the MIT Center for Constructive Communication, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. He leads research in applied machine learning and human-machine interaction with applications in designing systems for learning and constructive dialogue, and for mapping and analyzing large scale media ecosystems. Deb is also co-founder and Chair of Cortico, a nonprofit social technology company that develops and operates the Local Voices Network to surface underheard voices and bridge divides.
Roy served as Executive Director of the MIT Media Lab from 2019-2021. He was co-founder and CEO of Bluefin Labs, a media analytics company that analyzed the interactions between television and social media at scale. Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013, Twitter’s largest acquisition of the time. From 2013-2017 Roy served as Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist.
Erik Brynjolfsson is the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Professor and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI), and Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. He also is the Ralph Landau Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Professor by Courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Department of Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Akash co-founded IA while studying for his MBA from MIT. Prior to MIT Sloan, he co-founded Zoonga. Before this, Akash was an engineer with Oracle in Silicon Valley. He has completed his M.S from University of Cincinnati and B.E from the College of Engineering, Pune.