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The growing success of Google’s Shoppable Hangouts has helped brands combine their social media and e-commerce efforts through this exclusive shopping app. Brands such as Diane von Furstenberg, Rebecca Minkoff, and Rachel Zoe saw as much as a 5% increase in traffic on their e-commerce platforms on release dates, 150 million+ social media impressions and 3.57 million views of their launch promotion video. As a result, Shoppable Hangouts have proved their worth and are now in demand with over 100 other retailers and brands now requesting to use the product.
Until recently, fashion retailers relied on the expertise of buyers to identify which designs have the most commercial potential. Companies like StyleHop are allowing buyers to obtain forward-looking, fast-turnaround, predictive analytics that dramatically improves their selection capabilities.
Expectedly, one of the major challenges that online retailers face is the high percentage of returns, although companies are trying to solve this issue. The newly launched Fits.me is a Virtual Fitting Room that helps to solve the single biggest problem for online shoppers; that consumers can't try clothes on before they make a purchase. The shape-shifting robotic mannequin takes your measurements and mimics your shape so that you can see exactly how clothing would fit you. The site has been such a success that online German retailer Quelle saw three times the clothing sales and reduced returns by 28% following its implementation.
Unfortunately, data alone is not everything! After spending days analysing the raw data and turning it into beautifully visualised dashboards, there’s one thing which is not possible to forecast; a person’s ‘free will’.
Leslie Ghize, from The Doneger Group argues that “Technology never captures free will. People buy things for reasons that never really can be quantified. Many times, there’s nothing to predict and this can be seen with what Steve Jobs accomplished. Society never dreamed of his products, and had no idea they wanted them, yet now many people would say they couldn't live without them.”
The fashion industry has deep roots in traditional business practices and has been late to adopt new technology but by using tools such as Google Analytics, the fashion industry should be able to accurately forecast what consumers want to buy and not what designers want them to buy.
If we can get the right information about the right designs to the right consumer at the right time, businesses will be able to make the correct business decisions to forecast the next fashion trends, thus the rise of “Fashion Analytics”.
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