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How Artificial Intelligence resets in revolutionizing the retail industry

INTRODUCTION:

Artificial Intelligence simulates the intelligent behaviour of humans in computer machines which are programmed to perform the tasks and think like human reasoning, their capabilities, and also mimic their actions. Thereby it helps in problem-solving and learning as it associates with the human mind. To achieve the specific goal artificial intelligence plays an important role as it can rationalize and take actions. . A subset of artificial intelligence is machine learning, which refers to the concept that computer programs can automatically learn from and adapt to new data without being assisted by humans.

Artificial Intelligence benefited to fashion industry:

The fashion industry is one of the industries that have taken great advantage of AI. It is useful in several innovative ways through the compilation of data from social media and the internet. In the age of the Internet and social media, it is more challenging for designers, retailers, and suppliers to predict what consumers want and how to address consumer’s wants expeditiously. So AI helps for the quickly evolving fashion trends, assisting in the design process, identifying what consumers want, and collecting data on key features of competing fashion lines and price.

As trends in the fashion industry are more rapidly changing with consumer access to the Internet and social media, and not being able to monitor these changes can be a hindrance to companies in this industry where humans cannot possibly process all of the data from individual consumers and entire markets, social media feeds, and customer product reviews. The access to such large amounts of data and the ability to synthesize that data objectively and efficiently is an advantage to companies with AI in the fashion industry. But as we all know every coin has two sides, in the same way, AI even though seemingly beneficial, may sometimes create new legal challenges and threats to traditional intellectual property rights.

AI works like backbone during pandemic:

The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to look like the biggest economic shock. Many industries have already been hard hit.

If digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) had their way, the much-dreaded practice of discounting in fashion and retail could vanish overnight. Trained algorithms would pre-empt such situations by informing retailers on which products to procure, in what quantity, whom to sell them to, and when – at full price. Empowered by AI insights, designers, merchandisers, and buyers could soon predict customer preferences, way before they become fashionable. Online shopping could become a seamless experience in engagement, where the shopper describes the dress of their dreams, and an AI-powered search engine responds by tracking it down.

Currently, fashion retailers work with limited data to predict what products to make, in what quantity, and when to discount them for clearance. Data brought together from disparate sources can help brands to align supply with demand - trends recognition on social media, including colours and silhouettes, identification of keywords from text searches, voice assistants, chatbots, and the browsing and shopping history of customers. AI can make predictions on trends even before they happen.

The enormous impact of Artificial Intelligence has been realized in transforming the fashion and apparel industry in the past decades. However, the research in this domain is scattered and mainly focuses on one of the stages of the supply chain. Due to this, it is difficult to comprehend the work conducted in the distinct domain of the Fashion and Apparel Industry. Therefore, this research aims to study the impact and significance of Artificial Intelligence in the Fashion and Apparel Industry in the last decades throughout the supply chain.

The many benefits of AI in fashion

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There is no denying that artificial intelligence has been dramatically shifting the way business is done. From the use of predictive analytics in business to computer vision in identifying product attributes, there are myriad ways AI has been benefiting the field of fashion.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has swept into many industries with the potential to revolutionize businesses through higher speed, lowered operational costs, and access to a depth of consumer and market data that promise a strong competitive edge. . Some of the ways down below illustrate just how powerful applying AI for fashion is:

• Customization

Just as how Netflix, YouTube, or Amazon can suggest similar shows or products, AI in the fashion industry can do just the same. With e-commerce becoming a central way that people shop, there is more data about the consumer being tracked than ever before. Many successful fashion websites can keep a log of the browsing patterns of their customers, and in turn suggest similar items based on colour, style, and design.

• Improved customer service & communication

Calling and emailing, while still prevalent amongst many businesses are slowly becoming a thing of the past. In the last few years, the emergence of chatbot technology has significantly increased conversion and communication between the customer and fashion brands. From IBM Watson to Hubspot Chatbot, there is a multitude of solutions that help track leads, answer questions, and even give product recommendations.

• Better buying and planning

For many fashion buyers and planners, a difficulty that is commonly faced knows exactly which material to buy for designers. Ordering too much of one thing might be detrimental to the business, especially if that product does not sell as well as they hoped. Yet, with advanced predictive analytics, buyers can effectively learn from customer behaviour, and in turn plan with greater accuracy. By knowing which items are best and worst sellers, you can buy and plan with precision.

• Automating operations

One of the greatest benefits of using artificial intelligence is the ability to automate mundane tasks. A majority of company working time is used for menial data entry, calculations, and other efforts that can easily be run by artificial intelligence alone. This is a huge asset to fashion brands, as they can assess margins with greater accuracy and organization using AI, requiring less manpower. This frees up many retailers to focus on more important matters like strategy and execution.

• Managing inventory

A huge problem that retailers face is over-ordering and losing out on profit due to the unsold product. It has always been quite tricky to keep business moving, yet not hold too much that you are left with wasted items. Today, many companies use machine learning algorithms to make more accurate predictions and choices. While demand forecasting techniques have been around for years, traditional methods only used historical sales data. The majority of calculative work needed to be done by humans and with limitations when the data sets go over to a certain limit. Yet, with machine learning, you can reduce forecasting errors by up to 50%, and are not restricted to how many data points and sources are used, thereby making more precise predictions.

• Reduced returns

Apparel returns take approximately 3x longer to inspect than other verticals. This makes operational costs quite high. However, with the help of AI, retailers can help customers to make more informed purchase decisions . This increase in customization and improved communication prevents dissatisfaction, and in turn, reduces the return rate. Retailers lose every year from preventable returns, which is why their use of AI would be incredible.

• Improved product discovery

With the help of computer vision, an extension of machine learning, shoppers are now able to upload a photo of a product that they desire and get instant feedback on whether that item exists in the specified stores. Some solutions help scan the photo to give recommendations of where they can buy the said product and at what retailer. One great example of this is Google Lens, which allows mobile users to snap a photo of a product, then find and buy similar styles right from their smartphone. In the same way, Pinterest’s Lens uses AI technology to search for visually similar pins across their database.

• Provide personalized support

As we all know that Customers are the king of the market. So customer satisfaction is the motto of every industry. So to make them comfortable AI works like a wonder to them. It helps retailers in providing personalized and consistent support. AI collects, analyses, and interprets rich data from, e-commerce platforms and the runway to spot future fashion trends for each product category. This information is then combined with the data on past performance and customer behaviour to establish the optimum product that would resonate best with a retailer’s consumer base.

Impact on Online Fashion Retail in 2021:

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The ever-increasing scale and granularity of personalization in online fashion retail are impossible to manage without the assistance of AI and related automated processes. Many people predicts that by 2021, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with an enterprise without interacting with a human. AI can also be used for practicality and productivity within stores and online retail. Through logging sales, returns, and online purchases, retailers can keep track of stock and gauge which stores need which products. Artificial intelligence could help retailers to save the huge amount annually.

CONCLUSION:

The fashion industry is one example of where AI has been particularly useful in being able to gather and analyze large amounts of data to better address what consumers want additionally. The retail industry is a price-sensitive market. AI provides the brand with valuable information on strategy pricing. Brands can indulge in multiple pricing models; adjust prices according to seasons, competitor's products, and consumer demand.

To avoid getting left behind during this period of digital transformation, fashion companies should be injecting artificial intelligence into their business strategy. AI simplifies retail big data, which helps companies improve their processes and bottom line, while keeping shoppers happy, loyal and chic.

That’s why implementing AI is now crucial. It helps companies streamline their costs, while at the same time providing the kind of customer experience customers expects, allowing the companies who utilize AI well to compete with the major players. It also help customers to stay connected.Companies are using AI with predictive insights to elevate their work.

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