The advantages of digital transformation for fashion brands
Many fashion brands are increasing their digital transformation by using technologies to improve production processes, internal organization, and even the relationship with customers. But what is digital transformation? And what are the advantages for fashion brands?
What is the digital trasformation?
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This re-engineering of a company allows it to stay competitive, maximize the use of resources and reduce some costs.
For example, a company can speed up production or create more personalized products. At the same time, it can increase its sustainability thanks to machinery and processes that reduce its environmental and social impact.
But digitalization is particularly effective in customer care. Indeed, social networks, CRM and apps are improving the customer journey, while smart tags are enhancing the customer experience.
Fashion brands and digital transformation
As Deloitte explains, the vast majority of consumers use digital channels before, during or after their purchases. However, many fashion brands are realizing that they are lagging behind consumer expectations. In fact, today consumers are no longer passive, they just no simply buy products. They want to interact and influence brands. They want to feel a sense of belonging.
Added to this is the growing demand for transparency regarding company activities and greater sustainability of the entire supply chain.
So, let's see in detail what are the main advantages of digitalization for fashion brands.
Main advantages of digitalisation for fashion brands
The first advantage is related to production processes. In fact, many fashion brands are already using digital technologies such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management).
Thanks to these technologies it is possible to have a complete overview of the production process, from design to distribution. This allows companies to optimize processes, reduce waste and save time and money.
In addition, robotics and artificial intelligence are making possible to easily create personalized products, made to measure for each customer. This type of production is called "mass customization" and represents the future of the fashion industry.Finally, digital transformation allows company to better respond to market changes, quickly reshaping processes and products.
- Sustainability and transparency
As already said, the use of new technologies is allowing fashion brands to be more sustainable.
Many are the innovations that are helping the industry to reduce its social and environmental impact For example, virtual prototyping and 3D printing allow to reduce waste production. And thanks to digitalization companies can also share all the information about the entire supply chain with customer, showing their real commitment to sustainability. This is possible through apps, interactive devices in stores, but also NFC tag and smart labels on products. Most of these technologies are based on blockchain.
The fight against counterfeiting is another area where digital transformation can be of great help to fashion brands. In fact, technologies such as blockchain and NFC tags can help companies protect their products, since they are hard to replicate.
Blockchain technology, for example, allows to track products throughout the supply chain, making it possible to verify their authenticity at any time. The NFC tags, on the other hand, allow customers to interact with products and obtain information about them simply by approaching their smartphone.
Other systems to combat counterfeiting involve the use of technologies during the production cycle, such as the insertion of special materials, or for packaging, such as holograms.
- Customer care
Finally, we cannot fail to mention the advantages that digital transformation can bring to customer care.
Thanks to social networks, CRM systems and apps, companies can interact directly with their customers. Moreover, they can collect data on their behavior and preferences.
This information is useful to understand customers’ needs, solve their problems in real time and improve their customer journey. Both online and in physical stores.
Smart tags are also playing an important role in enhancing the customer experience. These tags are applied to products and contain a chip that provides information such as size, washing instructions, origin, etc. They also give access to offers, events and special contents.
Not just a matter of investments
We might believe that the key to digital transformation is simply an economic investment in technology. And it certainly is! But technologies alone are not enough.
In fact, the real digital challenge for fashion companies is to change the organizational culture. This is possible by adopting a customer-centric approach at all stages. Indeed, “there are no more typical consumer segments, no more geographies, and no more one-size-fits-all solutions” and companies have to face it.
In any case, digital transformation must be carried out taking into account the specific needs of each company. Only in this way will it be possible to obtain results avoiding economic or reputational damage.