For many fashion brands, highly personalized customer experiences are a cornerstone of their digital businesses. Their customers expect nothing less. Advancements in AI, analytics, and cloud computing mean that businesses have the tools to work with all types of data across channels in real time. This could support a move to hyperpersonalization, in which technology could help search-based e-commerce transform into individualized discovery of products and styles.

This may enable customers to routinely access curated websites and marketplaces, from landing pages to payments. To make that vision a reality, decision makers may need to optimize their data and analytics capabilities and roll them out at scale. While this may create some important considerations (for example, to ensure that customer data is protected and that data collection follows best practices), the upside could be the ability to acquire and retain loyal customers..

In parallel to personalization, We see many brands investing in in-store functionality and experiences, bridging the gap between online and offline channels—and moving away from stand-alone technologies such as magic mirrors, connected hangers, and interactive holograms. In-store mobile “clienteling” apps could offer a frictionless way for store associates to serve customers, while in-store mobile apps can help boost engagement, reduce customer pain points, and increase time spent browsing. Beyond the shop floor, robotics and stock optimization software can help brands and retailers set up microfulfillment centers, integrating physical stores as digital nodes in their distribution and delivery networks and cutting fulfillment costs.

One of the few certainties in fashion is that nothing stays the same, and the opportunities offered by technology are continuing to evolve as some markets look to move beyond the challenges. The task for fashion decision makers is to consider how to harness technology to creativity, streamline operations, and create value from innovation that can be sustained in the years ahead.

As businesses rely more heavily on connectivity to transform their brand and drive their customer experience forward, the ability to seamlessly operate applications across multiple clouds will be even more essential.

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