• September 12 2023

The Impact of Visual AI on The Future of Fashion

In the ever-evolving vistas of e-commerce, staying ahead of the curve will be pivotal. In recent years, the e-retail world of fashion has witnessed a remarkable transformation, driven in no small part by Visual Artificial Intelligence (Visual AI).

Every company is evolving fast to stay relevant to the trends and improve the shopping experience for their consumers. Keeping up with the innovations of today has now become a business imperative. So, let’s explore some of the trends that will reshape the e-retail avenue of the fashion industry in the near future.

Why Must You Adopt Visual AI Into Your Business Model? Let Research Tell You All About The Strategic Gains

  1. Virtual Inspiration for Shoppers: According to a SurveyMonkey survey, 51% of Gen Zers look at shopping websites for inspiration before buying. As virtual shoppers get more individualistic, the experience needs to get more personalized, visually appealing, and immersive.
  2. Shoppers are inspired by social influencers: As per 2022 Statista research, the influencer marketing industry is at $16.4 billion in valuation. This will obviously only go up. Customers will find it easy to just save their favorite influencer’s recommendation to their gallery and search for it online. However, keyword-based text search won’t cut it given the specific style and design parameters. This is exactly where visual search will come in. Customers can simply ‘See. Style. Shop’.
  3. First-Mover Advantage: In the highly competitive market of online fashion, the advantage lies with the ones who adapt to the changing trends quickly. According to marketsandmarkets research, the global AI in computer vision market is expected to be valued at USD 17,248 million in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 45,688 million by 2028; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.5% from 2023 to 2028. E-commerce experiences involving visual AI are a significant reason for this expected growth and it would be a prudent choice for e-tailers to enable product discovery through visual search to increase their revenues.

Be A Market Leader in E-Retail: Top Visual AI Tech Trends to Invest in Right Now

1. Personalization Can Make You Standout

Most trends show that people want more digital access, especially since the pandemic. Hence, understanding and predicting customer needs is going to be crucial in creating a differentiated e-retail experience. Research by Shopify shows that 44% of customers are okay with their information being used for the curation of personalized offers.

Source: Shopify

Making the e-retail experience exclusive for customers can encompass a multi-faceted approach, starting right from targeted ads, and customized email offers to ensuring their searches yield accurate results. Research by Epsilon has confirmed that 80% of customers prefer brands that prioritize personalization. A crucial aspect of this is enabling customers to shop using visual search. Visual search can not only enhance personalization but also help in shortening the path to gratification.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

2. AI-Driven Fashion Styling and Smart Recommendation

Data analytics have made significant advancements in recent years, allowing companies to understand their consumers and the distinct patterns of their purchases with precision. According to the Retail Trends Playbook 2020 (a report by PSFK in partnership with Microsoft), Experiential e-commerce is one of the top trends in fashion retail. This indicates that the brands must create a complete virtual experience and look at their e-retail experience as a product itself. This change in approach will increase the likelihood of customers’ return to their websites significantly. 

An AI trend that fashion e-retail companies should consider investing in is Smart Recommendation. This technology can specifically predict, visualize, and recommend styles based on your customer’s unique preferences, adding visceral dimensions to their virtual shopping. With this technology, brands can also provide a virtual stylist to every customer who can give them expert and trendy recommendations. These features will not only add to the positive perception of the brand but also the overall experience.

This kind of transformation looks daunting, but it is achievable with the right technology partner. Get in touch with us today to see ViSenze’s smart recommendations in action.

3. Image or Text: Make Your Search Bar Interesting with Visual AI

Text-based search deciphers text commands and provides customers with visual options for their search inputs. At this inflection point, it is time for brands to look at an upgrade for their existing ‘search’ model.

Image-enabled search is slated to be the next big thing, capable of enhancing experiential e-commerce value for brands. As per the reports, Pinterest Lens visual searches hit 600 million in just a year since its launch in 2017, with a record-breaking 140% upward spike. Big tech companies like Amazon and Google have already made them the key parts of their search engines. This shift has been long coming and finally, it is here for the better.

According to the Baymard Institute research, 71% of sites require their users to search by the exact same product type jargon that the site uses. The requirement of such specificity for a simple search often leads customers to lose out on finding the products they want.

Image-based searches backed with visual AI are capable of recognizing colors, patterns, and textures. Additionally, they can yield accurate analysis and results for all things fashion.

Here’s Why Image Searches Are Better Than Text Searches

  1. Higher Accuracy and Lesser Time: AI-enabled image searches can produce results with shorter turnaround times. It can additionally lead to much higher accuracy with personalized recommendations.
  2. Enhanced Organic Traffic: ‍Visual searches depend on schema markup, keywords, and metadata which will direct more organic traffic to e-stores. According to the Insider Intelligence report, 72% of search engine users search using images before buying a product. 

The Power of Visual AI Unleashed:  What Does the Future Hold?

In addition to personalization, and enhanced e-retail experience, there are other interesting aspects where visual AI can play a crucial role. Here’s a look at a few of them:

  1. Social Integration: Trends show that visual AI can integrate fashion e-retail with social commerce. This can be done by enabling people to buy directly from social media posts.
  2. Real-Time Inventory Management: Visual AI will empower retailers to effectively manage their inventory by keeping a tab on real-time data on product popularity, stock levels, and sales trends.
  3. Sustainability Analytics: Visual AI can also potentially be used to analyze the sustainability of fashion products. This can be done by assessing materials, supply chains, and manufacturing processes. This will help eco-conscious customers to make choices, aligned with their values.

In A Nutshell

According to a 2023 McKinsey article, AI can add $150 to 275 billion to the apparel, fashion, and luxury sectors’ operating profits in the next three to five years. Leveling up with AI is going to be crucial for both business and profit.

Visual AI has evidently ushered in a new era for fashion e-retail. It offers exciting opportunities to improve experiences, reduce returns, and gain a business edge. Additionally, with the right technology partner, businesses of all sizes can integrate state-of-the-art features. These include visual search and smart recommendation into their online offerings and keep their customers happy.

If the signs are to be believed, the future of fashion e-commerce seems all-encompassing. This is with more of everything- indulgence, experience, and of course, fashion.

Get in touch with us to embrace the future of visual AI and witness the remarkable results it can deliver.