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Virtual Try-Ons Will Change Fashion Jobs Forever



Virtual Try-Ons Will Change Fashion Jobs Forever

By Kui Kamau

Online shopping has made it easier for people to buy everything. With fewer workers needed in physical stores, almost 600,000 retail jobs disappeared in the US between 2018 and 2022. E-commerce is picking up the slack, with data showing employment in the sector increased by nearly 64% from 2007 to 2020. With US e-commerce sales growing to $1 trillion in 2023, the sector’s workforce is expected to expand to 450,000 by 2026.

“We have already seen a shrinking of jobs in the retail sector due to AI and this will continue,” said Taiwo Meghoma, a leading fashion expert, “fashion jobs that we thought couldn’t be lost to technology are already facing cuts. Even tailoring.”

Around 20.5% of fashion retail sales worldwide are e-commerce transactions, for a total global revenue of approximately $357.4 billion. Despite the positive outlook, returns remain a persistent challenge for consumers and retailers. For buyers, the process of returning an item usually involves packing it up, printing out a shipping label, and dropping it off at a shipping location — what 66% of people consider the worst part of the shopping experience.

Retailers have reason to complain as well, 30% of online purchases returned. As the cost of a return can be anywhere between 20% and 70% of the original selling price, retailers’ margins can suffer significantly.

For a long time, luxury goods in particular thought they were immune to trends. A decade ago, it was impossible to find some major luxury brands online. Even today, brands such as Louis Vuitton of Paris have barely dipped their toes into e-commerce and do not allow third party brands to sell their items.

“The future of the work in the fashion industry as in other industries, will be driven by data. Designers of the future must be just as comfortable with spread sheets as they are with fabric sheets,” said Meghoma.

This shift towards data-driven decision-making is revolutionizing the fashion industry. By integrating data analytics, designers can predict trends, optimize supply chains, and personalize customer experiences more effectively. The intersection of creativity and technology is fostering a new breed of designers who are proficient in both artistic and analytical skills.

“AI offers a huge potential for entry level talent, without obstacles and prejudices of the past,” said Prof. Layton Reid, ”you need to participate in it so you impact the data sets which drive if if you really want to be relevant.”

Reid is a visiting professor at the University of West London and cofounder of Ikenga, an organization which works with Soho House in the United Kingdom that looks to support underrepresented groups in the creative industry including fashion.

However, online retailers continue to close the gap between digital and virtual spaces. Glam Labs is tackling this challenge by making the virtual shopping experience as similar as possible to real life shopping.

Its mobile app, with over 180,000 active monthly users, offers real-time try-on and photo try-on features that can be accessed via mobile cameras. By using neural networks, Glam Labs’ Virtual Try On technology lets users try on clothes virtually before buying, with a realistic rendering of what they would look like in real life.

“The technology is super precise, as it reflects every detail of the item when transferring it on the buyer,” said Glam Labs CEO Pavel Shaburov.

In addition to providing an engaging experience for customers, making the shopping process more enjoyable, Glam Labs’ technology can bridge the gap between online shopping and traditional retail sales by addressing one of the main drawbacks of shopping online – the inability to physically try on products before purchasing.

Virtual try-on solutions can boost conversion rates by providing a more interactive and engaging shopping experience. Customers are more likely to make a purchase when they can see how a product looks on them in real-time, leading to higher conversion rates and increased revenues. Studies have shown that virtual Try-On technology can boost sales by up to 30% and reduce returns by 20%, improving retailer margins. Cosmetics giant Avon Products has seen a 320% increase in conversions and 33% increase in average order value using its own virtual try-on technology.

Glam Labs’ technology is designed for the desires of Millennial and Gen Z consumers who are a growing segment of the market and comfortable with these technologies.

With virtual try-ons, buyers can share their experiences and looks on social media, providing organic marketing and increasing brand visibility. In addition, customers can personalize their shopping experience based on their own style preferences. These are vital advantages, considering that 83% of Gen Z customers view online shopping as more of an experience rather than just a transaction. These changing consumption patterns will also have a profound future of work for those in the retail industry.

Such digital solutions will allow retail workers to access a treasure trove of data collected on customer preferences and behaviors. This data can be analyzed to gain insights into fashion trends and tailor marketing strategies more effectively. As physical retail shrinks, online retailers will have more financial capacity to expand their operations and workforce.

“It’s a perfect way for e-commerce companies to boost revenues, reduce inventories, and increase the size of their workforce” said Shaburov.

With the average e-commerce business net margins only at 4% to 7%, every dollar can make the difference. E-commerce retailers are noticing — the market for virtual fitting is predicted to quadruple to over $25 billion by 2032.

Going forward, Glam Labs plans to enhance its Try On technology with more AI and augmented reality features.

“We are only starting to tap into the power of virtual try-on solutions of retailers“ said Shaburov. “This is a generation of experimenters – shopping for clothes will continue to evolve in the digital world, and will never be the same again.”

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