The Igniting Power of “Internet of Things” in Fashion Retailing

Dr. Amit Aggrawal: Associate Professor
Centre for Fashion Business,
Centre for Retail Management &
Centre for IMC and Brand Management
In the web store, fashion retailers are able to track the purchasing preferences of their consumers, as well as how they navigate through the product range, or which articles they are interested in and how long they engage with specific items. All this accumulated data can be evaluated and linked to individual consumer and purchasing profiles. As a result, fashion retailers know their consumers and are able to address them individually according to their requirements.
After years of striving to know what consumers actually want, the Internet of Things now provides the opportunity to gain new in-store insights through data generated by smart objects - e.g. RFID labelled garments - and how shoppers interact with them. Fashion Retailers are planning investments in Internet of Things, machine learning/cognitive computing and automation. Orchestrating these diverse technologies to provide a more responsive, real-time consumer experience is the goal retailers want to achieve in the next five years. Relying on the Internet of Things to bring greater visibility into supply chain operations to alleviate out-of-stocks and optimize selections based on consumer preferences is the goal.  Machine learning`s predictive strengths as a technology are being used to solve supply chain constraints challenges, better personalize consumer experiences and improve inventory management. Automation has a wide variety of uses in retail including inventory tracking, enabling higher levels of consumer service and managing inventory levels locally more effectively.
Retail decision makers globally are ready to adopt the Internet of Things to improve consumer experiences. They are investing in IoT technologies such as automated inventory verification and sensors on shelves. One of the key areas retailers are addressing is supply chain performance. As also, plan to reinvent their supply chain with real-time visibility enabled by automation, sensors, and analytics based on Internet of Things technologies. IoT will play an increasingly important role in security across all operations, in addition to supply chains, and enabling consumer experiences and location-based marketing.

Way ahead in near future retailers will be able to customize the store visit for consumers as a majority of them will know when a specific consumer is in the store. Fashion houses are relying on micro-locationing technologies and eventually adopt them in their main retailing operations. IoT locationing technology will encompass a variety of applications to improve store operations, optimize the consumer experience and ensure responsiveness. In a true sense, IoT has the power which allows fashion retailers to learn more about their consumers and to consequently improve the consumer journey with better services in their physical stores.
Asssociate Professor-  Dr. Amit Aggrawal has around a couple of decades of experience in the Higher Education and Corporate Sectors. He has earlier worked with prestigious organizations like National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Businessworld and C.K. Birla Group. Teaching, training, research and learning are passions that drive him to excel every day. Dr. Aggrawal’s forte lies in being a good listener which helps him in empathizing with the students.


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