Technology has changed the way shoppers purchase and interact with the world of consumer fashion. Over 64% of smartphone shoppers turn to mobile for their fashion needs whether it be inspiration, shopping or anything in between. This Black Friday alone had record breaking sales online which reached an estimated $6.22 billion dollars. Mobile shopping has become a new normalcy for consumers which makes the success rate for fashion apps skyrocket; and companies are definitely taking advantage of it.
One of the original innovators that started to develop the fashion and tech relationship was Rent the Runway. In 2009, company founders Jenn Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss developed a concept that allows customers to rent designer clothing and accessories for a select period of time at an affordable cost, with the option to return or buy the product at the end of their rental period.
After ten years of operation, Rent the Runway continues to introduce new ideas and additions to their tech program, creating at-home-experiential shopping and taking it to the next level. 2019 is no exception to this, as their new strategic business model could bring them huge success; Business of Fashion reports that you can now subscribe to RTR for $99 (previously $139) a month while renting three garments at a time. In addition to their subscription plan, Refinery29 reports that new designer additions were including but not limited to J.Crew, Jason Wu, and Rebecca Minkoff.
Personal shopping is another area of fashion we’ve seen revolutionized as tech continues to evolve. With the desire for shoppers to find clothing that fits from the ease of their home, companies like Stitch Fix have created a way to get stylist-picked clothing shipped right to the front door. A $20 monthly subscription gets customers a personal shopping experience catered to their style AND budget. Boxes come with five personally picked items and an opportunity to save $20 off of one item, or 25 percent off all five. Try on the clothes, purchase what you want to keep, and send the rest back!
Stitch Fix is having success with their innovative shopping experience, and the growth proves it. The popular online styling platform that has experienced a steady increase in business; so much so that they’re ending 2018 with a revenue of $318.3 million and a 25 percent increase in clients.
Having your wardrobe personally styled is a soaring trend, and Finery is another company bringing their services to the table. Brooklyn Decker and Whitney Casey’s tech development has changed the way you’ll view your closet- their app organizes your wardrobe and provides outfit inspiration using the pieces you already own. Not only can it optimize your unworn pieces, but it can also shorten morning routines time by quickly maximizing outfit options for the day.
Finery launched back in 2017, bringing another clever innovation to the fashion and technology world, and the success has shown. WWD covered their Los Angeles launch party earlier this year, which brought in a lot of support from some of Hollywood’s favorites. Emmy Rossum, Jen Atkin, Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend all came to cheer on Brooklyn Decker’s success. To date, Finery has raised $5 million dollars from powerful investors such as NEA, BBG Ventures, RetailMeNot founder Cotter Cunningham, and Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, founders of TheSkimm.
Fashion apps continue to stay trending through the industry with advancements that appeal to consumers through personalization. Back in 2017, Forbes announced Kim Kardashian West’s innovative take on trendsetting fashion. The ScreenShop app by Craze allows smartphone users to upload a screenshot of outfits found online in search of cheaper alternatives! You are also able to browse your favorite influencers outfits, skip the designer label, and match it up with affordable substitute pieces.
Similarly, companies like LikeToKnowIt and WHERETOGET were capitalizing how to shop for specific pieces found on social platforms from influencers before Instagram’s shop link on images was introduced. The apps were pairing clothes below the image with alternatives, and allowed consumers to add the clothing pieces to their shopping cart. These ideas have become more efficient and direct by Instagram’s shop link. Shop link allows users to product tag images which provides prices and direct links to the items tagged. This has simplified the search process for consumers, by showing the same product their favorite influencers are wearing.
The fashion industry continues to grow with technology in ways that have changed the way consumers think and purchase. The two have merged together to create a simplicity and personalization that caters to the consumer’s style, budget and interests. Apps have revolutionized the way we shop and browse our favorite trends, and these are just a few of the many that better our conventional ways.