Increased use of technology in manufacturing and retail is changing the fashion industry like never before. Concepts which were farfetched for the industry some years ago are now finding relevance in the new age business environment. A recent example is of Drones, which have graduated from just being in use for surveillanc purpose to mark their presence in the businesses of delivery, albeit it’s still in trial phase. One of the early adapters of drones or, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), in the fashion industry was Dolce & Gabbana that sent a message to the industry that fashion shows are not all about the clothes as it used drones to show its handbags collection in a fashion show back in 2018.
FASHION MERCHANDISE DELIVERY
Post-pandemic world is all about new norms in every aspect of life and business. Especially, fashion business has seemingly changed a lot with the emergence of e-commerce that had been already gaining momentum for last few years and is now propelled by COVID-19 as consumers are still being cautious when it comes to visiting physical stores. Adding to this is the fact that the consumers are preferably spending money on those brands that have quickly adapted to the changing business landscape, giving new experiences to shoppers, using technology in the best way they can, and delivering products to their doorsteps safely and quickly.
INVENTORY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE
Evolving consumers’ expectations have intensified competition for supply chain solution providers and the competitive advantage is up for grabs for all, only if they tighten up inventory and category management systems with the use of technology. Drone can be a great enabler here for a seamless offline as well as online experience. According to various studies, warehousing accumulates 30 per cent of all the logistical costs and not just that, over 90 per cent of the inventory of a company remains stationary in warehouses. Fully autonomous solutions with drones at the warehouse centre may become a necessary addition to have ‘smart inventory management’ that can provide financial and safety benefits.
MOTION TRACKING OF CONSUMERS FOR INSIGHTS
Flying above a retail location, a drone can easily be used to collect data to further measure the effectiveness of signage, the positioning of entrances and the impact of consumers’ traffic. It’s a widely accepted fact that strongest retail strategies are those which are built using foundation of consumers’ insights and that’s a key area for omnichannel fashion players. Fashion retailers have been tracking consumers’ footfall in the stores but the use of drones would allow them track their motion more effectively inside the store and can give brands real-time data. A drone can cover precisely every corner of a store to figure out all degrees of freedom of a shopper and help brands count on buying behaviour of customers.
THE INDUSTRY IS READY FOR THE DRONES
The fashion industry has a huge and complex supply chain, and drones are still in the early stage of implementation with the two retail gaints Watlmart and Amazone taking the lead. Amazon was among the first companies that was granted patent in 2017 and FAA approval in 2020 for its ground-based mobile drone fulfilment Prime Air which delivers packages up to 5 pounds in 30 minutes or less using small drones. In 2020 Walmart teamed up with Zipline to launch a first-of-its-kind drone delivery operation in the US for on-demand deliveries of select health and wellness products. The notable thing is that Walmart intends to expand the use of drone in other products too.
Apparel Sourcing Week 2023, a two-days Sourcing Show not only provides the Asian manufacturers a platform to showcase their products & manufacturing capabilities to the Brands & Retailers from all over the world including India, but also extends them a chance to attend the multiple seminars (headed by industry experts), workshops, open-house discussions and networking opportunities organised during these three days, which would help the manufacturers get a better understanding of Indian and International Retail and evolving dynamics of sourcing in various markets and retail formats.
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