Shopping apps have become an integral part of the consumer experience. According to a study from Grand View Research, smartphone owners spend over 80% of their mobile usage time on apps and make purchases often. Similarly, BBC reported that the average person can spend 4.8 hours per day on apps and often uses this time to make purchasing decisions.
Shopping apps are the go-to sources for those open to mobile engagement, and fashion enthusiasts are no exception. But what changes should one look for when it comes to apps centered on fashion and retail? A look at upcoming trends in clothes shopping apps can help all participants get the most out of this rapidly evolving industry.
Personalized Retail Experience
Personalization is one of the top innovative trends of clothing apps. According to Statista, fashion represents a $3.3 trillion industry. In the past, customer experience may have seemed like a drop in the retail ecosystem. But now, it is a central part of the equation.
According to McKinsey, 80% of consumers now expect fashion businesses to accommodate their preferences, and brands use apps to shape the buying experience from start to finish. Also known as CX, customer experience can often serve as the equivalent of a digital stylist guiding customers through the process of browsing, selection, and checkout.
For example, boutique applications like the By Alexa Rae app offer priority in browsing recent arrivals and new deals. And for items that have not yet arrived, app users gain access to a wait list item and can immediately purchase the items once they are back in stock.
The app also simplifies the process of ordering and checkout, and it provides notifications once the order has been processed and shipped. For many apps, other forms of personalization include improved recommendations based on previous purchases and the opportunity to customize orders based on size, color, add-ons, and other style preferences.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
In addition to a more personalized shopping experience, many app providers are on the cusp of exploring virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Both forms of technology serve to bridge the gap between online shopping and the traditional in-store experience. For example, apps can use virtual reality to replicate the try-on process and essentially act as digital dressing rooms. Users can select a three-dimensional representation of their bodies to see exactly how the clothes might fit them. This can reduce the risk of wasting money on unsatisfactory items and eliminate the hassle of returns.
Similarly, augmented reality allows you to interact with potential clothes long before ownership. Some apps already use this technology to help shoppers “try on” shoes before buying. Users simply select a pair of sneakers from a collection of three-dimensional models and then point their smartphone cameras at their feet.
The app then demonstrates how the shoes will look in person, providing shoppers with a more informed perspective than possible when relying solely on pictures. Augmented reality has the same positive application for items like dresses and accessories like sunglasses, hats, and makeup.
Use of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is an exciting frontier in fashion technology. Also known as AI, this technology can increase both the usability and effectiveness of shopping apps. For one, brands implementing advanced chatbots take advantage of AI technology daily.
Gone are the days of bots that use stilted or limited language. Instead, bots use advanced language models and word recognition to identify customers’ needs. Most chatbots also connect directly to frequently asked questions (FAQs), directories, or glossaries to cut down the search time needed to help shoppers.
AI technology can also help increase customer satisfaction by improving search productivity. One of the most prominent applications for shopping apps is the use of visual search tools. These tools allow users to take pictures or screenshots of online clothes. AI technology can then identify the image’s colors, accessories, and gear.
Shopping apps demonstrate exceptional promise in improving how consumers can interact with a brand. Since apps are among the most common ways customers stay in touch, the main trends involve technologies with practical applications for users. In this way, shoppers can access the best features of brick-and-mortar shopping with one swipe of the hand.