Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fashion and Apps: For the Better?

It’s no secret that the fashion world progresses at an incredible pace and now this industry has been coupled with technology and the incredible potential of smartphone apps on tablets and phones. These handy gadgets allow countless millions of consumers to view the latest trends and browse through clothing options with just their fingertips. This may be all well and good from a marketing perspective, but is it an advantage to fashion designers or could the world do without such a progression?

A Benefit or a Bane? 
First of all, there are a growing number of remote applications, meaning competition in this arena is steadily increasing as well. This is an obvious concern to designers, as it can be costly and time-consuming to maintain an app. Design, functionality, ease of use, all of these have to be considered, especially given that many (if not all) fashion apps are free, but nevertheless cost money to produce. Large producers may have the resources to compete in this arena but smaller companies probably do not.

Temptation and Choices 
Another downside is increased competition. With so many choices, consumers that were once loyal to a specific brand are now overwhelmed with choices, including copycats of their favorite brands. On the other hand, consumers may well benefit from the trend in the form of reduced prices. Also, with so much competition, which brand do you trust? Having too many options can be confusing for consumers. In today’s world, we’re so inundated with marketing messages that it becomes difficult to filter out the genuinely good brands. Some might say apps make the problem worse. Finally, a possible ‘consequence’ of this greater competition is the probability of even more outlandish styles making it to the market. That’s not necessarily bad. It all just depends on your own fashion sensibilities.

The Big Question 
So, are these technological innovations the way of the future? Will the entire fashion industry be forced to adopt the modern smartphone app or can it do without it? The answer is mixed. There’s no doubt that tablets and remote computing are the future of commerce. Still, the core of the fashion industry relies upon the ability of consumers to "touch and feel" their garments. So far, no fashion apps have managed to fully recreate that experience. Clearly, consumerism has changed dramatically within the last decade. While fashion apps will feature prominently, we should also assume that aficionados will continue to prefer the traditional buying methods. In any case, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for this constantly evolving industry.

This post written by Amy Taylor

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