Last week our team presented the first steps and gatherings from our research. All of the information we have on signals, patterns, and cycles can be seen on forwardformade.com.
At first it was easy to collect signals that had to do with retail and technology. There are a lot! But we also wanted to explore what’s happening in other divisions of the fashion industry in case there’s something interesting to watch there. We also tried to go further, looking into other sectors outside of fashion that could provide possible signals for our research. That was trickier but we managed to observe a few that may help.
On the website you can see which signals fit into the patterns that we identified.
With these patterns we saw that concepts and spaces are becoming more fluid (gender, spaces, celebrity). Even Instagram’s update shows how it’s not just a social media platform, but it’s becoming a shopping platform as well.
The physical and virtual world are blending into a new universe. A digital one, that is why we identified that digitalization as one of the most important trends that are setting the course of customer and retail experience.
When we started mapping out cycles, we started to organize the different processes that exist when making and selling fashion.
So we decided to categorize them into six categories: design, selling, browsing, transaction, post-shopping, and social.
Organizing our cycles this way, we could see that they are really determined by the actors - brand, retailer, or consumer. Perhaps this is because of the way the fashion industry is structured. But what does that mean for our project?
This process proved to us that identifying the changes that occur in fashion requires digging through an industry saturated with information.
Although we can see how digitalization can make any experience more fluid, we also can more clearly confirm that the physical shopping experience and online shopping experience are two different playing fields.
But based on the information we gathered so far, we believe it’s important to explore the roles of these actors and also how to improve the connection between them (brands, retail, customer) in order to envision the reality of tech and fashion retail intersecting more seamlessly.
Research and learn more about how different actors interact in a more digitized retail environment
Getting to know the all the users of a successful retail experience which means conducting interviews and doing more field research
Continue taking note of other signals and patterns