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How Technology Is Steering Fashion E-commerce Industry In Right Direction The advent of e-commerce in India has completely altered the way one shops.

By Sanjay Shroff

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The advent of e-commerce in India has completely altered the way one shops. A few years ago, buying fashion apparel was synonymous with setting up a date with one's sister or girlfriends and scouting all the popular markets in town.

Today, most of us shop with a click of a button while travelling in the metro or waiting at the airport. While initially, many fashion shoppers displayed a certain hesitation in making those mega purchases virtually, today people are shelling out over a lakh of rupees on buying designer wear online.

The reason behind this steady change in consumer behaviour is the way technology is sweeping across the fashion e-retail space making it more reassuring, convenient and thrilling to buy apparel, accessories, shoes and bags online than ever before!

Shopping from a global mall

There are tremendous ways in which tech is shaping the future of fashion e-commerce in India and making it a true force to reckon with. From merely selling products online, a lot of e-commerce players are, today, curating fashion for their shoppers.

While earlier one logged on to a horizontal marketplace to buy a pair of branded shoes at a discount, today one is looking to e-commerce to buy things they would otherwise never have access to, even in metro cities. Customers in Delhi can own that dazzling crop top and maxi skirt set they saw their friend in Singapore wear thanks to an e-tailer who connects designer boutiques to customers across geographies.

What's more… aggregation and recommendation engines, image search and visualisation technologies are just some of the core ways in which fashion e-commerce is becoming more relevant and exciting for customers than ever before.

Making an informed buying decision is now possible!

Aggregators and recommendation-based players are not only fast becoming one of the preferred ways for consumers to shop; they are also playing a vital role in boosting the business of certain inchoate ventures.

When a customer types in "Pink Lehenga", these aggregators not only show them the list of sites that are selling the product but are also able to recommend looks, give additional style tips and in some cases even get them interactive advice from style experts.

The seamless blending in of the social media experience into fashion buying means you can often also see which one of your friends purchased a certain product and get their feedback on it. All of these facets make e-buying all the more personalised and engaging.

The customer also gets the assurance of having scanned through a vast plethora of options without any physical or temporal limitations, a feeling that simply isn't possible in the physical format.

The power of virtual enhances the visual experience

Virtual trial technology and the option to visualise how a certain item will look on oneself is one of the greatest ways in which customer experience is being enhanced like never before.

This eliminates that eternal need of "touch and feel" to a large extent. Image search is adding to this experience wherein customers can click pictures of something they really like and upload it on the retailers app so their system can find them something similar.

Such technologies are able to make up for the limitations of text-based search that can rarely give customers exactly what they are searching for.

Technology is disrupting fashion in a very big way. Being an aesthetics-driven industry, it is able to empower retailers with all the tools that they need to replicate the best of offline retail on to the online format. Visual search, visualisation technology and the ability to offer curated and specialised suggestions just like a highly trained support executive in a showroom are changing the way consumers view fashion e-retail.

From choosing to shop virtually merely because of the better pricing to actually preferring the style recommendations and choices available, e-commerce is fast becoming the ultimate destination for a truly fashionable buying experience on the back of technology.

Sanjay Shroff

CEO & Founder, Styletag.com

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