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How the Internet of Things (IoT) will shape the fashion industry

July 20, 2016

Not a day goes by without a media article or trade event highlighting the importance of the Internet of Things (IoT).

It is indisputably the hottest topic in technology today, and if we take a closer look we can already see practical applications happening around us.

Just think about the smart phone apps that let you control your air conditioner remotely. Or fridges that display recipes on demand. Even pool gates that alert you when they’re being opened …

While these early examples are often presented as ‘gadgets designed to make life easier’, behind the scenes there’s a technical revolution taking place that can change the face of business as we know it.

The management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. predicts the global economic value from the Internet of Things could reach $11 trillion by 2020, when 50 billion devices will likely be connected. See more

So what are the wider capabilities? And how will they impact the fashion industry?

IoT connects customers with your business

Place your customers at the centre of your business

Data without borders

At the heart of IoT is the advent of miniature, low cost sensors and transmitters that can wirelessly connect to the internet.

By embedding these electronics into everyday objects we can effectively transport almost any ‘thing’ into the online world.

Take fashion items, for example.

With individual products connected to your business via a digital thread, IoT creates an environment to directly communicate and collaborate with customers. From product design and quality control, right through to timely delivery.

Inventory and logistics are other areas where this level of real-time information can play a vital role.

With rich data gathered from stock items that may be situated anywhere in the world, IoT technology provides a crystal clear picture that will help you optimize inventory and automate replenishment with a whole new level of simplification, sophistication and accuracy.

When you align specific product identifiers with CRM data, the options for greater insight and enhanced customer experiences become virtually unlimited.

It’s time to meet the future

Although IoT is still in the early stages of development, a recent study by Industry Week observed that 40% of respondents believe it’s already the right time to invest in this technology*.

It’s important to note that IoT preparation may not be in the area of a strategy development or data collection, but rather in regard of overall IT readiness.

Quite simply, to take advantage of new developments as they become available, you first need an environment that’s capable of transforming massive amounts of information into meaningful and actionable insights.

This is where the right software partner plays a vital role.

As a central part of your digital transformation your vendor should demonstrate proven experience in open standards technology, social collaboration tools, cloud technology, enhanced security and scalable networks.

With these capabilities in place you’ll have far more than a highly connected and streamlined infrastructure.

Your business will be fully prepared for your journey into this brave new world of opportunity.

Read more about achieving a connected and streamlined infrastructure 


*Kevin O’Marah, Industry Week


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Designed for Fashion is a meeting place to share and discuss the most important issues facing fashion professionals and the companies they work for.

With posts created from thought leadership articles, industry reports and insights from fashion experts, our content brings you practical and useful knowledge, news and information most relevant to you.


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