The online fashion retail industry is a cut-throat marketplace, a constant game of one-upmanship as big platforms announce everything from big discounts on exclusive products to keep the browsing public engaged. Retailers are now looking at the latest technologies to keep shoppers on their domains, adding more and more elements of a physical shopping experience to the online platform. Taking a hint from the larger technological trends, Aditya Birla-owned fashion site abof is adding measures on its website that bridge the gap between online and physical shopping. The website has always maintained a focus on experience and with the new roll outs, is sticking to this mantra of using technology to offer customers a fashion experience along with basic product display.

Online Change-room

The website has recently introduced a 3D change-room feature for some of its products. It addresses one of the major concerns of an online buyer, one that has prevented many from clicking the buy button. The presence of different brands, sellers and designs have made uniform size charts a rather unreliable indicator for the perfect fitting. This wouldn’t be a problem in a regular mall or apparel shop where you can simply step into a dressing room and figure out if those trendy tops you picked up fit perfectly or not. The highlight of abof’s website feature is that you can pick an avatar who matches your measurements, tweak a bit here and there and try out a selection of garments to get an idea of the exact fit.

Image Search

Image Search is a technology that has been around for a while but is being constantly refined to bring up more relevant searches. abof has introduced a feature where the user can upload a picture of a garment to see if it is available on the website. This adds to the interactive aspect of the shopping and scouting (browsing) experience.

AI Fashion Consultant

Creating a fashion information eco-system is, in theory, a great way to retain customers if you are selling clothes. abof was one of the pioneers of adding fashion tips to provide context for the product on display. An AI based contextual and personalised system is now in place for customers who regularly log in, recording the individual’s preferences and customising the landing page content to cater to each individual user separately.

A Fashion Eco-space

With all these features, the site clearly wants to communicate more with customers and actively use user data to provide a better pitch. The key to selling new fashion is by inspiring confidence in the buyer. 3D change rooms and fashion tips help expand the current knowledge base of the prudent shopper, and turn a search for a plain kurta into an exploration of western dresses for women.

Nurturing an eco space for fashion tips and trends which make customers discover and experiment helps create a stronger brand association. It remains to be seen if a campaign of personalised content and additional features will translate into more for abof, which currently houses more than 120 brands, and according to CEO Prashant Gupta, is targeting a 15% market share by 2020.

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