Welcome to our debut edition of NewsBytes. Every month Embodee will summarize and analyze key developments and trends in the apparel and footwear industries, with an emphasis on the latest product personalization and customization technology. Our goal: help you stay informed, save time, and sell more! Sign up to stay in the know. Unsubscribe anytime.
Retail tech investment: big dividends
Sometimes survey results are inconclusive or ambiguous. Not so for the NRF’s survey of consumers. The survey gauged how they view technological enhancement of shopping experiences now and what they want in the future. The verdict: online shoppers are very pleased. A whopping 80% of all shoppers and 88% of millennials agree that shopping technologies and innovations improved their experiences. Explore all the findings for more insight.
Virtual catwalks and other AR brand experiences
Digital information-marketing firm Econsultancy has collected 10 intriguing examples of how brands are using augmented reality “to offer unique and immersive digital experiences, and to engage consumers in a memorable way.” They include online-only retailer Asos’ virtual catwalk, VF’s avatar-based virtual mannequins to showcase seasonal looks in 3D, and Foot Locker’s use of Snapchat tech that makes physical objects seemingly come to life. And did we mention the global AR market is predicted to top $70 billion in 2023?
Nike's Swoosh color switcharoo
Nike has devised a clever analog twist on digital product customization. The company is offering three different color Swooshes that shoppers can use interchangeably on a new version of the company’s iconic Air Force 1 Low sneakers. Depending on their style mood of the day, wearers can affix either black or light blue denim Swooshes or a natural Vachetta leather version. Sourcing Journal has all the details. Nike has long been an industry leader in offering online customization of apparel and footwear.
Onward and upward for online sales
Like a mountain climber scaling a peak at a quickening pace, online apparel sales in the U.S. have topped a statistical milestone. For the first time, e-commerce apparel sales last year accounted for more than one-third of all sales of apparel and accessories. The 34.4% share represents 18.5% growth over 2017, dwarfing the 5.3% increase in total apparel retail sales. The glowing numbers come courtesy of Internet Retailer’s 2019 Online Apparel Report, summarized here.
Speaking of growth: online customization
Interest in online customization of apparel and footwear continues to increase among both consumers and industry insiders. Embodee examined the trend and underlying quantitative and qualitative evidence. A kicker quote from Industry Week captured a critical psychological shift in consumer sentiment: “In fact, ‘off-the-shelf’ is beginning to sound substandard. We all seem to want products personalized and right-sized to fit our preferences, personalities, and lifestyles.”
Embodee news: conference, key hires
Our blog recently highlighted the company’s activities at a product innovation conference in New York and welcomed two new members to our executive team, Yoram Burg, VP of sales and marketing, and Nikolay Popov, director of engineering for software development. Their hiring signals an intensified growth and product development strategy for our 3D visualization of apparel, footwear, and other products, which makes it easy and compelling to customize products online.