Where is the hi-tech future of fashion headed?

Panel discussion on fashion in tech organised by Girls in Tech.

Imagine you’re walking into Selfridges and automatically getting a text: “Hey, Clara. Remember that dress you favourited last week? Well: here’re more similar items. In your size. On sale now.”

Fashion dream or Skynet nightmare? Either way, e-commerce experts agree that even more personalization and more data collection will be the way forward.

Mobile growth a challenge

Keeping up to speed with consumers’ relentless move to mobile is a main priority, according to the panelists at “Fashion in Tech”. The panel discussion, organised by Girls in Tech, drew a big crowd to Hoxton Square on Tuesday evening.

“Something we’re going to start seeing but haven’t yet is the transportation of data from the online world to the offline world,” said panelist Sarah Vigrass, strategic projects director at Lyst.

Critics are worried that data collection puts us at risk of online security threats and privacy issues. Is she concerned about this?

“It’s definitely a line we have to be wary of,” Sarah Vigrass said, pointing out that there should be no spamming or selling to third parties. And that the service should always be opt-in for consumers, she said, adding:

“As long as the data is handled in a responsible way I think it’s a good thing.”

Browsing, not buying

40% of Lyst’s traffic now comes from mobile. But we’re still not shopping on our mobile phones – just browsing.

“People use mobile for discovering new products and desktop for shopping,” said Giacomo Summa, CEO of Stylect.

This may change in future as one-touch payments and increasingly personalized online marketing become the norm, said Torie Chilcott, co-founder of Rockabox:

“I want Facebook to send me messages saying, ‘You’re going to love this. Here it is in your size’.”

“Are you happy for Facebook to know you then?” asked panel discussion leader Sinéad O’Brien.

“Oh, they already do!”

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