By Eyram Rafael
The current Tech boom happening globally has brought about many new technological developments that is making it easier for enterprises including African fashion businesses to be more productive and to grow their businesses. But how and what exact technologies can African Fashion entrepreneurs adopt to grow their businesses?
One of the best inventions in the 20th century is the internet and its offshoot -social media. Social media is one technology African fashion businesses can leverage in growing their businesses. Through content that informs, entertains, promotes and educates users about their brand, fashion entrepreneurs in Africa can grow their businesses easily.This helps users to get to know the brand more and develop a personal relationship with the brand. Other opportunities social media provides for business growth is livestream shopping, which allows customers to buy products via live streams.
Websites and Emails.
Websites are not a new thing but seriously an important aspect every African fashion business can use in growing their brands. In this present world, it is essential to have a self hosted online presence like a website. These websites serve as an online storefront that is accessible by all who have access to the internet. When combined with email marketing, African fashion businesses can grow using a more targeted approach that involves personalized marketing emails to customers and when social platforms suffer glitches or shutdown, the business can still communicate and reach their customers without interruption.
Comprising a combination of a wide range of special science to control machines in performing tasks that require human intelligence, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a great tool to grow fashion businesses from textile production, quality control, to on demand manufacturing. Designers can employ AI in product design which is more cost effective, sustainable and profitable. They can use AI to make new eco-friendly fabrics like lab-grown leather and silk or use AI powered design softwares like Clo3d in creating virtual fashion samples before production. This will not only help make their businesses more productive but will also contribute to the growth of their businesses. African fashion entrepreneurs can also grow their business through the use of AI for trend forecasting. Chatbots which are reliant on AI can likewise help businesses grow. Swift response to customers is essential in growing a business and the effectiveness of AI powered chatbots makes communication with customers both new and returning ones seamless. Other opportunities to grow African fashion businesses through AI include AI powered delivery systems and drones.
The world of alternative worlds and scenery is no longer a thing for just the movies. It is finally here with us in the form of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Mostly referred to as the new medium of ‘Human Experience’, VR is a great technology African designers can leverage to grow their businesses. Virtual Reality operates using a computer-generated environment with virtual objects simulating the physical world. This can be employed by African fashion entrepreneurs in growing their business through the creation of virtual worlds that improve their customers shopping experience. VR can be embedded on websites and installed in-store (virtual reality mirrors) to stimulate different environments that allow customers to virtually try on clothes before they make purchases. This improved customer shopping experience increases the customers chances of making more purchases which will lead to the growth of brands and their businesses.
Another excellent way African fashion entrepreneurs can grow their businesses using VR is through creating Virtual fashion. This is more like a digital dress that you can wear without it being produced in real life. Think of it more as a Snapchat or Instagram story filter in the form of a dress or shoe that can be worn only in pictures.
Virtual fashion allows African fashion designers to create more innovative designs and it taps well into the sustainability and eco-friendly agenda in a world where everyone is constantly buying clothes to feed the thirst of the gram.
Collage created by Eyram Rafael
Images used: Balm Labs , N3D Studio and GoDaddy Studio.