Having worked in a male-dominated industry my entire career, surrounded by people with a love of all things technology, it was a breath of fresh Melbourne spring air when IBM was named the innovation and technology partner for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW) for the next three years.
Historically, technology geeks and fashionistas lived in very different social circles. So what does technology and fashion have in common that now finds them joined at the hip? YOU!
We are part of a culture that embeds Social, Mobile and Location based technology (often referred to as “SoLoMo”) into the very fabric of our lives.
We are influenced by what our friends and family have to say about services and products, and we aren’t afraid to share our experiences through social media – both good and bad. In fact, 32% of us have shared a retail experience on social media, making social media analytics an essential tool for retailers to understand market sentiment and take the necessary actions to address issues in their business, and tap in to brand ambassadors to capitalise on positive sentiment.
We have increasing expectations of retailers – demanding a personalised experience whether we are in store, online, or using a mobile device. We want retailers to know who we are, what we like, and only to interact with us when it suits us.
Many retailers are still afraid to overstep the boundaries of consumer privacy, and yet 34% of us are willing to share current location information with our favourite retailers – and we expect them to do something with it! Whether it’s offering a discount for dropping by the store, or helping us find products in store that we’ve been perusing in the online catalog.
And if you thought it was just Millenials driving this change, think again. The average age of the SoLoMo trailblazer is 42 years old!
Over the past week, IBM has partnered with the City of Melbourne to immerse consumers in the celebration of Australian fashion, providing access to information about events and brands through mobile devices, insight into behaviour and sentiment of MSFW guests through social media and data analytics, all hosted via an elastic cloud infrastructure to ensure insight can still be delivered during times of peak demand.
Technology and fashion are more than just joined at the hip. Technology has become the fabric in which brands and retailers can connect with consumers to understand them better and give them what they want.
Make sure you check out the Buzz on the street to see what items Melbourne Spring Fashion Week visitors are loving the most on social media.