The fashion business is experiencing a radical, technology-fueled change in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Fremont, CA:An industry that has always (and still is) been (and continues to be) built on the foundation of creativity and artistic expression is now adding more science to the mix, embracing technology to new levels. But, away from the Zoom calls and runways, the fashion industry has been undergoing a major transformation. Fashion and apparel's digital transition, like that of so many other industries, has advanced dramatically during COVID. This has influenced how customers interact with brands and merchants and how the industry runs internally, including inventory management, pricing, supply chain management, and product design and production.

Over the last two to three years, technology has played an increasingly important role in the fashion industry, particularly on the customer-facing side. This impacts where and how consumers discover companies and shop the category, as well as how they purchase, transact, and do business. If anything, the acceleration of digital and e-commerce has accelerated throughout the epidemic; in fact, you might argue that it is what has kept the wheels on the bus. When the fashion sector dealt with the impact of the lockdowns that occurred throughout several locations, and stores were closed, the internet was the only means to access and shop various categories. However, the growing importance of fashion and technology has extended beyond customer-facing projects to include end-to-end initiatives across the enterprise. It's about how individuals have designed products and how they've flowed them through. The importance of technology in maintaining the entire fashion value chain cannot be overstated.

The pandemic prompted the business to break down barriers between online and offline sales. Traditionally, businesses have seen some channel segmentation—like a web channel, or a shop channel, and so on. Because the lockdowns made the internet the primary source of customer interaction, engagement, and purchase, many retailers simply dismantled the barriers that existed between the two main channels. Rather than being channel-driven, customers are far more brand- and mission-driven. CRM, clienteling, customer service and experience, and inventory, among other advancements, are now helping to integrate the digital and physical worlds together.