How to Forecast Retail Trends in the Fashion Industry

Estimated read time 3 min read

Predicting the future is highly in demand in the fashion industry. In fact, forecasting is a huge part of this and other retail businesses. But have you ever wondered how designers, creators, and forecasters know what’s on the horizon? These are a few tools they use to predict fashion trends.

Fashion Forecasting

Understanding what’s next in the fashion world is so important that it’s actually a niche profession. These workers look at what’s popular on runways and among actual consumers to predict what the next big thing in fashion will be.

WGSN is one of the leading companies in this industry. Using data about consumer behavior, market trends, and current fashion, the enterprise publishes an annual forecast of what fashion will look like over the next two years. For designers and businesses who want to stay relevant, monitoring and predicting trends through this type of data is invaluable.

Future Technologies

One way to forecast trends in this industry is to look at future technologies and consider how they’ll be applied to fashion and design. For example, technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality are already here and changing fashion at all levels, from letting shoppers digitally try on clothes in front of an augmented reality mirror to shopping in virtual reality stores. Designers are also employing tools like 3D printing and laser cutting to create unique pieces.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another technology that designers and companies are investing in. This is especially important for businesses like WGSN. Forecasting companies rely on the collection and interpretation of data, and it’s possible that AI will soon be better than humans at this task. Indeed, one of the primary applications of AI in the fashion industry is to predict future trends. As the technology progresses, AI may even be used to create new clothing designs.

AI, augmented reality, and virtual reality are cutting-edge technologies that companies and designers are still figuring out how to implement. While it’s certainly thrilling to watch, there are plenty of other contemporary technologies that are shaping the industry. For example, using software to track inventory is a way to save on critical resources as well as monitor and predict customer’s choices — definitely a benefit for smaller designers and fashion businesses. Plus, unlike 3D printers and virtual reality headsets, these kinds of tools are affordable and accessible with a low barrier of entry in terms of technical expertise.

Stock Forecasting

Social, cultural, and economic factors are arguably the biggest influences on fashion trends. For stockholders, monitoring these trends and understanding how they’ll affect businesses is a huge deal.

Though investors are more concerned with their portfolios than with what fashion trends actually look like, the tools they use to predict which companies succeed and which fail can also be used to forecast retail movements. For example, the company WGSN has a separate retail-analytics service that stockholders use to inform their trades.

Fashion forecasting is a data-intensive process with lots of room for growth and improvement. Though some of these tools are made for big businesses, as technology progresses, enterprises of all sizes will have an easier time staying up-to-date in the fashion industry.

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