A Peek into the Future of Shopping How Retailers Are Responding to E-Commerce

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As Americans continue shying away from brick and mortar stores and more towards the online shopping market, retailers have had to revamp their business models to keep up with consumer needs. When it comes to clothes shopping, one of the biggest reasons people still visit these brick and mortar storefronts it to try things on.

Since sizes can vary between brands, collections, and cuts, many people still choose to try on their clothes with unfamiliar brands. In general, people also like seeing what the clothes look like on their bodies before they make the commitment to buy.

But the future of shopping may be well under way. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has announced that his company has developed a 3D in-store knitting machine that creates custom fitting garments on-demand, instead of displaying handmade garments knit from one of three different needle sizes.

The machine was unveiled in mid-January at the National Retail Federation’s annual convention in New York City, and has a lot of potential to eliminate unnecessary costs and bring in more profits.

“If you end up selling a model of sweater that goes really [fast], you can keep making it here,” said Joe Jensen, general manager of Intel’s retail solutions division. The machine takes about 45 minutes to create a garment, while it can take a human hours to knit or weave a fabric before even creating the garment.

Virtual and augmented reality were also highly showcased at the NRF convention. Gap is currently working with Google and San Francisco-based app developer Avametric to continue the development of its app that shows exactly how each piece of clothing in their collection would look on a specific person’s frame, eliminating the stressful need to try clothing on in the dressing room.

Not only is the company dedicating itself to the virtual reality trend, it is also using this technology as a branding opportunity in order to test the fit of its merchandise on its own buyers, not models. There are five body types to choose from in the app in order to see how certain pieces drape, stretch, or simply look on bodies of varying shapes and sizes.

The app is now available for those who have Google’s Tango on their smart devices.
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