This year saw numerous advances in retailtechnologies, but 2018 promises to bring even more change to the retail landscape.Matt Britton, chief executive officer of marketing tech firm Crowdtap, said Amazon will continue to be the biggest disrupter for the retail industry — but there will also be plenty of innovation that will shake up the market. Britton predicted that the mass adoption of voice technologies will have more consumers completing orders from tools like Google Home and Amazon Alexa.Bridget Fahrland, senior vice president of client strategy at e-commerce platform solutions firm, Fluid, agreed that the fast adoption of smart home devices with shopping capabilities will have enormous impact on the retail industry in 2018.Augmented reality software and mixed reality headsets were forecasted to be among the year’s biggest retail technology trends. Stephen Boidock, director of marketing and business development at engagement agency, Drumroll, described that augmented reality software and mixed reality headsets have become more distributed and affordable.Fittingly, Boidock believes that next year brands will finally begin to treat these tools as viable shopping companions as opposed to novelties.Ed Kennedy, senior director of commerce at software company Episerver added that artificial intelligence tech will deliver automated personalized shopping experiences to consumers in 2018. “By tracking and analyzing the behavior of millions of shoppers, AI technologies will detect patterns in shopping behavior and automatically respond to these to provide a better customer experience,” he suggested.“This is a well-worn strategy for suggesting products to consumers, but in 2018, I predict we will see AI-powered technologies personalizing everything from what promotion we are offered to which channels we will most likely respond like email, social and paid,” he forecasted. “Put simply — the machines are going to know more about us than we do.”WGSN’s Petah Marian, senior editor of the trend forecasting service’s consumer and market intelligence product, WGSN Insight, confirmed that voice, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality will be some of the top tech trends in 2018 — as they were 2017.The major difference between the two years, according to Marian, will be increased competition.In regard to voice-related technology trends, for example, she noted that the emergence of digital assistants within the home will continue to be key. Accordingly, relevant players and actors will need to find ways to differentiate themselves. “Brands and retailers will need to figure out how they play in a space that is already being dominated by Amazon and its Alexa system,” she suggested.Above all, Marian described that 2017 was somewhat of a trial run and predicted the pressure will be amped-up for brands and retailers moving forward.“Two-thousand seventeen was largely a year of experimentation. We saw early iterations of what things like chatbots, visual search and augmented reality might look like,” she explained. “There has been a certain degree of tolerance when these have not been perfect as brands build, with a certain degree of lenience for brands that did not immediately get these things right, or even when they didn’t work all the time.”But in the new year, she cautioned, expectations will change. As Marian put it: “Two-thousand eighteen will be when consumers begin to expect these tools as part of their shopping journey and will have much less tolerance for anything less than a totally seamless consumer experience.”For More WWD Business News, See:Fendi, Max Mara, Bally Execs Discuss State of Italian LuxuryLure Holiday Shoppers Via Enhanced Store ExperiencesOuter Space Set to Transform Retail LandscapeReport: Holiday Shopping Insights Revealed
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.