Digital Transformation in fashion retail, apparel manufacturing, and the media industry

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the cultural and operational change of an organization, through a smart amalgamation of digital technologies in multiple areas of organizations like processes, infrastructure, culture, and people, which helps grow in this modern world

Digital transformation is not just about interruption or innovation. It’s about value, individuals, optimization, and the ability to swiftly adapt when such is needed through smart use of technologies and information. Interpretation of Digital transformation may differ from organization to organization but we believe, Digital transformation begins and ends with the critical stakeholder of business i.e., Customer

Pillars of Digital transformation

It is very critical to understand the pillars of Digital transformation. Organizations have to explore these pillars to rationally plan their journey of transformation. These are the major blocks through which, digital transformation journey should be designed

Key Stakeholders of Digital Transformation

Each stakeholder has a different role and different expectations. Coming together before beginning the transformation process will help eliminate any future issues down the line.

People- For a digital transformation to succeed, you will need to earn the support of the people within the organization.

Culture– Digital innovators have a way of thinking of continuing development. They consider development so crucial and such a focal piece of the business that they process, resource, reward, oversee, lead, measure, and convey it. They weave it through the very fabric of their organization’s culture

Leadership- Effective leadership aids an organization to create workflow and business processes that permit these new technologies, products and services to be rolled out rapidly. Leadership becomes the root cause of creating the desired culture for the transformation journey.

Customers- Digital transformation is convincing organizations to change their business models and acknowledge the new market reality. Fascinatingly, the enterprises are not driving this change, instead, the customers are. To keep up with this new kind of “always-connected” customer, your business must embrace technology to provide an unparalleled customer experience

With Digital Transformation, the associations can expand customer satisfaction through improved client experience, improve dynamic through real-time data collection, expanded adaptability and versatility, upgraded unwavering quality, and reduced risk.

Future trends in Fashion Retail

AI-based personalized shopping experience and customer-centric merchandising

Chatbots and Virtual Personal Assistants

AI-based chatbots – computer programs to convincingly simulate human conversation through messaging or chat are the new sales representatives being used by the retailers to handle customer queries and contact with customers. It also allows customers to type and ask for a particular product, eliminating the hassle of applying filters, making the product discovery much easier.

Customer Journey and adaptive journey

AI has led to the entire paradigm shift in the industry through system recommendation based on AI and consumer behavior, if we talk about traditional purchase practice or pattern, then “consumer always goes to product” but in the digital era, AI can help the organization through which “product can reach to consumer” based on consumer behaviors, there can be “n” numbers of consumer behaviors from system perspective such as seasons, browsing pattern, buying time period, average purchase price from history, product, item attributes such as color, size, pattern, wish list, likes/dislikes from social media account. AI can learn all these touchpoints or behavior to provide robust suggestions, promotions which ultimately help organizations not only to survive but to excel or meet their objectives and goals.

Augmented Reality-based Virtual Trial Rooms (Online and Offline)

Earlier, it was difficult for e-commerce to provide an offline kind of experience where the customers could get the actual look of the garment. Some of them were waiting in the long queue of trial rooms and checkout counters. AR (Augmented Reality) came up with a solution to solve these problems which were manifesting now and then. 

Early last year, Biba, the women’s ethnic wear brand, partnered with Astra Fit, online fitting room service for fashion e-commerce.  Another brand, LensKart introduced the AR tool to its online platform which allows the customer to try frames virtually, helping them to visualize the look of frames and eventually how do they look.

POS (Point of Sale System)

POS has become a common system for retailers and Indian companies which have replaced the entire ecosystem of having checkout counters in the stores. The mobile POS is a small handy device just like the debit card machine which allows the shopkeeper to complete the customer shopping purchase through anywhere in the store

Recently Mobile POS ZWING launched by Gurgaon-based fashion tech solution provider, which is a device that permits payments through anywhere in the store. This has helped companies in a drastic reduction of costs of hardware and saved a lot more space, making the customer shopping experience at ease.

Self-Checkout Kiosk

‘Self-Checkout Kiosk’ is a system that allows patrons to bill their products and complete the payment transaction in a few simple stages on their own with almost trivial involvement from the store’s staff. This leads patrons to not be a part of long queues as Self-Checkout Kiosk enables faster checkouts.

 A leading fashion brand Lifestyle having a presence with 75+ stores introduced the same in a few of its key stores recently and has been successfully running it. A well-known e-commerce platform Myntra also chose for ‘Self-Checkout Kiosk’ in its newly launched fashion lifestyle RFID-enabled offline store ‘Roadster Go’ which permits patrons to pick up attires and accessories without any aid from staff, learn real-time online prices and do a self-checkout in 30 seconds, excluding the need to scan individual products or remove security tags from each attire.


Blockchain is a distributed technology (DLT) that allows data to be stored globally on thousands of servers- while letting anyone on the network see respective transactions in near real-time.

Blockchain provides a comprehensive history of the product right from its origination to where it is present. The most significant benefit of using a blockchain is that it lets the data be more interoperable. This makes the data information to be shared and be accessible with brands, producers, suppliers, and merchants. The use of this technology can help the supplier or consumer know if the product is unique or forged.

Blockchain Use Cases in Retail Fashion

Digital Twins: Linking the physical to the digital

Tagging physical objects with IoT, RFID tags, photography, or QR codes enables the conception of “digital twins” on the blockchain. These allow brands to lessen imitation risks by digitally tracking products along the supply chain and after the point of sale. This digital depiction of the product on the blockchain— also known as tokenization, allows stakeholders to access the tracking data and to transact in real-time without compromising subtle information.

Traceability of raw material and products throughout the lifecycle

Distributed ledger technology permits brands to better manage their supply chain processes from raw material to the final consumer and manage large data sets in a more well-organized and translucent way.

Loyalty programs

80% of global sales today are “digitally influenced” from across the globe, yet the worth from loyalty programs are generally locked within limited jurisdictions. As customers embrace global lifestyles, their beliefs for seamless global transactions increase. Tokenization exposes a new loyalty program paradigm, allowing shoppers to transact with various partners outside of the brand.

A tech start-up Infinichains has started working on an organic cotton pilot study with Pratibha Syntex, India-based renowned apparel manufacturer, in a bid to trace the product from farm to garment and from garment to farm using its ‘credible’ software tool.

The fashion industry saw some positive retail transformation on technology front over the last few years, and seeing the disposition of retailers towards digitalization, we can say that the industry will further grow significantly in the years coming ahead.

Future trends in Apparel Manufacturing

The implementation of digital technologies by most of the firms, who undergo digital transformation leads to the increased application of sensors and devices in the manufacturing process, therefore resulted in a constant and increasing volume of data.

The utilization of big data (increase in volume)

Big Data technology can be defined as a Software-Utility that is developed to examine the process and extract the information from exceptionally difficult and huge data sets, which the traditional data processing software could never deal with. It reveals the patterns, trends, and associations, particularly related to human conduct and communications

Big data can aid the apparel industries to solve one of its major problems, unsold inventory. In March 2018, H&M reportedly had to close 3.8 billion pounds worth of unsold clothes, mainly due to poor inventory management. When apparel is sourced through many supply chains with numerous vendors in a non-standardized industry, this can create enormous inventory and logistics problem

Big data helps to understand the entire process, from development to waste management, which in turn helps to predict what goods are needed to prevent overproduction and can be shipped when needed, reducing transport costs as well

It helps to provide insights into sales forecasts, business needs, and product sales. To keep production cost low, organizations can gather and examine data to make sure they create attires that consumers want to purchase.

Cloud Computing

In the apparel industry, with cloud computing “production planning, raw material management, valuation, handling of the orders, sampling, monitoring the production of the order and the final delivery of the products can be accessed anywhere and at any time”

When an organization is adopting the technologies, one of the critical aspects is to be more flexible and availability of resources on demand. This benefit can be achieved if the organisation is emphasizing on cloud computing principle.

Breaking the traditional system by utilizing cloud computing system is much needed to be faster, resourceful to rationalize decision making.

Blockchain Technology

The usage of blockchain technology is changing the apparel industry by providing new and multiple ways of implementing transparency in the supply chain. Using blockchain, a tag or chip is inserted into a product that can store all the relevant data about the product. As soon as the origin of data is added, it gets secured at the very moment with the help of blockchain technology.

Major benefits of blockchain technology in apparel industries include

1. Inventory traceability scalability for even single piece

  • Possible Identification of forged products (Through ledger buyer can identify where, when, what)

  • Inventory accuracy for better management and cost control (For example, excess stock, ideal stock)

2. Incorporation of all legal documents towards specific ledger transaction for faster and secured turnaround time (For example, Custom clearance)

Improved technologies for manufacturing

New technologies have enabled the apparel industry to move from labour-intensive production to capital-intensive production. Its other outcomes include faster production, less waste, precision and high level of efficiency.

Media Industry Overview

Media Industry is in a transformation phase as both old and new keeps on existing together. Interactivity, digitization, various stages, different gadgets, and globalization of services based landscape has renovated the media vertical in the course of the most recent decade.

The Media industry has various segments that consolidate into one vertical; Print media, Publishing, Radio, Internet, and Advertising. Also, trends and drivers of this segment differ across sub-segments, geographies, and consumer segments. This makes the vertical exceptional, leading to fulfilling to the increase in demand for information and entertainment worldwide.

Future Trends in Media Industry

Multi-channel experience

Numerous individuals today don’t rely on one media stage for their media needs any longer. Individuals get to the media from their work areas, telephones, TVs, and who recognize what else. Most media organizations today are continually dynamic via web-based networking media. Main platforms like websites or TV channels may exist but access to their information is also greatly used through social media; in fact, some companies utilize this to engage the audience more in trying to get more interaction. Hence, media companies should not limit themselves to only one channel but utilize all your opportunities.

Customized content

Digital transformation and advancements have allowed the production of greater analytics and data. Most news sites today can customize their content, where users are allowed to choose the ones they prefer and would like to see. More accurate analytics and customization have changed how viewers receive to get their data intake 

Gen Z and Millennials are willing to pay for personalization. With the help of AI and machine learning, more niche correspondence, and customized content geared to specific audiences.

Virtual and augmented reality

VR and AR are turning into a major trend in the media landscape today. Most media platforms today can view via 360 or even to take part in interactive sessions by virtual reality wearables. This is particularly obvious inside the gaming business where many are hoping to make a more life-like experience. This can also be possible in news, whereas a reader, can visualize actual scene emotions while seating at your home couch.

The demand for data privacy tools

As more and more digital information will be passed on and more and more consumer behavior data will be captured, it becomes prime responsibility of organizations to protect the consumer data with state-of-the-art technology which is aligned with respective privacy law of the states.

The industrialization of the media industry

The media industry will see Merger /Acquisition of small media by big brands to have competitive offerings to consumers whereas, the merger of two or bigger brands will be seen to have a competitive advantage while bringing diversification in their product/service portfolio.


Digital transformation will not be an option for organizations but a strategic component in their strategic framework. The industry/company that is not focused on digitization as part of their core strategy will no longer be in business or vanish completely.


Yesha Makhija– Business Analyst, who has pursued her Masters in Management & has good amount experience in J.Hirani, dealing with manufacturing industries. She is a resourceful person who chills at work and later run on toes to get her work done, proving her strong ability to work under stress. Her curiosity to learn new things helped her grow better. Want to have a coffee, you have a partner.


Parth Hirani is leading a strategic advisory practice at J.Hirani & has helped various organizations align strategies across continents. A social & collaborative sapien by nature.  He enjoys being a full time “dreamer” & loves challenging “possibilities”. 

Success mantra- “We believe it’s possible; while maintaining flexibility on “How” we are “Rigid” on our “Goals”

About J.hirani: J.hirani is a Strategic Transformation team which works as a growth partner for different organisations in various industries by providing services like Agile transformation, Scenario mapping, Strategic alignment, Balance scorecard, Digital transformation, Incubating new ventures, Operation excellence and Aligning human capital.

©J.Hirani, Digital Transformation in fashion retail, apparel manufacturing, and the media industry, October 2020. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leadership Skills and its impact on organizational control

Leadership Skills and its impact on organizational control

The role of leadership in an organisation is important in terms of creating

Disruption in Sectors Due to COVID-19

Disruption in Sectors Due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread at an alarming pace, infecting millions of