THE HIGH STREET HARNESSES AI

News by Maddy Coffey

High street brands such as River Island and H&M have started to incorporate artificial intelligence into their business models in order to enhance customer satisfaction and increase sales.

River Island has partnered up with retail intelligence platform Nextail to roll out AI technology across its global network of 343 stores. Having already modernised its IT and data infrastructures through embracing cloud technology, River Island will now use Nextail’s software to tailor its stock further, mirroring changes in demand more accurately.

“The main return on investment of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and automation is not about cost savings, it is more about enabling River Island to be an agile organisation that is able to adapt rapidly,” said River Island CIO, Doug Gardener.

Working with Berlin-based startup, ZyseMe, H&M has employed the help of algorithms and AI to test its online tailoring feature. The new project, Just.Perfect, which has been trialled exclusively in Germany since January, allows customers to buy men’s fitted white shirts from the comfort of their own home. Customers simply need to enter information such as height, weight, size and shoe size into the H&M app and await their delivery.

Overcoming the need for timeconsuming measurements usually associated with tailoring, this project enhances accessibility of tailoring to customers – a point made by Bobby Östberg, founder and chief executive of ZyseMe.

As well as enhancing accessibility and personalization, River Island and H&M’s harnessing of such technologies also furthers sustainability – producing specifically according to consumer demand in order to minimise returns and use of resources. As the spotlight on the fashion industry and its cost to our world’s resources prevails, I wonder what tech-fashion partnerships are yet to come.

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