Interview written by Rebecca Cringan
For the most part it’s about keeping pace with today’s consumer, a consumer with an attention span of maybe two or three months rather than years, as in the past.
There are literally billions of online digital devices out there today.
Even if the consumer is planning on going to a bricks-and-mortar
store, they almost always browse online first,” says Alf Dagsvold, founder of
the Norwegian company ItsMeSee, an interactive 3-D browsing platform for consumer fashion. “To survive, the wholesaler and retailer have to take this
into consideration. It is not enough to have an online presence. It has to be much more consumer-centric and use the digital possibilities with all their potential.”
It seems a digital footprint is the only way to accurately ensure longevity
for your brand. “Ten years ago, advertising had much stronger channels
to the consumer than today,” continues Dagsvold. “Advertisements in
magazines, on TV, and the Internet were largely unavoidable for the
consumer. It is not so anymore as you can record programs and let the TV
filter off all commercials before seeing them, and there is also streaming
with no commercials at all. Pop-ups and ads can easily be blocked in
browsers. Reach and impressions used to define how well an advertisement was going and how many eyeballs it got. Over the last few years this has
changed drastically. Now it is about how much the consumer engages with
the product that defines the success of marketing. Product presentation, in useful, engaging tools, where the consumer has all the control, is the only
way to be around the next 10 years.”
To this end, Dagsvold and his team put consumers in the central, primary
position, allowing them to virtually try on any combination of apparel for look and fit. The combination of technology used makes the system smooth and user-friendly. “The digital representation with exact individual body shape
and measurements creates a highly personal experience,” says Dagsvold. “This gives consumers an opportunity to freely create their own looks but also the option of receiving automatic styling suggestions from an evolving, adaptive system.”
Brands working within the system have a prototype showroom that allows
them to see how consumers are engaging with their wares. Once that’s
determined, they can move the product to the Web store. “What we offer
is the opportunity to test products before starting large, costly production.
Plus, they then have a captured audience waiting,” says Dagsvold. “Regardless of how good products are, getting to market is often extremely challenging
for someone just starting up. There are buyers, wholesale agents, and store owners who are basically gatekeepers to existing infrastructure. Unless the
emerging designer is already quite wealthy, it can take years and years to reach a broad audience. A personal Web store is often not a very good option as it is very difficult, time-consuming, and costly to generate traffic. We want to
offer talent a real opportunity to prosper, without large upfront investment.”
It all comes back to Matthew Klein’s cloud-based PLM: “A digital footprint,”
he says, “if you’re not doing it, guaranteed your competition is.”
We are seeking fashion brands for our Pilot project.
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