Where Fashion Wholesale Meets AI

April 10, 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was once solely the domain of futurists and forward-thinkers. Today, however, AI is deeply embedded in our everyday activities and interactions. In the first quarter of 2023, the global AI market is valued at $142.3 billion and rising. The finance, health care, and telecom sectors lead the way when it comes to adoption, but other industries aren’t far behind. Including the fashion industry. 

That may seem counter-intuitive, after all, fashion is a physical industry at its core. Clothing is designed and worn and enjoyed by real people occupying the real world. That doesn’t mean, however, that the sector can’t also take advantage of the exciting possibilities offered by ever-evolving AI capabilities. In fact, it already does.

AI and Fashion Wholesale

ChatGPT uses natural language processing to respond to questions and inbuilt machine learning to improve its accuracy and relevance over time. Beyond providing superior chatbots for customer support, ChatGPT could be used to create product descriptions and descriptive content for sales, marketing and web promotional purposes. Helpfully, ChatGPT also has the capacity to translate its responses into multiple languages, a necessity in the increasingly interconnected fashion world.

The capabilities of visual generative AI might be even more germane to the fashion industry. With models like Open AI’s Dall E 2, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion brands can generate images from text prompts, a potential game-changer for the design process. Designers will be able to assimilate and extrapolate from past collections and produce realistic 3D models from sketches. And the effect goes beyond the design of individual pieces: visual AI will be able to iterate plans for optimal store and warehouse efficiency. 

Predictive modeling may be a less spectacular form of AI, but it is no less transformative to the wholesale fashion sector. The use cases are endless, from sales and trend forecasting through inventory allocation to supply chain monitoring and management. Real-time analytics combined with generative AI will allow for truly dynamic decision-making.

Looking Ahead

Still in its infancy, generative AI isn’t without flaws. Since it learns from and synthesizes previous published information, it can also synthesize misinformation. Be sure to fact check all your content for accuracy, and extremely new brands should first begin by publishing the kind of original information they want to work from in the future. And like all computer programs, generative AI can be limited by human biases.

But we’re in the very early days at the moment. A recent McKinsey article predicts that within three to five years, generative AI has the potential to add $150-$275 billion to the fashion sector’s operating profits, and will be entwined with every facet of the industry, from supply chain logistics to store planning optimization, from marketing to customer service. Creating efficiencies and leveraging data to increase accuracy are all streamlining efforts that—like adoption of technologies like JOOR—reduce or eliminate otherwise time consuming tasks, a practice that ultimately lets fashion teams do their jobs even better.

The advance of AI is no longer simply about automating routine tasks. Instead, it’s about augmenting every part of the transactional experience for producers and consumers alike. Generative AI models are part of the whole suite of AI tools that give the wholesale fashion industry back the time and energy to do the creative work only humans can do. 

When you’re ready to transform your fashion wholesale business, request a demo! 

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