Fashion Magazine, the Italian trade magazine that like Sportswear International is part of the DFV Group, and Netcomm, a digital retail and e-commerce consultant, recently organized the second yearly edition of the “Netcomm Focus Fashion & Lifestyle” convention in Milan. 

The event gathered together international fashion, beauty and design insiders and digital business experts discussing the newest trends and most recent scenarios of the ongoing digital transformation. Among the speakers were top managers from luxury brands including Style Capital, L’Autre Chose, Pinko, Patrizia Pepe, Gilmar Group, Triumph International, L’Oreal and retailer and entrepreneur Claudio Antonioli. Also digital specialists and IT companies participated in the intense working day. Among them were speakers from Keros Digital, Google Italia, Astound Commerce, Get-Connected, SAP and Privalia. Moderating and interviewing experts was Marc Sondermann, CEO and editor-in-chief, Fashion Magazine.

From left: Marc Sondermann (Fashion Magazine) and Roberto Liscia (Netcomm)
Photo: Netcomm
From left: Marc Sondermann (Fashion Magazine) and Roberto Liscia (Netcomm)

A world of e-shoppers

According to a survey carried ahead by Netcomm, worldwide e-shoppers are about 2 billion now and may grow to 2.5 billion by 2022. “Online purchases counted for US$2,300 billion in 2017, of which 262 billion were for luxury products,” explained Roberto Lisci, president, Netcomm. “Online purchasers are unstoppably growing and more than half of those buying through this channel buy lifestyle products, with China counting to be the most important online market as from this country bought more than US$176,000 million in 2017.”


How Italian companies must evolve

When Italian companies try to approach the global digital consumer and Millennials it is always more difficult for them to adapt to the huge ongoing digital revolution, pointed out Sondermann. “An epoch challenge is now opening up. In fact finance is entering this sector for supporting many companies willing to digitalize themselves and better face the modern market evolution,” he said. “Italian entrepreneurs are requested to change their skin, digitally update and cable their systems. They have to educate new generations and involve managers–especially as many companies are family run. As a great majority are small and medium size, they have to be able and reach higher turnovers than their €100 million to €150 million ones.”


Technology helps

Much help for companies also comes from technology. Many speakers pointed this out throughout the convention.

Most interesting were some of the technological advancements carried ahead by Google, as explained by Alessandra Domizi, industry head of retail and fashion at Google Italia. “Digital technology can help us paying by simply touching a device’s screen. Thanks to our Google Assistant and other technology, customers can be served and satisfied, but a player can also be helped in predicting and finding what consumers need,” she explained while presenting services that already exist such as Zalando’s newly introduced Gift Finder, as well as presenting some new trends in digital shopping today.

Alessandra Domizi, Google Italia
Photo: Netcomm
Alessandra Domizi, Google Italia

Among them, there is a customized offer service by Swedish brand Ivy Redel’s Coded Couture. Ivy Redel and Google have developed a technology that allows them to create one-of-a-kind designs based on each single consumer life. By installing its app on their phone a week of a consumer’s life is translated into a unique design that can complete a piece of clothing carrying elements and designs tied to a consumer’s unique personal story.

Similarly, thanks to 3D printing systems and another special app that collects personal data it is possible to create customized sneakers in about two weeks. “Collecting data is not a problem. How to use and capitalize them is what counts,” commented Domizi. and Google have also collaborated for “The most exclusive Collection” multi-awarded initiative. Customers could order a unique piece on for 15 seconds only, the time they could watch a YouTube video presenting a special item sold through that platform. When the video was over also the link for buying that piece expired.


Shazam goes shopping

The launch of Google Lens can be compared with the birth of the Shazam of shopping and fashion. Thanks to this special service connected with Google Photo, any user can scan a piece of clothing, a photo or a detail and try to find the same or similar products to be bought online.

Other similar services already exist. Among them there is Ralph Lauren Digital Dressing Room that, thanks to RFID technology attached to the garment, the customer can learn if alternative sizes, colors and variants of that piece are available in-store or online. Moreover, inside the changing room lighting can be altered to see how that piece could look like in different light conditions.

Another cool collaboration between Google and YouTube is “We Wear Culture–Google Arts & Culture.” This Google service provides 360° videos that present, for instance, iconic personalities, key fashion pieces and style movements analyzing how they were born and how they have evolved until now. It shows that technology is not only about pushing future ahead, but understanding more of the past and how it can drive