philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Virtual reality shopping, AI store assistants, branded online avatars and apps aplenty –what the 5G revolution means for luxury fashion

590e1360-2208-11ea-acfb-1fd6c5cf20a4_image_hires_1714075G is likely to have an impact on a few fashion industry fronts: supply chain connectivity, retail operations, service and sales executions. It is also poised to affect the level of creativity and innovation brands incorporate into their engagement with consumers.

A good example of how 5G will influence business capabilities, from consumer transaction through to delivery, is the 2019 “Singles’ Day” event held by Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post. In the first 24 hours, it took US$38 billion in sales.

Its use of AI greatly increased the speed and efficiency of processing sales orders and transactions to 540,000 transactions per second. This sales level generated 2.8 billion parcels which were distributed across China.

At store level, Hong Kong-based consumer goods supply chain group Fung Retailing has stated its ambition to speed up transaction times using technology that will be enhanced by 5G. The company has collaborated with China’s largest online retailer in launching Hong Kong’s first AI-powered checkout service at a physical retail store. Sabrina Fung, managing director of Fung Retailing, says, “We are trying to prototype a process to shorten checkout time to 4.5 seconds, and where your face is linked to your WeChat Pay or Alipay account. When you walk into the store, as soon as it recognises you, that is the payment mechanism.”

Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s creative director, said at the time, “Selecting the video game avatar as a spokesperson for LV was a natural thing for our world, where social networks and communications are now seamlessly woven into our lives.”

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