Technology Takes Online Shopping to the Top

Consumers have always been hesitant to buy clothes online that they can’t try on or see in person. But in recent months, online apparel sales have continued to grow at a rapid rate — outpacing even the online computer and software industries.

This isn’t all that surprising. I certainly buy more things online than I did three years ago. But I can’t say that I am any more comfortable with the idea of buying apparel online today — after all, I still have to take a leap of faith when deciding to purchase something that I’ve never actually seen. So what’s driving the trend? Rapidly evolving technology is making online shopping more and more appealing.

In the past, retailers had to focus on making secure shopping sites that worked, and the shopping experience remained limited to photos and simple product descriptions. These days, technology incorporates photos, videos, and even audio into interactive and flashy platforms — all of which look to reduce the information asymmetry between buyer and seller and better convey a company’s brand and culture. Virtual runways, online showrooms, and dynamic product pictures help make the shopping process fun, personal, and reliable.
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