Every week, The Interline rounds up the most vital talking points from across the landscape of fashion technology news. This roundup is also delivered to Interline Insiders by email.

As we approach the 2020 holidays, the final few of these roundups will be shorter than usual, capturing a blend of our own content from the week and select news items from elsewhere. Detailed roundups will resume in 2021.

3D and Digital Product Creation get benchmarked.

This coming Tuesday, 8th December, The Interline will be hosting a briefing and panel discussion, in partnership with Kalypso and the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Center for Education and Research in Retail, where we’ll be analysing the results of the 5th Annual Digital Product Creation maturity survey, followed by a panel discussion with a group of industry leaders.

The event is free to attend, and registration is open until Tuesday morning. For any readers who cannot join, The Interline will be running a written editorial debrief of the survey findings in early January.

In a year where interest in 3D and digital product creation – not to mention product visualisation for eCommerce, which has been covered twice this week on The Interline – has reached a fever pitch, it will be interesting to see how far that enthusiasm has translated into action.

Technology investment and integration remains a major focus for fashion.

This week saw some sweeping changes at a major luxury group, as it was announced that an overhaul to LVMH’s digital house was in progress, including an acceleration of efforts to bring all the brands under its umbrella into a shared technology ecosystem.

This is interesting for two reasons. First: it underlines just how important technology is to the future of one of fashion’s most prominent luxury houses. In a time of crisis, investments tend to be pared back to the bare essentials, and this story is further evidence that technology has reached the stage where it’s considered mission-critical.

Secondly, it represents something of a U-turn for a luxury group – the second in recent memory. A decade ago, there was a similar mandate in place for brands beneath most of the corporate umbrellas to all use the same technologies. This led, purely anecdotally, to some luxury brands feeling as though they were being forced to use solutions that did not fit their unique and idiosyncratic ways of working. This rule was subsequently relaxed, and different brands began choosing their own solutions – both inside and outside the core enterprise combination of ERP and PLM.

This week’s news looks as though the opposite is now happening, but with a key difference. Rather than simply forcing their brands to all use the same solutions as a point of commercial consolidation, LVMH appears to be building a single, cohesive, group-wide technology ecosystem in the name of efficiency and interoperability. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, since a single technology deal with a luxury group could now become a multi-brand project in very short order, which is destined to translate into far greater competition between technology vendors.

Holiday spending hits new record; eCommerce seizes a significant share.

Cyber Monday 2020 is now officially the biggest shopping event in American history, with a record $10 billion spent – at least $5 billion of which was spent via Shopify merchants. Clearly the appetite for spending has not decreased despite the intermediate-term economic outlook being fairly dire in most countries. And equally obvious is the need for all DTC brands and retailers to be able to sell efficiently through digital channels – whether they’re self-owned, eTailers, or marketplaces.

It does not seem as though causation has been broken completely this week, though, since the UK’s gloomy economic forecast and just-ended second lockdown led to a 16% year on year drop in Black Friday spending.

And while this week has also provided some incredibly promising news for a return to something like normality in 2021 – the roll-out of vaccines in the UK from next week – ongoing uncertainty around the fate of the high street has left little doubt that web and social commerce channels have a dominant place in the future.

And the best from The Interline this week.

This week, our editorial focus on eCommerce included the following:

  • Our exclusive collaboration with Substance by Adobe, where we examine the importance of virtual photography as not just a solution to the current challenges facing commercial photoshoots, but as a prompt for brands and retailers to think in more detail about their digital assets.
  • An exclusive op-ed from FNX Technologies, which followed a similar angle and looked at what it means to create and use 3D assets at scale – something that the explosion of eCommerce this year and next is going to demand.
  • Our interview with Ashley McDonnell, Global Luxury Account Manager at Google, where we discuss how 2020 has affected the luxury sector, and what the longer-term implications are for its transition to digital.

Next week we have another exclusive collaboration, a guest op-ed, and more.