E-retailers have been trying several ways to get people to visualize how clothes they order online really look — sites have models displaying clothes in all manner of poses and angles, and the high-resolution shots allow for some pretty impressive zooms. But the Future Group has taken things a notch further by livestreaming a whole fashion show during which viewers could buy the clothes on display in real time.
fbb, the fashion brand of the Future Group, which has been working on experimental designs and natural fabrics, has conducted an fashion show which it called Watch Now, Buy Now. The event was live-streamed on its site, and models walked the ramp showing off fbb’s latest collection. But users sitting at home also saw little widgets on the side of the screen showing the clothes being displayed along with their prices — clicking on these widgets immediately added the clothes to their cart. They could then pick their sizes, check out their carts, and instantly buy those clothes online.
It’s not an original idea — in December, Alibaba had tied up with Victoria’s Secret to conduct a similar show in China, and Future Group founder Kishore Biyani has been vocal about how he admires the way Alibaba is bridging the gap between the offline and online worlds. He’s promptly brought the concept to India, and judging by the reactions on Twitter, it does seem to have created a bit of a buzz. fbb had tied up with celebrities including Malaika Arora and Kartik Aaryan, and their star presence helped turn the event into a spectacle that people wanted to watch. And unlike other fashion shows which feature outlandish dresses, models wore fbb’s own range, and viewers could immediately go online and order the clothes they liked.
It’s a pretty clever idea, and one that plays into Kishore Biyani’s plans of merging the best of online and offline worlds as he looks to chart the Future Group’s next steps. Biyani has already announced a plan called Retail 3.0, through which he’ll set up 10,000 members-only stores across India. Customers will pay an annual fee for using these stores, and will be eligible for exclusive discounts and offers. They will also be able to place orders to their nearest store through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and the Future Group said it’ll use machine learning and AI to help run its operations.
That might well be what the future of retail looks like, and Future Group’s live-streamed fashion show could be what the future of fashion shows looks like. At their core, fashion shows are meant to get their viewers to buy the clothes on display. Until now, that required watching a show on TV or the internet, physically visiting the brand’s store, and then finally placing an order. With technology, viewers can buy whatever catches their fancy right from the comfort of their drawing rooms. The lines between offline and online are blurring, and Indian companies are showing that they’re willing to be at the forefront of how things are changing.