Kera Bussey–Sims ’18

Project Title: Brick and Mortar Retail, Online Shopping and Everything in Between: How Technology Is Being Integrated into the Fashion Industry
Mentor: Glenn Bryan

Background Information

  • In this digital age, technology is being integrated into every aspect of human life. My goal was to learn more about the various ways that technological advancements have changed, and will continue to change, the way people shop for clothing. I chose to research the technological integration from the perspective of an original brick-and-mortar establishment (Nordstrom) as well as the perspective of an online retailer (Amazon Fashion). Studying Nordstrom’s strategies provided me with information on how physical stores are utilizing technological advancements to provide their customer with the best, most modern service that a brick-and-mortar can offer. Studying Amazon’s strategies provided me with information on how an online retail giant, mainly known for tech, books and household items, plans to target a new, fashion market.
  • Applying my knowledge of business practices, supply chain methods and marketing, in addition to hands-on experience gained during my trip to Seattle, Washington, I have written a research paper that summarizes different technologies that are changing the shopping experience in-store and online.

Methods

  • Small Independent Project: I traveled to Seattle, Washington for three days during which I conducted interviews with four Fashion Forecasters at the Nordstrom Fashion Office and conducted an interview with a Senior Product Manager of Echolook at the Amazon Headquarters. The goal of this trip was to jump start my learning of/get hands-on experience with the various ways that technology is being integrated into the fashion industry.
  • Independent Research: This semester, I have conducted my own research with the guidance of Dr. Glenn Bryan. This has included database research as well as reading academic journals and additional online resources.

Results

  • From the research conducted, I have found that both online and brick-and-mortar retailers are shifting towards an omni-channel (integration of online, social media, in-store and mobile) approach by implementing new technologies such as RFID tagging, digital fitting rooms and subscription boxes.