Burberry is making its latest collection available for purchase immediately after its appearance on the runway at London’s Fashion Week earlier this week, and the brand is using chatbots to make it easier for consumers to purchase those items right away, according to a Wired report.
The brand is using a Facebook Messenger chatbot that allows consumers to watch its runway shows at this week’s London Fashion Week, browse images of the newly released apparel and even ask to interact with a human to make purchases.
Burberry is just the latest, and one of the largest, fashion retailers to jump on board the “see now, buy now” trend that is sweeping the industry, as brands like Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger — which all employed similar campaigns at New York Fashion Week earlier this month — try to keep pace with fast-fashion brands that have been eating into their market share thanks to their ability to quickly produce knockoff designs of the latest fashion trends.
Burberry’s bot can also give consumers information about the latest collection, but purchases are made through the Burberry website and not the bot, according to VentureBeat.
“All of a sudden, the brands are realizing: We don’t have to wait for an editor to anoint this item as a bestseller,” Shawn Grain Carter, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, told Wired. “If they can whet consumers’ appetites and get them to buy now, that’s brilliant. The key is to manufacture quickly enough.”
Manufacturing could be a hurdle that luxury brands will face as they shift toward the “see now, buy now” trend, as these types of goods take longer to produce and cost much more than their fast-fashion competitors.