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What Fashion’s E-Commerce and Tech Professionals Need to Know Today

BoF Careers provides essential sector insights for fashion’s e-commerce and technology professionals this month, to help you decode fashion’s creative and commercial landscape.
Fashion e-commerce professionals at work.
Fashion e-commerce professionals at work. (Pexels)

Discover the most relevant industry news and insights for fashion’s e-commerce and technology professionals, updated each month to enable you to excel in job interviews, promotion conversations or perform better in the workplace by increasing your market awareness and emulating market leaders.

BoF Careers distils business intelligence from across the breadth of our content — editorial briefings, newsletters, case studies, podcasts and events — to deliver key takeaways and learnings tailored to your job function, listed alongside a selection of the most exciting live jobs advertised by BoF Careers partners.

Key articles and need-to-know insights for e-commerce and technology professionals today:

1. Retailers Beware. ‘Tis the Season for Cyberattacks.

The end-of-year shopping rush is prime time for cyber attackers targeting businesses and their customers. While costs related to these attacks keep growing, there are steps companies can take to defend themselves.

Retailers aren’t the only ones looking to profit off the holidays. The end-of-year shopping rush is prime time for cyber attackers targeting shoppers and businesses, too. The flood of marketing messages landing in busy and distracted shoppers’ inboxes is the perfect cover to try and get someone to click the wrong link or send over their information, as are the customer inquiries and complaints that inundate businesses.

Those attacks are getting more expensive. In a new report that surveyed 600 C-suite and IT budget holders from large organisations in the US and UK, S-RM found the average cost of an incident grew 11 percent in 2023 compared to last year, reaching $1.7 million. [...] And the attacks aren’t only becoming more costly. As more shopping happens online and retailers collect more data, they’re increasing.

Related Jobs:

IT Support Analyst, Burberry — London, United Kingdom

Backend Software Engineer, On — Berlin, Germany

Information Security Senior Manager, Tory Burch — New York, United States

2. Google Is Rolling Out New Generative AI Shopping Features for the Holidays

A stylized image with different examples of Google's generative fashion search.

Google has announced three different tools aimed at helping online shoppers with purchases. One uses AI to suggest gift ideas tailored to the user’s query, in case they’re stumped on what to get a child who wants to be a scientist or an adult who is obsessed with knitting. Another lets users generate photorealistic variations of items they would like to see — say a metallic puffer jacket or leopard-print hoodie — and then finds the real products in Google’s shopping ecosystem that offer the closest match.

Lastly, the company is extending its virtual try-on feature, which uses AI to depict how an item will appear on a range of different models, to men’s tops after introducing the technology on women’s tops in June. Lilian Rincon, senior director of consumer shopping at Google, said the women’s virtual try-on has been well-received by customers so far and that products offering the feature see 30 percent more of what the company calls “high-quality interactions” than products without it.

Related Jobs:

IT Coordinator, JW Anderson — London, United Kingdom

IT Business Partner Intern, Moncler — Italy

IT & Data Science Internship, Tapestry — New York, United States

3. How Social Media Turned Athletes Into Fashion Marketing Machines

Platforms like Instagram let sports stars connect with fans in ways they couldn’t previously, while helping to make fashion a vital element of an athlete’s image and branding.

To get a snapshot of fashion’s sports-marketing playbook in 2023, start with the tie-up between Louis Vuitton and LeBron James. The NBA star recently became a new face of the brand, appearing in a campaign that popped up on billboards in New York on Oct. 24. But it was James’ entry into Denver’s Ball Arena that night for his team’s season opener that caused the bigger stir. For the walk from the parking lot to the locker room he wore a reported $28,000 of Louis Vuitton designed by its new menswear chief, Pharrell [Williams].

In a collaborative post, James and Pharrell shared an image of the moment on Instagram. Louis Vuitton, on its official account, instead of using the glossy campaign image also posted a shot of James’ arrival. As detailed in BoF’s latest case study, fashion has fully woken up to sport’s massive marketing potential. By 2030, the global sport-sponsorship market is expected to reach $109.1 billion, up from $63.1 billion in 2021, according to PwC.

Related Jobs:

Junior Digital Marketing Manager, Cutler & Gross — London, United Kingdom

E-Commerce & Digital Manager, Dover Street Market — Paris, France

Social Media & Digital Manager, Amiri — Los Angeles, United States

4. Millions of Luxury Products Now Come With Unique Digital Passports. Here’s What That Means.

A hand holds a phone over a QR code attached to a leather card peeking out of a Mugler handbag.

Mugler’s bags are getting a digital update. In November, the French luxury brand announced its Spiral Curve 01 and 02 handbags will come equipped with their own digital product passports, or DPPs. Buyers can scan a QR tag inside and enter a code located within the bag to access a unique online profile giving them information about the life of the bag, such as details on its composition and manufacture; a digital twin of the physical product; and access to exclusive offers and services, like early entry to private sales.

Over the past few years, fashion companies had already begun to explore the potential value in giving digital IDs to their physical goods, viewing them as a way to let customers authenticate products, transfer ownership and access an array of services like resale and repair. The impending EU rules have accelerated those efforts and created a sense of urgency as brands start thinking about how to make sure they’re in compliance. But for all the brands that want to get their hands on these materials, sourcing them remains a mostly analog process that’s time-consuming and difficult to do at scale.

Related Jobs:

E-Commerce Marketplaces Executive, Strathberry — London, United Kingdom

Digital Manager, Coach — New York, United States

E-Commerce Assistant, Swim USA — Pen Argyl, United States

5. A New Start-Up Wants to Take the Guessing Out of Resale. Can It Work?

Croissant resale app interface.

Croissant is a financial-technology company that connects retail to resale on a single platform. As of November, customers can download the Croissant Chrome extension, and when they browse select brands or retailers — including Reformation, Ssense and Nike — they’ll be able to see a “guaranteed buyback” value for each product. That guaranteed value is what Croissant will pay to buy back the piece within a certain time frame, typically a year.

The unit economics of online resale, however, are notoriously difficult. Giants in the space such as The RealReal and ThredUp still struggle to turn a profit. By working with merchants as well as customers, Croissant is hoping to snag a large piece of the market by offering an attractive payout and a painless process, while introducing a new model of resale.

Related Jobs:

Digital Trading Specialist, Flannels — London, United Kingdom

Global Digital Sales Innovation Manager, Hugo Boss — Germany

IT Digital Specialist, Tiffany & Co. — Seoul, South Korea

A model wears a black blazer with a clear vinyl overlay.

6. Revolve Is Selling Clothes Designed by AI

When Revolve and Maison Meta, an AI-centric creative agency, teamed up for the first AI Fashion Week in April, the promise was always that the online retailer would turn garments from the top three collections into physical products and sell them. That first drop is here. The initial release includes 10 to 12 pieces from each of the winners, ranging from a $1,598 pleated taffeta dress to a $228 one-shouldered top, all designed with generative artificial intelligence and manufactured by Revolve.

Some of the items are fairly traditional as clothing goes, such as a red miniskirt or pistachio-coloured leather trenchcoat. Others show off AI’s disregard for standard clothing construction, like a sequinned navy “top” with hand-engulfing satin sleeves and a bolero-esque shape that looks like it would only keep the wearer’s chest covered in a digital world with no wind or movement. [Despite its flaws, however,] the technology’s ability to quickly generate high-quality imagery, makes design one of the applications where it could have the greatest impact.

Related Jobs:

Senior E-Commerce Manager, Ermenegildo Zegna Group — New York, United Kingdom

Online Merchandiser, Chalhoub Group — Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Senior Digital Technology Analyst, Ralph Lauren — Bangalore, India

An iPhone with the Nona Source site open is displayed next to a hand touching a red mesh fabric.

7. Can Technology Build a Better Market for Fashion’s Unused Fabrics?

Over the past several years, there’s been a flourishing movement of brands from Reformation to Marine Serre buying up deadstock fabrics unused by others and turning them into collections and sales of their own. But for all the brands that want to get their hands on these materials, sourcing them remains a mostly analogue process that’s time-consuming and difficult to do at scale.

Brands often need direct relationships with other designers or mills to get information about their overstock. Or they can turn to jobbers who specialise in selling surplus fabrics and odd lots. Some resort to more hands-on methods. Digital platforms such as New York-based Queen of Raw and Nona Source, an in-house project from LVMH, are pitching technology as a solution.

Related Jobs:

CRM / Email Marketing Assistant, Deckers Brands — Munich, Germany

IT Business Technology Specialist, PVH — Milan, Italy

Digital Data Analytics Senior Manager, Gap Inc. — Groveport, United States

8. H&M Group’s New AI Tool Lets Anyone Play Designer

A sweatshirt design made in Creator Studio featuring an AI-generated logo resembling Louis Vuitton's with the luxury brand's monogram as the background.

Generative artificial intelligence makes it possible for you to conjure up images ranging from the photorealistic to the fantastical, regardless of your artistic ability. Now, the parent company of H&M wants to help you slap those images on a T-shirt.

H&M Group’s Creator Studio [recently] announced a new tool for generating designs powered by Stable Diffusion, an open-source generative-AI model. Like other AI image generators, it can produce imagery from written prompts, theoretically allowing anyone to conjure professional-looking designs without needing to know specialised software or have any drawing ability.

Related Jobs:

IT Coordinator, Maison Margiela — Paris, France

Senior Email Marketing Coder, Calvin Klein — New York, United States

CRM Technology Manager, Chico’s — Fort Myers, United States

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