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

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. Is Fashion’s NFT Dream Over Before It Started?

A digital version of a short sleeved, camp collar Prada shirt made from panels of denim in different washes put together.

For fashion brands, one of the more alluring prospects of NFTs is how they could hypothetically let brands collect royalties — in perpetuity — on secondary sales of their physical goods. At its core, an NFT is just code on a blockchain, and creators can encode their NFTs with self-executing programs, called smart contracts, that are triggered by certain conditions. For example, a brand could sell a physical item linked to an NFT, and anytime the item was resold and its NFT transferred to a new owner, the NFT would kick a slice of the sale value — say 5 percent — back to the brand.

But technical loopholes that allow people to circumvent royalties have left creators unable to enforce them with code alone. They need the marketplaces where the NFTs are sold to step in. In the past they’ve typically honoured royalties, but the recent downturn in NFT trading has left existing and emerging marketplaces competing for what customers there still are. To attract collectors looking for the best prices and lowest fees, more are saying they won’t enforce royalties and will leave it to buyers to decide if they want to pay them.

Related Jobs:

Lead Creative Technologist, Burberry — London, United Kingdom

Digital Product Designer, Tommy Hilfiger — Amsterdam, Netherlands

Digital Collection Manager, Hugo Boss — Stuttgart, Germany

2. How Virtual Sampling Went Mainstream

Three realistic 3D images of Timberland boots are lined up against a beige background.

3D design and virtual sampling have been steadily catching hold in fashion after a long period of companies talking about the technology but few fully adopting it. More brands are now embracing it or expanding its use to speed up their processes, cut costs and burnish their sustainability credentials.

These digital prototypes don’t replace physical ones entirely — designers do still generally need to handle some tangible representation of an item before sending it into production. The technology has made more inroads in categories like footwear than in luxury fashion, where brands want to see how a gown will drape and move on a real person before putting it into production. There are other challenges, like training or hiring staff [or] the cultural change necessary to integrate it into the way a company operates. But indications are that virtual sampling will only become more common across the board.

Related Jobs:

Product Designer Ethical E-Commerce, Wolf & Badger — London, United Kingdom (Flexible Hybrid)

3D Technical Product Owner, PVH — Amsterdam, Netherlands

Digital Designer International, Tory Burch — New York, United States

3. The BoF Podcast | Nick Knight on Why the Metaverse Is Fashion’s Next Frontier

Nick Knight NFTs

Nick Knight has recently launched ikon-1 NFTs in collaboration with model and creator Jazzelle. By creating digital renders, which act as collectable works of art, Knight believes fashion creativity can shift to this new medium.

The metaverse will require new ways of working rather than developing existing methods of image creation in the physical world. “I think we are re-learning a whole bunch of things which you can’t just take exactly what we do in the real world,” he says. “And that is not necessarily the best thing to do in a space, which is a virtual space [where] so many more things are possible.”

Related Jobs:

CXO Program Manager, Calvin Klein — Amsterdam, Netherlands

E-Commerce Director, Mac Duggal — Burr Ridge, United States

Digital Marketing Assistant Manager, Kering — Tokyo, Japan

4. Nike Is Launching Its First Big Web3 Project

A mobile phone shows a black screen with white text that reads, ".Swoosh is the home for Nike's virtual collections. Join us."

In November, Nike announced the launch of .Swoosh, a platform for Nike’s customers to learn about web3, collect virtual products like sneakers or jerseys and, eventually, help to co-create them — even potentially earning royalties on their sales. Visitors with an access code given out to select Nike community members will be able to register on the site and claim a username.

In December, Nike plans to begin educating members about web3, helping them set up digital wallets for instance — it’s working with third-party wallet provider BitGo — and encouraging them to get involved through prompts like community challenges on Instagram. In January, Nike will drop its first collection on .Swoosh and begin testing out different utilities for its virtual items, which it wants to be more than just collectables. Like other brands testing the waters of web3, it’s exploring them as a means to foster community and sell physical products.

Related Jobs:

E-Commerce Manager, Feng Chen Wang — London, United Kingdom

Site Merchandising Senior Assistant, Bloomingdale’s — New York, United States

Senior Digital Product Manager, Chico’s — Fort Myers, United States

5. What Gen-Z Thinks About Virtual Fashion

This year, over 11.5 million creators have designed more than 62 million clothing and accessory items — also known as wearables — on Roblox.

Roblox, whose popularity soared during the pandemic and now averages over 50 million daily users, has given rise to a new wave of virtual designers creating items specifically for the metaverse, while allowing savvy brands and designers to open up new revenue streams by creating metaverse-only products or selling new items virtually before releasing them IRL.

Roblox says over half of surveyed users said they change their avatars’ clothing at least every week, based on factors ranging from their mood to impulse-driven purchases, and where they are headed to in the metaverse at any given time. A majority of respondents had spent $5 to $10 on a single clothing or accessory item. A quarter of users owned over 50 items their avatar can wear.

Related Jobs:

E-Commerce Customer Service Executive, Sister Jane — London, United Kingdom

E-Commerce Assistant, La Garçonne — New York, United States

Digital Commerce Business Development Lead, Ralph Lauren — Hong Kong

6. Do Fashion Brands Need to ‘BeReal?’

Fashion brands are working out how they fit on BeReal.

The French app BeReal, which rose from obscurity in mid-2022, sends one notification — and one notification only — at random times each day. Users have two minutes to take a snap with their phone’s front and back cameras simultaneously, which is shared to a photostream with friends. [But] what makes it fun for users could make it a headache for brands. Despite the ad-hoc nature of the app, which would seemingly mean a low lift without needing to spend on big campaigns, its unpredictability requires users to be ready to jump to action at an instant.

TikTok has a similarly unstaged feel to its content, so brands that managed to loosen the reins on their tightly kept images will have a head start on BeReal. In its new report on Gen-Z, BoF Insights detailed how Gen-Z’s treatment of and taste in apps like BeReal requires a “laissez-faire approach to marketing.” In other words, if brands want to participate, they need to get used to putting out less polished, idealised versions of themselves.

Related Jobs:

E-Commerce Photography Coordinator, JW Anderson — London, United Kingdom

E-Commerce Assistant, Maje — Paris, France

E-Commerce Merchandising Specialist, Amiri — Los Angeles, United States

7. Farfetch Reports Rare Drop in Online Sales

A Farfetch tag.

Farfetch reported its first year-on-year drop in sales as a public company [in November], joining other e-commerce firms in struggling to find an answer to the post-pandemic resurgence of physical retail.

The luxury e-tailer, which also white labels e-commerce services to high-end brands and retailers, is betting that consolidation can help it boost sales and profits. It recently announced it will acquire a nearly 48 percent stake in its biggest rival, luxury e-commerce pioneer Yoox Net-a-Porter. The deal, which is set to close before the end of next year, will help Yoox Net-a-Porter improve its tech capabilities. It also gives Farfetch an opportunity to fully acquire the loss-making shopping site in three to five years.

Related Jobs:

Retail and E-Commerce Assistant, Erdem — London, United Kingdom

E-Commerce Support Engineer, Scotch & Soda — Amsterdam, Netherlands

Site Operations Assistant, Neiman Marcus — Irving, United States

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