a story about Reali-try: BCM214 Digital Artefact

A story about ‘Reali-try’: A webtoon by Emma Moser

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Contextual statement

A story about Reali-try is a digital artefact in the format of a webtoon. It narrates the story of a girl identifying issues with the online fashion shopping industry and assessing solutions made through the Reali-try innovation. Even though Reali-try holds benefits to both large fashion companies and end users, emphasis is held on the latter in the webtoon, demonstrating the user to user networks that can emerge from this technology. Using the webtoon format was appropriate as it is a digital transformation of a traditionally analogue medium (comics). Even the process of creating the webtoon bridged this gap, as the images were drawn with pen and paper, and the final edit completed on Adobe Illustrator. Both webtoons and Reali-try are being introduced in a period where media industries are “struggling to manage the transition between the analogue world (…) and the digital world.” (Yeicies et al. 2019) This transition leads to occurrences such as digital disruption and creative destruction, where industries are challenged and changed through innovation.

Reali-try is similar to webtoons as a digital transformation of the traditional activity of shopping in-store, while maintaining the benefits of physically present shopping. When considering this, it is clear Reali-try has created digital disruption. Digital disruption is defined as something that “effects the shift of fundamental expectations and behaviours in a culture, market, industry, technology or process that is caused by, or expressed through, digital capabilities” (Gartner 2020) Digital disruption is featured in the narrative by demonstrating how the protagonist is using Reali-try – a digital entity- to enhance her shopping experience by employing benefits previously only available through shopping in-store.

Additionally, this digital disruption will also lead to creative destruction. “Creative destruction refers to the process in which new entities in the economy replace obsolete ones” mainly through innovation and reinvention (MBN 2020). This destruction is demonstrated in the webtoon as the users switch from buying and depending on large companies for their fashion to using Reali-try as a user to user platform to buy and sell from other individuals. Creative destruction enables obsolete systems and industries to shut down in order for more productive processes to take over (MBN 2020). In the case of Reali-try, this destruction resulted in a more affordable, efficient and sustainable clothes shopping experience.

The webtoon simplifies complex processes to demonstrate the clear benefits of Reali-try. Mainly, the large threat of 30-50% of online fashion purchases being returned (Orendorff 2019 p.9) The aim was to present the outcomes in a simple narrative to highlight the economic, environmental and social improvements Reali-try has on online fashion shopping. The choice of a webtoon allowed the message to be easy to consume, reaching out to all potential users of the product, while giving an entertaining and creative spin to deeper ideas and issues. Moving forward, it is important to continue considering ways to innovate within the fashion retail industry to work towards more mindful approaches and attitudes of what we are consuming in order to develop a sustainable future.

References

Gartner 2020 ‘Digital Disruption’ in Gartner Glossary https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/glossary/digital-disruption

MBN 2020 ‘What is creative destruction? Definition and examples” in Market Business News https://marketbusinessnews.com/financial-%20glossary/creative-destruction/

Orendorff, A 2019 ‘The State of the Ecommerce Fashion Industry: Statistics, Trends & Strategy’, Fashion Industry Report, Shopify Plus, January 10, https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0898/4708/files/Fashion-Industry-Report.pdf?3404

Orendorff, A 2019 ‘The Plague of Ecommerce Return Rates and How to Maintain Profitability’ Industry Report, Shopify Plus https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/ecommerce-returns

Yecies, B, Shim, A, Yang, J & Zhong, P.Y 2019 ‘Global transcreators and the extension of the Korean webtoon IP-engine’ in Media, Culture & Society Vol.41 Issue 1

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