Virtual try-on: The future of fashion?
With e-commerce fashion sales set to double in 2022, soon tech-savvy consumers won’t view digital solutions as a luxury, but a right.
Using virtual try-on technology, fashion brands and businesses can blend the physical and virtual to create a customer experience that is safe, convenient, and efficient for customers, whether online or in-store.
Retail fashion is in the midst of a makeover. E-commerce sales reached a high of $ 4.28trn in 2020 and are projected to double to $ 5.4trn in 2022 according to Statista. However, this growth won’t be fueled by fast fashion as today’s consumers care more and more about the environmental impact according to the UBS report. In fact, some 35% of female shoppers intend to buy fewer, but better quality garments in the future.
Snapchat x Farfetch collaboration that allows users to try virtual clothes on via the camera. Source: Forbes
With consumer demands changing, the store of the future will look vastly different from what we are used to. Customers will think twice about the products they purchase, and vast inventories of stock on the shop floor will make way for new, tech-driven experiences with augmented reality (AR) technology at the forefront.
According to Statista, the AR market is set to reach $ 198bn by 2025, up from just $ 3.5bn in 2017. Combined with 3D body scanning, AR technology will unlock innovations such as virtual try-on technology, predicted by 3D Insights to reinvent the fashion retail experience.
3D virtual fitting technology: Unlocking the virtual fitting room
Known as virtual try-on technology, this enables consumers to try on garments for size, fit, and style without physically wearing the product. As a camera-equipped device captures the customer, underlying AR technology maps a realistic virtual representation of the product over their real-world image to show how the product would look on the customer’s body.
FXgear Produces An Augmented Reality Fitting Mirror Solution. Source: Visual Atelier 8
Through ‘magic mirrors’ dotted around the shop floor and inside fitting rooms, customers can try on clothes virtually without getting undressed. Vendors offer smart mirror technology that enables customers to change clothes, colors, and patterns effortlessly and instantly.
However, virtual try-on technology won’t only be deployed in stores. Consumers now view advanced, digital solutions as a given rather than a luxury, and will expect to be able to try clothes online through a virtual fitting room for ecommerce, no matter where they are.
Using a camera-equipped device, 3D virtual fitting technology can enable customers to try on garments over the internet. Amazon-owned startup Body Labs, for instance, has developed a ‘blended reality system’ that allows consumers to visualize themselves wearing virtual garments in a virtual setting, such as a beach or gala event.
3DLOOK’s proprietary technology creates a unique 3D model that can be used further for the creation of digital clothing and virtual try-on. Source: 3DLOOK
The benefits of a virtual dressing room for fashion businesses
By empowering customers to make more informed purchasing decisions, virtual try-on technology can alleviate many of the challenges faced by the fashion industry today: struggles with fit, sky-high returns, and the resulting impact on our environment.
💎 Increased Conversions
According to Shopify, conversion rates increase by 250% when products are supported by try-on technology. It’s no wonder — not only can customers address concerns over size, fit, and look, but they also have the freedom to explore options, make customizations, and try on a wider range of garments in less time, leading to greater conversion and higher spending.
Using virtual try-on, businesses can offer greater personalization options, which have a direct impact on sales and profits, according to Forbes Insights. Customers can visualize different personalization options through AR to create products that match their personality and style. With consumers interested in personalized products willing to pay a 20% premium according to Deloitte, virtual try-on technology also offers an opportunity for businesses to increase revenue.
Cisco StyleMe virtual mirror. Source: Flickr
💎 Reduced Returns
Over-purchasing contributes significantly to the $ 800m in returns faced by the e-commerce apparel industry each year, with 19% of online shoppers admitting to purchasing multiple versions of the same item to find the right fit, according to Barclaycard Research. Using virtual try-on technology customers can visualize themselves in a variety of styles and sizes before making a purchase, helping to significantly reduce costly return rates.
💎 Safe & Efficient Fitting
With stores slowly opening, in-store purchases could escalate the problem — according to a survey by First Insight, 56% of women say they would feel unsafe trying on clothing in dressing rooms following the pandemic. However, even when things will get back to normal, consumers would still have a need for totally revamped experiences, as once changed, the habits are not going to be the same as before.
Size and fit solutions will benefit consumers by removing the chore of finding sizes, waiting for a changing room, and undressing.
💎 Building Relationships
A smooth, reliable, and convenient omnichannel customer journey will help brands to form better bonds with their customers — 70% of customers are expected to show greater loyalty to brands that incorporate AR into their shopping experience according to CitrusBits. With customers able to share pictures of themselves wearing virtual products with friends, family, and via social media, virtual try-on can also help to spread brand awareness and attract new customers.
Leading brands pioneering virtual try on tool technology
Brands are beginning to explore the potential of 3D virtual fitting technology to increase sales, reduce conversions, and streamline the customer experience. Gucci, for instance, uses augmented reality to allow customers to try on sneakers via the Gucci app or Snapchat. By pointing their smartphone device at their feet, customers can see how a shoe would look from various angles.
Gucci teamed with Snapchat to launch shoppable footwear AR ‘Try-On’. Source: FashionNet
Through a similar partnership with Snapchat, U.S. retail chain Kohl’s has launched the Kohl’s Augmented Reality (AR) Virtual Closet. Customers can browse a virtual selection of jeans, t-shirts, and jackets; mix-and-match items to create trendy outfits, and try on a select range of Levi’s garments using their smartphone device. Through the Virtual Closet, customers can gain a sense of how a product will look on their body and complete the purchase without leaving the app (or their home).
U.S. retail chain Kohl’s has launched the Kohl’s AR Virtual Closet with Snapchat that features Levi’s apparel. Source: WWD
These examples offer a glimpse of what AR can offer. However, there is still significant potential to improve the technology and provide customers with even greater insight.
Nike, for example, recently launched Nike Virtual View, a try-on feature that enables customers to try garments on virtual models of varying shapes and sizes. With the model appearing in front of them, customers can pinch, zoom and swipe on their smartphone to gain a 360-degree view of the garment.
3DLOOK allows designers to see how clothes will fit and look on their customers’ unique 3D body models. Source: 3DLOOK x hol.studio collaboration
AR virtual try on: The next big thing in fashion retail
Leading apparel companies from Louis Vuitton to Nike, and Walmart, are exploring the potential of augmented reality technology in the retail space.
Blending the ability to see and try products in a physical store with the convenience of e-commerce, virtual try-on technology offers a new, omnichannel experience that improves efficiency for customers and strengthens the bottom line for businesses.
Get in touch to find out how 3DLOOK’s body scanning technology can help your fashion business to provide personalized shopping experiences for your customers, increase conversions and reduce returns.