By definition, fashion has always been known to change. It is a sector that constantly introduces new trends, concepts, innovations, and collections for all seasons. With new technologies and shifting consumer preferences and demands, the industry is not just changing, but also shifting gears. The fashion business has seen a profound change as a result of the pandemic issue. With the quickening pace of technological advancement, conventional shopping habits and customers’ attitudes around purchases are also altering.
Instead of the tedious traditional practise of having to drag yourself to a mall, find parking, spend hours looking for the item you need, wait in line for the dressing room, visit several stores to find alternative clothing and compare their prices and characteristics, etc., augmented and virtual reality gives you a “Woooooow” factor feeling when you shop.
In the fashion industry, retailers and manufacturers use augmented and virtual reality in a variety of ways, including interactive display screens, in-store navigation, virtual try-ons, virtual changing rooms, virtual tailors, and virtual makeovers. These tools help to raise awareness, keep customers interested, turn visitors into customers, increase loyalty, and more.
- Try Before You Buy
According to the Google Consumer Survey 2019 and Shopify’s tweet, 94 percent more people connect with products that have AR content than those that don’t. 66 percent of consumers expressed interest in using AR for shopping.
With a variety of exciting opportunities like a virtual trial room, try before you buy, try it and take it, try on without taking off, or see my fit, AR and VR are improving the lives of their customers. These opportunities are changing the game in terms of saving customers’ time and offering them a wide range of options to try on conveniently. With virtual stores, augmented reality is enhancing the digital purchasing experience.
Try before you buy is surprisingly true. Customers can test out your goods before buying them. similar to how they operate in actual stores. In most cases, clients are also given the choice to return the item for free if they decide not to purchase it.
- Customers chose their purchases on your website, then at the checkout they click “pay later.”
- Order shipping occurs after checkout. The customer is then notified through email when payment is required. Normally, this is sent between 7 and 30 days after delivery.
- The customer can log in and pay for the items they want to keep after receiving their items. Items are returned if they don’t fit or function as expected.
- “See My Fit” Technology
Using 3D virtual fitting technology, commonly referred to as virtual fitting technology, customers can try on clothing to determine size, fit, and style without actually wearing the item. As a camera-equipped smartphone takes a picture of the consumer, underlying AR technology overlays a lifelike virtual image of the product to depict how it would appear on the customer’s body.
Customers may virtually try on garments without taking off their clothes thanks to ‘magic mirrors’ positioned throughout the store and within fitting rooms. Customers may quickly and easily switch between different outfits, colours, and patterns thanks to smart mirror technology offered by vendors.
The advantages of a virtual fitting room for fashion industry are as follows;
- Higher Conversion Rates
- Lower Returns
- Secure and Effective Fitting
- Creating Connections
- Magic Mirror
The retailer of outdoor clothing chose to use the so-called “magic mirror,” an AR-enabled mirror that electronically “outfits” people in particular clothes from a specified collection. Customers were able to see how they might seem in various clothing as a consequence. This enabled the clients to quickly try on specific items from their most recent collection.
The majority of individuals choose in-person shopping over online website visits for the similar reason that they appreciate every minute of stress-relieving time spent browsing through the racks of various products while having a shopping experience that is both affordable and of high quality. Therefore, making just one purchase requires spending a lot of time wandering throughout the store and looking at a variety of goods, especially for female customers. As a result, the time that customers spend in the store doesn’t generate much revenue for the company.
The Magic Mirror is an Augmented Reality tool that creates a virtual dressing room experience without requiring users to physically try on the goods. This gadget is intended for a variety of retail settings, including garment, accessory, and jewellery retailers. This clever technology is used by various industries and it is undoubtedly booming.
- Retail Store Management
As we all know, buying clothes the old-fashioned way may be tiresome. You have to drag yourself to a shopping centre or a department store, find parking, and spend hours looking for the thing you require. The size or colour is incorrect, so you wait in line in the dressing room area. To find different clothes and compare their costs and features, you must stop by many stores. It makes sense that many individuals appreciate easy online shopping, which they can do at home or even in their offices.
Tools for AR shopping can solve this issue. They not only make our shopping experience more “wonderful,” but they also direct us to purchase the proper products. This strategy has the potential to totally restructure customer service, warehouse, delivery, product promotion, and display, as well as other fashion retail activities. Businesses who can’t adjust to this trend risk having to close both their offline and online stores. This in-turn facilitates in store management by ensuring customer engagement, brand awareness, customer satisfaction, customer retention, cost reduction and improved sales.
- Virtual Fitting Rooms
Product fitting is one of the biggest issues most firms face when they first use virtual reality. Trying on clothes in augmented reality appears to be effective. Because of this, retailers have begun implementing virtual fitting room (VRF) technology to decrease consumer discontent and improve business processes.
Customers can try on clothes, shoes, etc. on a 3D avatar using VRF technology without really wearing the item. In this manner, augmented reality for apparel delivers a unique and captivating experience that is advantageous to both the company and the buyer.
Customers can virtually test on clothing without actually touching it in a fitting room. A product is overlaid on a customer’s live video feed in order for it to function. Before making a purchase, the customer can view the item’s size, style, and fit.
Retail sales of clothing products fell by 43.5% during the pandemic, the largest drop of any industry. Global lockdowns prevented customers from making in-store purchases. Even when the shops reopened, many were still apprehensive about trying on clothes for fear of increasing their risk of contracting the virus. However, virtual changing rooms significantly lower that risk. People can view how a product appears on their own body form without really touching the goods they are virtually trying on.
HOW VIRTUAL FITTING ROOM TECHNOLOGY WORKS?
The majority of virtual dressing rooms utilise augmented reality. A webcam is used in this instance to produce a 360-degree 3D representation of a person’s physique. Artificial intelligence controls other virtual changing rooms. Similar to augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI) makes full-body 3D models of the customer in front of the camera using algorithms and machine learning.
Radio frequency identification is integrated with the 3D model produced by AI or AR (RFID). This is yet another piece of technology that scans the items that customers bring into the virtual changing room. The 3D model of the shopper is overlaid with the scanned goods thanks to virtual reality technology. They can then view how the item appears on them without having to put it on themselves.
- Virtual Makeover
Finding the ideal lipstick hue, or any other cosmetic product for that matter (blush, eyeshadow, foundation, you name it), may be difficult. Simply put, testing on the actual product yields better results than a tiny sample on the back of your hand.
Many people who buy makeup find it disgusting to apply genuine goods on their faces for hygienic reasons. Not to mention, it is annoying to have to try on multiple product shades in order to get the appropriate one. As a result, customers who are looking for makeup frequently find up purchasing a full-size item just to be let down by it.
Through the use of virtual makeover tools, you can change or add many aspects of a person’s appearance, including their facial features, hairstyle, and accessories. By adding digitally to a digitalized 3D human face, haircuts, or glasses, one can realistically alter the attraction of the human face with this programme and acquire a sense of appropriate clothing.
Many virtual makeover applications aim to prevent users from making choices they could later come to regret. For instance, few people are certain if they will look nice if they colour their hair platinum blond instead of brunette. When it comes to products, the applications assist users in visualising how the product would appear in use. Otherwise, the person must order the thing, then try it out, or try the product out in a store. These issues can be resolved using a virtual makeover game, albeit the outcomes may vary slightly between the programme and reality.
This cutting-edge technology enables your consumers to try on a variety of products in a matter of seconds without spending valuable time or hard-earned money on guesswork. Before making a purchase, it enables you to view exactly how a beauty product will appear when applied to your own face.
Although it might seem too wonderful to be true, it actually works. Virtual makeup technology enables your consumers to test on looks and items that suit them even if you don’t know anything about cosmetics.
HOW DOES VIRTUAL MAKEUP WORK?
Face tracking and 3D modelling are used in digitally generated makeup to create a real-time experience both online and in-store. These applications use augmented reality (AR) technology to recognise face features on a photograph or video, including your eyes, cheekbones, and even the shape of your nose.
Then, the virtual makeup apps are made specifically for the eyeshadows, lipsticks, mascaras, blushes, foundation, and other products of each brand. Users can theoretically apply a variety of cosmetics in a matter of seconds and select the one that suits them best without ever actually doing so.
- Virtual Tailors
With the precision of AR technology, one can receive clothing that are exactly tailored. Customers can receive extremely accurate and precise body measurements from a virtual tailor using a variety of machine learning technologies.
Fit Freedom is one well-known clothes business utilising this. A unique body measurement tool called Fit Freedom makes online clothing purchasing more convenient. The software uses the user’s measurements to make custom-fitted clothing by converting the measurement data across numerous product lines. By developing a 3D fit model that suggests the customer’s size across the platform’s various shops, this programme makes it feasible to swiftly and easily obtain body measurements.
People can use a smartphone to scan their bodies and perform all necessary measurements thanks to augmented reality technology. Then, this information can be sent to a tailor’s machine, where he will use it to create a garment that fits a certain body type.
WHEN REFERRING TO AR, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING BENEFITS ARE AVAILABLE TO APPAREL MANUFACTURERS:
- You May Design Clothing To Fit A Variety Of Body Types.
Consider that you are sawing a form for a sporting event. You can measure every team member individually and manually, but using an AR software will speed up the process significantly. The software will scan a person’s physique and present all information in numerical form. You can have all measures in your palm in a matter of minutes.
- Remote fittings are possible.
You do not need to invite your many foreign clients to your workplace if you have a large number of them. Simply utilise your unique augmented reality technology, which will generate an avatar after scanning your client’s physique, and allow them to try on new clothing and make alterations.
- You’ll produce more uniquely designed clothing.
People can make virtual fittings and choose the fabric, colour, shape, and style of haberdashery as well as sorts of threads by using AR applications. Your client can readily adjust everything about the item of apparel, including its appearance. By doing this, you can guarantee a more individualised and client-focused approach.
- You’ll conserve resources.
The AR programme can assist you in creating apparel and allow you to calculate the quantity of fabric and other materials required. As a result, you won’t buy any extras just to toss them away later. This will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your production.
- In-Store Navigation
The ability of augmented reality (AR) technology to pinpoint a user’s location allows them to easily and quickly navigate a store and find the products they’re looking for. The 2019 Consumer Retail Survey showed that 61 percent of consumers are looking for ways to cut down on their shopping time. Users that have an AR app have the choice to use the navigation session, which will show the route to get to the chosen product. These kinds of supervised shopping trips reduce uncertainty and perplexity as well as the time spent in the store by the customer. Meanwhile, there have been more purchases since in-store navigation has improved shopping accuracy. You can use this tool to help you quickly find tasks on your to-do list.
Retailers can use augmented reality to send customers a special greeting on occasions like birthdays, wedding days, anniversaries, etc. Customers spend more time in stores because they believe the company values them, which helps to foster customer loyalty. This allows the store owners to control demand while also giving clients a tailored experience.
Regardless of how familiar customers are with the store, VR is consistently effective. Therefore, implementing VR technology can be beneficial for any store, independent of its reputation.