This year, the fashion industry got crazy about virtual try-on. Having a smartphone in hand allow their customers to see themselves in the latest pair of shoes, sunglasses, jewelry, make-up or even a tattoo. Let’s check out some examples!
What is virtual try-on?
In short, a virtual try-on is the way a customer can “try-on” a product through mobile or other devices equipped with a camera. Thanks to the underlying AR technology, future customers can see themselves in a beloved product on the screen of their smartphone.
The concept of virtual try-on has been present on the market for some time now. We owe its recent boom to the filters which we know from social media (yes, those funny add-ons to our pictures on Snapchat, Instagram or Messenger), which have helped to develop better facial recognition, machine learning and 3D modeling on images and video.
The filters turned out to be a great way to test out new palettes of eye shadows, glasses, earrings and other small accessories.
Why are AR try-ons so cool?
From the users’ perspective, using augmented reality is simply fun and entertaining. Retailers offering products online should also know that enabling their customers to try-on products virtually is beneficial to their business. What are the most important AR features which support product discovery and sales?
1. Try before you buy – with a virtual try-on, a customer can actually see the product and see if, let’s say shoes or jewelry, fit well with the planned outfit.
2. Try in any location – virtual try-on allows customers to see the product on themselves without showing up in the store.
3. Save time – did you ever see customers stressing out to try-on some sunglasses at their own pace? With virtual try-on, they can do it peacefully at home and make the order whenever they’re ready.
4. Match it with different outfits – checking how the new accessory looks with various outfits is a bonus of virtual try-on, especially in the case of shoes or jewelry.
5. Consult with friends – virtual try-on allows customers to take pictures and share them with friends, which is often a helpful step on the purchase path.
In addition, fashion brands are deciding to add augmented reality to their businesses as it helps them to offer better customer service, observe customers’ preferences, customize products and build up interest around the product.
Examples of AR-powered virtual try-ons in the fashion industry
As I mentioned earlier, companies are deciding on new technologies for multiple reasons. Let’s look at AR applications of top fashion brands from head to toe!
Michael Kors: virtual try-on of sunglasses on Facebook
World-famous fashion brand, Michael Kors, used Facebook’s AR ads in the news feed. Actually, they were the first to test out this new functionality. Facebook users could simply click the ads’ “tap to try it on” button to superimpose a pair of Michael Kors sunglasses on their faces. From there they had a straight way to purchase the sunglasses directly in the Facebook app.
Warby Parker: prescription glasses try-on via mobile app
In contrast to Michael Kors, the direct-to-consumer (DTC) retailer of prescription glasses, Warby Parker, decided to use a virtual try-on tool in its iPhone app. Via the app, customers can pick frames and see how they look with an augmented reality (AR) overlay. The AR feature was developed with Apple’s ARKit, which the iPhone maker introduced in 2017. Warby Parker’s AR is available only on the iPhone X or newer models.
M·A·C Cosmetics: virtual makeup within YouTube video
Customers who follow their favorite cosmetics brands on YouTube got the chance virtually try on their latest make-up directly on this video platform. M·A·C Cosmetics was the first one to test out the new AR functionality on YouTube. Their viewers could try on different shades of M·A·C lipstick presented on video. After trying on lipstick, they could click the SHOP button to visit M·A·C’s website to purchase it.
L’Oréal Paris: virtual makeup try-ons on Amazon
Going a step further, L’Oréal Paris announced that with ModiFace (an AR and AI company acquired by the cosmetics brand in 2018) they will provide virtual try-ons on Amazon. Earlier, L’Oréal Paris launched AR-powered try-ons on their webpage and in a dedicated mobile app which allows their customers to virtually try on over 100 products, including hair colors, eye shadows, and lipsticks. What’s more, the L’Oréal Paris mobile app – Makeup Genius – guides their customers step by step through tutorials presenting trending looks and brings lots of fun to the shopping process.
Diamond Hedge: trying jewelry with a mobile app
The global diamond seller launched a virtual try-on of their gemstones directly on their webpage. By taking (or uploading) a picture of a hand, their customers can see themselves in rings decorated with different shapes, cuts, and colors of diamonds.
More at: https://www.diamondhedge.com/
Gucci: virtual try-on of the Cruise collection through a mobile app
Gucci demonstrated a new, AR function in its application. The new feature allows buyers to try the Ace sneakers line. Gucci’s main goal was to present the latest footwear models to customers as soon as possible. The application tracks the movements of the feet so that we can view virtual footwear in real-time and at different angles.
Nike: measuring and trying on shoes with AR
Last but not least, we have Nike Fit. The application prepared by Nike is designed to scan the foot using AR technology. The application allows customers to find the right shoe size and visualize how the item will look on the customer. This solution is becoming very trendy these days.
So far augmented reality works really well with small fashion accessories, shoes, and makeup. Larger pieces still have to wait for the improvement of 3D modeling and adjustment techniques, so the customer can see himself in well-fitted jackets and trousers, but that won’t be long. We are already seeing intense development works on AR in smart mirrors and other devices.
Augmented reality has proved to be a great way to engage customers, improve the shopping processes and deliver a customer-first experience in the fashion industry.
Published October 10, 2019