Online shopping for clothing and accessories has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years due to the convenience and wide selection of options, but one element that brick-and-mortar stores have the edge over the e-commerce realm is the ability to try on the items in-store. Many consumers have experienced issues when buying products online, especially when expectations don’t match reality, and that’s mainly due to the inability to try the products before purchasing them.
Many online retailers are tapping into the power of tech, such as augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable virtual try-ons and reduce online shopping woes. This tech is allowing brands to get more people to buy and keep them engaged in an immersive shopping experience so people are more confident in and satisfied with their purchases. It reduces costs on the business’s end and keeps customers happier. Here’s how online retailers are using AR and AI for virtual try-ons:
AR for eyewear try-ons
Try-ons are a crucial element for the eyewear shopping experience, especially since sunglasses or eyeglasses may be a long-term investment for some. Because consumers may not be able to physically wear a pair of frames when online shopping, the use of AR filters allows them to simulate how they’ll look wearing them. Retailers stocking quality sunglasses provide a selection of frames available for virtual try-on, which consumers can browse to find a pair they like. Alternatively, they can click on a model and see if it has a “try them on” option to see if they can use their laptop or phone camera to try the frames on.
Major retailers and brands have also tapped into this tech, such as Amazon and Snap’s partnership. Snapchat users can use their shopping lenses to virtually try on eyewear from top brands, which they can then purchase via Amazon’s store. The use of AR for virtual try-ons can increase consumer confidence and minimize returns or refunds for unsatisfactory purchases.
Generative AI and apparel
Generative AI has emerged in various industries, from art to writing, and now it’s being integrated into fashion retail. A significant complaint from consumers about shopping for clothes online is that the product received looks different than what they expected. Models pictured wearing the clothing may not accurately represent how the item may look or fit on a person with a different body type or skin color, which is where much of the frustration stems from. As such, AI is starting to be used as a tool to streamline the clothing try-on process virtually.
Google recently launched its generative AI virtual try-on tool for women’s apparel. Consumers can click on a “Try On” badge to select a model to try on tops from various clothing brands virtually. It helps with visualizing what the clothing may look like on people ranging from sizes XXS to 4XL, with different skin tones, body shapes and hair types. This tech can give shoppers a more accurate idea of how clothing may fit or suit them based on various factors, minimizing issues with the look of products they buy.
Virtual try-ons powered by AR and AI have been revolutionizing the way people shop for clothing and accessories online, and these services may only continue to improve as the tech advances. Beyond AR and AI, the devices used to support this tech are also evolving, which can potentially provide an even more enhanced try-on experience. Upcoming tech like the Apple Vision Pro, which can harness the power of both cutting-edge AI and augmented reality (AR) tech, may be a game changer for try-on tech in the future. Online fashion retailers have a lot of potential and opportunities to improve their try-on services to boost the shopping experience.
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