Global fashion eCommerce could reach over USD 1.2 trillion by 2027, according to Statista. Given the convenience of online shopping apps and websites, the industry is booming like never before. But it has also given rise to banes of online shopping for retailers and buyers alike.
Statistics show that total returns account for USD 816 billion loss for US retailers. While brick-and-mortar return rates average between 8% and 10%, online retailers witness 30% to 50% return rates.
Unlike offline shoppers who can try on items before making a purchase, online shoppers often face uncertainties about how the clothes will fit or look. As a result, poor fit or style amounts to 70% of returned fashion items.
But, thanks to emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and machine learning (ML), virtual try-ons are possible now. Such a facility can help improve the experience that mirrors the confidence-building aspect of in-store trials.
How Does an AR-Powered Virtual Try-on Tech Work?
Stepping into the future of shopping requires addressing a gap between online and offline experiences—the tangible look and feel. AR-powered virtual try-ons (VTOs) can help bridge this gap.
For this, eCommerce app development services integrate virtual try-on technology to allow customers to “try” clothes and other products before buying them. They use AR, ML, or AI (artificial intelligence) technology to replicate the in-store fitting experience.
AR works across various devices, including smartphones, tablets, wearables, laptops and smart TVs. It involves using the device’s camera and other features to collect information about real-world surroundings. In the case of VTOs, it usually uses a selfie or video.
AR helps add a digital layer to the real world through your device. It involves superimposing a layer of virtual clothing onto your selfie or video.
Imagine you’re shopping online for clothes. But instead of just looking at pictures, you can see how those clothes would appear and fit on you through the screen. You can also move around, turn, and see how the clothes look from different angles.
The most sophisticated systems can even let you see how the fabric moves or how the colors change in different lighting conditions.
Top Benefits of Using Virtual Try-on for a Better Shopping Experience
AR has been gaining traction for some time now. In fact, many buyers are willing to use AR due to access to advanced smartphones, 5G networks, and AI technologies. A survey shows that 30% of Gen Z and millennials expect companies to leverage AR and virtual reality (VR) in their apps.
Here are some top benefits of VTOs shaping the future of fashion:
- Engaging Customer Experiences
Often, buyers find that clothes look great on a model, but they do not come even close regarding their shape, size, and fit. It makes online shopping unreliable and risky.
While virtual photography offers 3-D images that show different angles of a product, it alone can’t help find the perfect fit. VTO technology allows them to see precisely how the clothes will look on them.
Data shows that AR product experiences are 200% more engaging as they deliver double the levels of engagement compared to the non-AR ones. The immersive experience also enables them to interact with the product.
So, instead of relying on still images and customer reviews, they can engage in the entire shopping experience.
- Risk-Free and Efficient Fitting
Another reason for the increase in online shopping is the safety of in-person fitting processes. A survey reveals that 56% of women consider trying on clothing in dressing rooms unsafe after COVID-19.
Virtual clothes shopping apps allow them to try on clothes through their smartphone, no matter where they are. It eliminates the risks of public changing rooms.
The pandemic also has a lasting effect on buyer habits. Now, they desire to shop with comfort, convenience, and efficiency. VTO tech for size and fit issues will benefit them by reducing the hassles of finding sizes, waiting for their turn, and trying several items to choose the right piece.
Now, they can shop smartly and get the best deals using online shopping tips from the comfort of their home.
- Increased Sales and Reduced Returns
Online shopping is convenient for customers as it helps save time and money. But shopping for clothing without trying them is a shot in the dark.
Statistics show that consumers (19%) deliberately order multiple variations of a single item. From these items, they choose the one that suits them best and return the rest. This is where AR can help reduce disappointments in the trial-and-error process. Consumers can try these variations online and order the one best suited for them.
As a result, online return rates will reduce drastically. Further, it reduces the customer journey and increases store conversions. With increased satisfaction and short buying cycles, businesses may witness more sales and less return costs.
- Efficient Inventory Management
Virtual try-on not only helps find the perfect fit and style but also generates valuable data on customer behavior and preferences. Businesses can use data analytic features to make data-driven decisions regarding product development. As a result, they can develop more impactful marketing strategies and improve customer engagement.
Further, businesses can streamline their inventory management with real-time insights regarding virtual try-on clothes that are more popular. They can ensure having ample stock of in-demand products and sell more.
Online shopping apps with virtual try-on technology allow customers to try on clothes before they buy them. It integrates augmented reality, AI, and 3D body scanning to replicate the in-store shopping experience.
Utilizing virtual try-on tech presents a win-win situation for businesses and buyers. It increases customer satisfaction, helps reduce return rates, enhances brand loyalty, and more.
As the AR market skyrockets, reaching USD 1,109.71 billion by 2030, businesses must embrace this technology to stay competitive. They can leverage eCommerce app development services to harness its power in improving their in-app experience.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2018. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.