With consumers demanding technology-driven experiences, tools such as virtual fitting rooms will be essential for fashion businesses willing to thrive.
Adopting a virtual fitting room for eCommerce alleviates customers’ concerns while also providing businesses with a range of competitive advantages. Learn how brands can improve customer satisfaction while increasing sales by implementing a single solution in the new article.
Customers have always feared purchasing clothes online because their apparel might not fit. Since the early 2010s, various companies have been working to develop a solution to tackle customer concerns while also providing a more engaging shopping experience.
With the rapid technological advancements of the past decade, innovative sizing solutions have materialized. Among the innovations are virtual fitting tools, which utilize augmented reality and artificial intelligence to recreate the dressing room experience digitally.
As well as addressing customers’ sizing concerns, these solutions can also help brands meet their inclusivity and sustainability goals while driving greater business performance—unsurprisingly, virtual fitting rooms are fast becoming a must-have for fashion retailers.
What is virtual fitting room technology, and how does it work?
A virtual fitting room is the digital version of an in-store dressing room, where customers can try on a product virtually to visualize how it may look on their bodies, and evaluate features such as color, pattern, and style before purchasing.
Today, a number of virtual try-on solutions exist. These typically rely on a combination of artificial intelligence, computer vision, and augmented reality. However, not all solutions produce the same results or have the same impact on the customer experience.
The various types of online fitting room software
Some solutions focus on providing the customer with a complete view of a brand’s products in various styles and sizes through 3D renders. Typically, these solutions allow customers to view the clothing on a digital mannequin with a similar body type to their own (by selecting weight and height, for example). Others take a similar approach but allow the customer to choose from various human models that vary in shape, size, and appearance. These solutions make it easier for the customer to visualize how an item fits the human body but fail to consider that no two bodies are the same.
To overcome this, some solutions encourage customers to enter a number of body measurements and shape selections to create a personalized avatar. Yet, manual measuring introduces the risk of human error and, subsequently, results in avatars that do not truly reflect the customer’s body.
Others use AR technology to render virtual clothing on top of the customer’s body in real-time through a mobile device.
While this helps customers visualize how the garment looks on them, it neglects a key use of the fitting room: to know whether a garment will fit right.
What customers really desire is a solution that doesn’t just show how a garment will look or how a garment will fit.
Instead, they want a virtual fitting room that does both, providing the same experience as a physical fitting room.
Likewise, with 71% of consumers expecting personalized shopping experiences, according to McKinsey, they don’t want to dress up a model or mannequin they share a resemblance. Rather, they want to see themselves – with their look and shape genuinely reflected in the virtual fitting room.
ShopExp is the solution that provides a photorealistic try-on experience tailored to each customer. Unlike alternative solutions, which provide avatars with similarities or overlay images on live video, ShopExp mirrors instantly generate a unique 3D avatar and over 86 points of measure from a quick scan on a shopper’s mobile device. This is then mapped to the brand or retailer’s product data and delivers a highly visual fit experience while removing the complexity of figuring out what size to buy. This offers everything customers desire from a virtual fitting room: a reliable sense of how a garment will look and fit their unique body, the confidence to complete a purchase, and the highest level of personalization.
Virtual fitting room software early adopters: What companies use virtual fitting rooms?
Many popular fashion brands are already capitalizing on online fitting room solutions.
Luxury fashion brand Gucci introduced an AR-fitting lens for Snapchat in 2020, allowing customers to see how the brand’s sneakers would look on their feet. With an integrated shop now’ option to direct users to the brand’s product pages, Gucci makes the purchasing process easier for customers while also providing an engaging shopping experience.
To grow its AR eCommerce footprint, Snapchat has acquired several startups in this space, including Fit Analytics and Screenshop.
Likewise, Walmart acquired the virtual fitting room platform Zeekit to provide its online customers with a virtual fitting solution. Working with retailers like ASOS and Adidas, Zeekit has developed technology that lets buyers digitally try-on items before buying. Zeekit creates a virtual body model based on a customer’s photos and measurements they can then dress accordingly.
Apparel retailer Gap acquired eCommerce startup Drapr, which uses 3D virtual fitting technology, in August 2021. The startup’s technology enables customers to create 3D avatars of themselves to try on clothing.
However, virtual fitting is not exclusively for online stores; it can also significantly improve the in-store shopping experience. Ralph Lauren, for instance, installed virtual mirrors in its in-store fitting rooms. Cameras embedded in the mirrors utilize Oak Labs’ RFID technology to determine which products a shopper has brought into the fitting room. This data is combined with product information such as available sizes and colors to offer additional product recommendations. Ralph Lauren claims that its virtual mirrors have a 90% interaction rate. Thus, the brand is collecting abundant data from its online fitting room software to fine-tune its retail strategy and improve business performance.
Shop Exp supports retailers both online and in-store while providing customers with a superior shopping experience (as the first and only product on the market to combine photorealistic try-on with precise size recommendations). Using Wow Mee, brands have dramatically improved their conversion, sales, and return rates.
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