The fashion industry is growing revenue in a very dynamic way. In 2020, the return of this market was approximately 1.46 trillion U.S. dollars. According to the Consumer Market Outlook, this value will increase to roughly 2.25 trillion U.S. dollars by 2025. To keep the revenue steady, retailers are introducing different types of modern technologies, tools and means like the Internet of things, facial recognition, autonomous delivery robots and store assistants, cashier-less stores, voice commerce and AI which replaced the traditional shopping experience.
Converse Shoes, Zara, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, H&M, Burberry, Chanel, GUCCI, etc. are illustrating a new technology which is called AR and VR that will sell our dreams not only clothes, shoes and accessories.
It’s virtual (V) and augmented (A) reality (R) in the fashion industry, it presences like we will have a scientific twist when it comes to clothing and makeup soon. The innovators of the technology have dreamed that is going to spark the interest even in ardent shopping haters, while fashion fans will be assumed more joy and pleasure from such an experience.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli conveyed via technology. It is a growing trend among companies involved in mobile computing and business applications in particular.
Amid the rise of data collection and analysis, one of augmented reality’s primary goals is to highlight specific features of the physical world, increase understanding of those features, and derive smart and accessible insight that can be applied to real-world applications.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. A person using virtual reality equipment can look around the artificial world, move around in it, and interact with virtual features or items. VR is a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real, making the user feel they are immersed in their surroundings. This environment is perceived through a device known as a Virtual Reality headset or helmet.
AR vs VR
The distinctions between VR and AR come down to the devices they require and the experience itself: AR uses a real-world setting while VR is completely virtual, AR users can control their presence in the real world; VR users are controlled by the system, VR requires a headset device, but AR can be accessed with a smartphone and AR enhances both the virtual and real-world while VR only enhances a fictional reality.
Augmented and virtual reality uses in fashion industry
Augmented and virtual reality gives you a ‘WOW’ factor feeling in shopping instead of traditional boring practice to drag yourself to a mall, find a place to park, spend hours searching for the item you need, wait in line in the dressing-room, visit several shops to find alternative garments and compare their prices and characteristics, etc.
The retailer and the manufacturers are using Augmented and virtual reality in a different way in the fashion industry like in-store navigation, interactive display screens, virtual try-on, virtual fitting rooms, virtual tailors, virtual makeover, spreading awareness, keeping customers engaged, conversion of a visitor into customer, enhancing loyalty so on.
AR technology creates a ping-point accuracy to find the user location which can help the customer to guide the store navigation, reach their desired product within a short time and easy way. It was proved by the 2019 consumer retail survey, that 61 percent of customers are finding a way to save their time during shopping. Having an AR app, the users have the option to use the navigation session, which will display the path to go to the selected product.
Interactive display screens
Interactive display become most popular in the pandemic situation as social distancing becoming a new norm, customers will not prefer to try products, especially garments in real-time. AR and VR play a game-changer role in fashion stores. In this way, the customers can visualize themselves in front of a mirror/screen and decide what fits on them without physically using the product like trial rooms. And there’s no doubt that this unique approach makes people notice the store. It is found that top retail brands like Ralph and Lauren, H&M, Zara, Burberry, and others are using these types of screens for clothing to improve customer engagement and satisfaction.
In this present era, the virtual-try-on has gained importance in the last few years in the fashion industry. It simulates digitally the behavior of textiles onto the human body. In this manner, they allow a virtual application of cloth items onto digital human body models. This application is particularly designed to determine how precisely and accurately the cloth item will behave on the digital body.
With augmented reality, retailers can offer virtual try-on experiences to the customers and attract them to the store. It can say an accurate feeling about look, size, and feel of the product.
Virtual fitting rooms
When they start using virtual reality, product fitting is one of the major challenges that are experienced by most brands. Augmented reality try on clothes seems to be working well. That’s why, to reduce customer dissatisfaction and boost business operations, stores have started to implement virtual fitting room (VRF) technology.
VRF technology lets customers try garments, shoes, etc., on a 3D avatar without wearing the product. This way augmented reality for clothing creates a personalized and engaging experience that benefits both customers and the brand. GAP was one of the well-known and first apparel retailers experimenting with augmented reality clothing. GAP’s Dressing Room App allows users to try out a dress on a virtual mirror.
With this one can get perfectly fitted outfits with the precision of AR technology. A virtual tailor utilizes different machine learning technologies to provide highly accurate and precise body measurements for customers.
One popular apparel company using this is Fit Freedom. Fit Freedom is a special kind of body measurement application that simplifies the online apparel shopping experience. The application takes the user’s measurements, converts the measurement data across many product lines, and creates custom-fitting garments.
Thus, due to this application, it is possible to get body measurements quickly and easily by creating a 3D fit model that recommends the shopper’s size across the platform’s available retailers.
Virtual make over
Virtual makeover solutions allow doing the virtual styling of the persons in the area of the face, by changing or adding various aspects such as virtual make-up, haircuts, or accessories. By this application the appeal of the human face is changed virtually by adding digitally to a digitized 3D human face, haircuts, or glasses and one can get an idea of proper attire.
As we all know that due to this pandemic situation everything has been switched to online mode, so here AR can help in spreading awareness by attracting the attention of the online users and bringing them closer to visiting the store and their products.
The AR products can improve customer experience by attracting them to try out in-store products. Similarly, AR-powered kiosks can prove advantageous and can bring products to life with the help of 3D technology.
Keeping customers engaged
Once the customers are aware of the store and the product, the next thing that comes in the funnels is the task of engaging the new customers to the store. One of the ways to engage customers is to make use of AR in providing fun experiences to them while shopping. To make them feel like they are very important for the store so that the customer will like the store and will be engaged there.
Conversion of visitor into customer
AVR is a new technology, which installation little bit expensive, that’s why maximum retailers aren’t able to available for the customers so which big brand has done it lots of fashion fans visit that store with imagination. These experiences facilitate the customers in taking the purchase decision very easier, faster and blend engagement, which enhances the sales and ultimately results in the profit of the organization.
Using the AR retailers can send a special message to the customer on their special occasion like birthday, marriage day, anniversary, etc. Customers feel they are important for the brand, so customers can enjoy more time in-store which enhances the building of loyalty with them. By this, the store owners can provide a personalized experience to customers and can manage their demand.
VR and AR can be used to make simulations where training can be safe and free of consequences. Employers can create an exact simulation of their operations with the equipment they use. New employees can then gain expertise through the simulation and experiment to their heart’s content.