Augmented Reality (AR) began to enter our lives quite a long time ago, but the real explosion of its development happened after the pandemic. If we talk about the use of AR in online retailing, it allows users to feel close to real shopping thanks to virtual try-on solutions.
This allows buyers to stay tuned in fashion and the latest beauty trends, considering currently limited opportunities to try on clothes or test products in real life. That's why more and more brands are starting to offer their customers the chance to test their products virtually.
Such functionality is beneficial for both customers and brands. However, it is crucial to implement it correctly on your platform. AR solutions are always large and complex, slowing down the site. As a result, users won't wait for it to load and will leave the site. To prevent this, you need to speed up your Shopify store, optimize Magento TTFB (Time To First Byte) or perform a similar optimization on your own platform.
In this article, we'll look at which eCommerce industries are adopting AR technologies, the advantages of such solutions for business, and some successful examples.
The 5 Main Benefits of Using Virtual Try-On Solutions
The application of such solutions benefits both the retailers and their customers.
With virtual try-on, customers feel more confident that the goods they like will fit them so they are more likely to place an order. This will lead to more conversions. As of 2020, retailers using AR technology witness a 90% increase in conversion rate for consumers interacting with such solutions.
The high quality of service makes customers feel that the brand cares about them, which increases the likelihood of revisiting its website. Accordingly, customer loyalty grows. 45% of online buyers admit that AR helps save time while making purchase decisions.
Thanks to customized online try-on features, the likelihood that an ordered item will fit the customer increases, which means the chances of them making a return are reduced. Shopify noticed a 40% reduction in returns in 2020 due to AR technologies' application.
During the virtual fitting process, online stores can offer to try on additional products. For example, suggest matching earrings in addition to a necklace. Therefore, the average order and the number of sales will increase.
Sharing the results of the virtual try-on with friends on social networks means customers will gently promote the brand and thus increase its visibility.
What Areas of eCommerce Use Virtual Try-On Solutions?
Over the past few years, more and more different businesses have adopted AR technology. Even some furniture stores offer their customers the opportunity to virtually see how items can look in their interior from the comfort of their own homes.
However, the most widespread use of AR in eCommerce is in the following areas:
- Jewelry and accessories
We will talk about examples from these areas below.
Many cosmetics brands successfully use virtual reality features in their marketing strategies. You can find such features in almost all world-renowned retailers: YSL Beauty, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Urban Decay, NYX, and others.
With the help of AR, you can test eye shadows, lipsticks, highlighters, blushes, and other products to choose the most suitable shade. For example, Clinique has developed an entire app that allows customers to choose the foundation closest to their skin tone.
The app detects the skin tone and undertones and suggests suitable foundation shades. You can try different shades and look at yourself in a before/after format. It’s also possible to choose lipstick shades in the app. If needed, save your preferences and place the order directly in the app.
The virtual try-on makeup functionality varies between brands, but the main options are similar. Usually, the client can use the camera or upload a photo of themselves. The most advanced features allow the customer to apply many different products at once and even do full makeup.
Often customers can share photos of their results on social networks and via e-mail.
2. Hair Products
Do you want to change your hair color radically but doubt if the desired hue will suit you? Then, first try coloring your hair virtually. Luckily, many virtual try-on solutions of different hair products are available today.
I've decided not to focus on such popular brands as L'Oréal, Garnier, and others, since you are probably familiar with their products already. So instead, let's take Matrix as an example to look at the functionality of a virtual hair coloring application.
As in the previous examples, there are two ways to use it: with a live camera or via an uploaded photo. The shades are divided into palettes, making finding the right color for you easier. When you select a hue, its name is displayed.
For convenience, the screen can be divided into two parts: before and after. During the process, you can take photos and share them on social networks or download them to the device.
The result of a virtual try-on hair color looks quite natural, so it is not surprising if many people decide to have a real makeover after playing with the virtual coloring.
Do you want to check how certain jewelry would look on you from the comfort of your own home? A lot of modern jewelry brands make this possible with AR solutions.
Candere is a good example. It offers a virtual way to try on their jewelry. You can immediately see how certain earrings look on you.
There are two ways to use this feature: the camera or a downloaded photo. It’s possible to download the result as a file or share it on WhatsApp.
Because of the pandemic, fashionistas had to reduce their number of visits to shopping malls. Now, most people buy clothes online because there is much less risk of getting infected.
However, it becomes much more challenging to choose the right size and shape in this case. This difficulty is perfectly solved by fashion brands implementing virtual fitting rooms.
Below is an example of the solution provided by MissionSwim. Thanks to the fact that the virtual mannequin has the same shape as yours, you can choose the desired clothes and order them without leaving your home. In addition, the service allows users to "try on" several items at once and thus create an entire look.
I found an interesting example of virtual fitting of headwear on the Decorina Hats website. It offers customers to try on hats from the brand's assortment either by live using a web camera or via photo upload.
The photo can be resized for better fitting. Also, you can save the result to the computer.
Users can try on many different types of hats from the assortment. This allows customers to see which models suit them best without going to the store.
The "Details" section below the virtual fitting window leads to a product page where you can read more about the item and place an order, which is very convenient.
(Source: Decorina Hats)
You probably know how challenging it can be to find glasses that fit your facial features and style. Optical brands are aware of their customers' difficulties, so they tend to integrate a virtual try-on glasses feature on their websites.
You can see an example of using the AR solution at the EyeBuyDirect website. Try on glasses using your photo, or use a camera.
Let's list the main advantages of this feature. It allows you to do the following actions:
- Specify your pupillary distance for a better fit
- Adjust the frame position
- Record a video
- Change the lens color
- Select the lenses’ size
- Select the frame color
Virtual glasses look quite natural on the face, making it easier for customers to choose the right shape and model.
7. Contact Lenses
We have already mentioned that many optical brands offer their customers the option of a virtual fitting. Most often, however, this applies to eyeglasses.
At LensesSclera, a website that sells a variety of colored contact lenses, customers are invited to virtually try on (both live and via photo) different types of them. The fitting function works quite realistically.
The functionality of this solution is quite broad. The user is offered the following features:
- Use a photo of the model instead of your own
- Manually refine the eye shape for a more accurate fitting, if necessary
- Share the result on Facebook, download it, or print it out
- View the lenses' price and purchase them by going to the product card
Due to the growing popularity of AR technologies in the online retail business, virtual try-on solutions are becoming more and more common, especially during the pandemic.
Customer expectations are growing exponentially. To stay afloat and compete successfully in the market, eCommerce business owners are trying to provide an increasingly comfortable and high-tech shopping experience.
If you want to provide the customers with a high level of service, you should consider implementing a virtual try-on function based on AR on the online retail website or app.
About the Author
Kate Parish, chief marketing officer at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Digital Marketing and website promotion. Kate always strives to stay in pace with the ever-advancing online world, and the sphere of Magento PWA development. Her expertise includes in-depth knowledge of SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, and the field of online sales in general.