The shopping experience for people has changed a lot over the last few decades. From visiting a
physical outlet to buying things online, businesses have come a long way to keep their businesses
abreast with the changing times and demands of consumers.
Along the way, technology has played a critical role in enabling this transition. It even opened up
new avenues that let customers interact and engage with their favourite brands in new ways,
allowing them to enjoy a great shopping experience.
Today, retail businesses stand on the brink of another big technological breakthrough. One that
has the potential to shape the entire shopping experience in a whole new way. We’re talking
about augmented reality - the buzz of the market; the most lucrative piece of innovation in recent
times. Augmented reality and virtual reality have the potential to take user engagement and
customer experience to a whole new level. All while offering businesses a great competitive
advantage. We’ll discuss more about it below.
Augmented reality lets customers see online shopping in a new light. In principle, this
technology uses a cellphone camera. When viewed through the camera, the user can see a
computer-generated graphic, image or any other digital asset imposed onto the physical world.
This digital asset can be in 3D or 2D and can seamlessly be women in virtually - in a way that it
becomes a part of the real, physical world that one can see through his or her camera. The beauty
of augmented reality is that from offering a realistic experience to letting people interact and
engage with it in countless ways, it lets businesses do many things.
Though augmented reality has many applications, its use in the field of online retail is often
looked up to with great interest. The online shopping business is a huge market and brands have
always fought to get a larger chunk of the market. In this fight, augmented reality equips them
with a unique technological edge that can prove very beneficial.
Until now, shopping meant either going to a physical outlet to buy clothes or ordering online.
Both had their own limitations. Going to a physical store meant taking time out of hectic
schedules, wading through traffic and then spending hours at crowded malls or outlets to trial
and make a purchase. In the case of shopping online, customers had to scroll through thousands
and thousands of images to pick the ones they like and order. Then they had to wait for a couple
of days before their orders arrived and they could try the clothes on. This always comes with the
risk of ordering the wrong size or the colour, shade or pattern was different from what was
shown online. Which meant that the purchased piece of clothing had to be returned, which adds
up as an extra cost to businesses.
Thankfully, augmented reality helps resolve this challenge. WonderFashion’s augmented reality
solutions enable a 3D avatar-based trial room for a virtual clothes try-on.
Once on the platform, users are asked to click and upload a selfie. Once done, this selfie is
rendered in 3D applied to their digital avatar so that it looks replicates their physical appearance.
Users can even change shoulder width, height, skin complexion and many other details and view
the results in realtime. This lets them make accurate modifications and design their digital twin.
This virtual avatar can then be used as a tool for virtual fitting. Users can select from their
favourite brands’ wardrobe and apply their selection onto their avatars to see how it looks. Users
can trial any number of clothes without having to step out off their homes. Another great perk of
using this digital trial is that users can see their choice of clothing in great detail, right to the finer
stitches. That way, they can carefully assess the fit, colour and pattern and proceed to purchase it.
With many immersive backgrounds to choose from and offering dynamic lighting, customers can
even try their choice of clothes in different scenarios to get a clearer perspective.
This augmented reality clothing fitting is a great way for businesses to upsell more. Retail
players can use digital mannequins to showcase different styles and couple different outfits
together so that costumes are enticed to purchase a complete look, rather than buying an
individual piece of clothing. This helps businesses convert more sales and generate more income.
The virtual fitting room can work wonders not just for online shopping but even for on-ground
stores. Customers who walk in can be offered a cellphone or a tablet on which they can try on the
different styles available to them at that store. After finalising their selection, they can then
proceed to the billing counter and then step out. This saves energy, time and allows for an easy
shopping experience. These digital fitting rooms even play a big role in ensuring hygiene and
safety inside the store. This can prove to be a real gamechanger during times like these when the
pandemic has left businesses making very little sales.
From a customer perspective, the augmented reality experience is a really engaging model to try
on different clothes. While it requires close to zero effort, it replaces the physical trail to offer the
same experience. From a business perspective, it helps in not only offering a great shopping
experience but also aids in overcoming the ‘returns issue’.
Leading businesses all over the world are keenly looking at integrating this solution on to their
platforms. Apart from fashion, cosmetics, furniture, interior designing, real estate, jewellery and
other industries too are identifying the potential of this solution and making rapid changes to their business models to accommodate this technology. With the pace with which it is attracting
the attention of global leaders, soon, we may see an Amazon virtual fitting room, a Myntra
virtual trial room and many more from diverse industries. And are sure that day isn’t far from