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When your smartphone turns into a dressing room

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

Also tired of ordering clothes that don’t match your expectations from online retailers?

Then welcome to the club of the other 42% of online shoppers who have made purchases they later regretted [2]. In fact, a minimum of 30% of all products bought online are sent back to retailers [1].

This is annoying for customers and retailers alike who lose a lot of money [3].

But it doesn’t need to be like this: Augmented reality (AR) can reduce a lot of the uncertainty in an online environment. AR is a game-changer, are you ready?

Augmented reality:

AR is used to enhance or augment the world around us with digital technology - often a smartphone or tablet [5]. Thereby, we are mixing the virtual and physical world through technology (see image 1). As a matter of default, AR can, therefore “see” whatever I am seeing, which might pose a threat to a user’s privacy [6].

I can, for example, capture myself in the physical/real world with the camera on my phone and the Gucci App superimposes a digital item (Gucci cap) on me. The most exciting thing is that AR is an interactive experience in real-time [5].

Before you press that “Buy Now”, “Regret Later” button…

…hang on a second and make use of the try-on AR features that some luxury companies like Gucci and Burberry are already offering. Their feature allows you to try on products anytime, anywhere [7].

I checked out the Gucci, Burberry and SneakerKit App and absolutely loved the interactive experience (see image 2)! Personalization is the backbone of the luxury industry [8], and I can hardly think of a better way to bring people closer to the brands than through AR.

Right now, AR try-ons have minimal applications [4] as they are only available for glasses, accessories and shoes [9]. The software is still costly [10] and used by a few luxury and fashion brands to present themselves as fashion-forward. In this context, I see AR in fashion more as a gimmick rather than an order-winning strategy.

To conclude, I see huge potential in AR to revolutionize, personalize and enhance our online shopping experience – even more now during the pandemic. However, the before mentioned issues need to be addressed before AR can be transformed from a nice to have to a must to have in fashion & luxury.



[1] WAAM. (2019, April 5). 1 in 3 of all Products Bought Online Will Be Returned to the Retailer - Why and What Can Be Done About It? Retrieved from Medium : [Accessed: 24/09/2020]

[2] Osman, M. (2020, September 12). Ecommerce Statistics for 2020 - Chatbots, Voice, Omni-Channel Marketing . Retrieved from Kinsta: [Accessed: 25/09/2020]

[3] Reagan, C. (2019, January 12). That sweater you don't like is a trillion-dollar problem for retailers. These companies want to fix it. Retrieved from CNBC: [Accessed: 23/09/2020]

[4] Azuma, R. (1997). A Survey of Augmented Reality. Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 6(4), 355-385.

[5] Craig , A. (2013). Understanding augmented reality: Concepts and applications . Waltham : Elsevier .

[6] Baldassi, S., Kohno , T., Roesner , F., & Tian, M. (2018, June 27). Challenges and New Directions in Augmented Reality, Computer Security, and Neuroscience. IEEE Access, 1-16.

[7] Louis Vuitton . (2020). Locate a store . Retrieved from Louis Vuitton : [Accessed: 24/09/2020]

[8] Corbellini , E., & Saviolo, S. (2009). Managing fashion and luxury companies. Milano: Rizzoli Etas.

[9] Mileva, G. (2019, February 11). How augmented reality is redefining the fashion industry . Retrieved from ARPost: [Accessed: 26/09/2020]

[10] Kapfunde, M. (2019, February 11). How is augmented reality transforming the fashion industry? Retrieved from FashNerd: [Accessed: 26/09/2020]

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