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 . In fact, a minimum of 30% of all products bought online are sent back to retailers .
This is annoying for customers and retailers alike who lose a lot of money .
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?
AR is used to enhance or augment the world around us with digital technology - often a smartphone or tablet . 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 .
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 .
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 .
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 , 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  as they are only available for glasses, accessories and shoes . The software is still costly  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.
 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 : https://medium.com/@waamofficial/1-in-3-of-all-products-bought-online-will-be-returned-to-the-retailer-why-and-what-can-be-done-342414e84ccc#_ftnref8 [Accessed: 24/09/2020]
 Osman, M. (2020, September 12). Ecommerce Statistics for 2020 - Chatbots, Voice, Omni-Channel Marketing . Retrieved from Kinsta: https://kinsta.com/blog/ecommerce-statistics/ [Accessed: 25/09/2020]
 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: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/10/growing-online-sales-means-more-returns-and-trash-for-landfills.html [Accessed: 23/09/2020]
 Azuma, R. (1997). A Survey of Augmented Reality. Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 6(4), 355-385.
 Craig , A. (2013). Understanding augmented reality: Concepts and applications . Waltham : Elsevier .
 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.
 Louis Vuitton . (2020). Locate a store . Retrieved from Louis Vuitton : https://eu.louisvuitton.com/eng-e1/stores/germany [Accessed: 24/09/2020]
 Corbellini , E., & Saviolo, S. (2009). Managing fashion and luxury companies. Milano: Rizzoli Etas.
 Mileva, G. (2019, February 11). How augmented reality is redefining the fashion industry . Retrieved from ARPost: https://arpost.co/2019/02/11/how-augmented-reality-is-redefining-the-fashion-industry/ [Accessed: 26/09/2020]
 Kapfunde, M. (2019, February 11). How is augmented reality transforming the fashion industry? Retrieved from FashNerd: https://fashnerd.com/2019/02/augmented-reality-transforming-fashion-industry/ [Accessed: 26/09/2020]