Snow white magic mirror or ‘The Sims’ is no more a story or a simulation game now, the retail industry has brought the same for their customers as a ‘new interactive mirror’ and a lifeline for the future. This mirror helps the customer in real-time with 3D clothing, best fit as per customer’s size, and easy swapping of available color options. The artificial intelligence technology in fitting rooms is not only acting as a Virtual Fashion Mirror but also collecting customers’ feedback and allowing them to share their feedback in real-time on social media too.
The main features through which virtual fitting rooms are attracting the customers in the coming time are instant recognition of body, spontaneous customer experience, convenient try of mix and match and taking experience with them to enjoy discount coupons in coming future.
More and more consumers doing online shopping and will be driving the growth of virtual fitting rooms seems to be the solution of being less exposed to viruses as AI algorithm drapes the scanned product on a 3D model of customers.
As per the recent research by Valuates reports, “It’s predicted that the global virtual fitting room market will grow from $3 million in 2019 to $6.5 million by 2025. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 13.44 percent”.
Retail is innovating to ensure customer sentiments and giving top priority to safety and sanitization concerns. And thus, retailers are left with two options only either to keep a ‘no try policy’ or ‘virtual try on’. Many brands are either maintaining a ‘No trial – No Return Policy’ or disinfecting trial rooms frequently steaming ‘tried but not purchased’ products.
“It’s estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to e-commerce by five years. Virtual fitting room technology is excellent for retailers trying to bring their brick-and-mortar business online,” as per Shopify Blog.
There are several benefits this retail innovation is bringing for retailers and customers; stores are getting more space for showcasing the stock and supporting online sales as well as providing a consistent and unique Omnichannel shopping experience to customers by blissfully providing the deep brand experience. Inconvenience to the customer in any form causes cart abandonment and virtual trials help in eliminating all those hassles of trying multiple sizes and styles from hanger to trial rooms which results in a drop in return rates, a benefit to the retail industry.
Future Shopping Experience
Every brand and retailer is taking a step ahead to extend their presence in this era of the selfie generation. The retail industry is leveraging these technologies to ensure a better experience for customers in every category from apparel to cosmetics to shoes to furniture to car buying.
Customers are ready and excited for this tech-enabled future, where AI is capturing customer’s biometric data and interactive mirror is acting as “best fashion advisor’.
An inspiring data has been shared by P&S Intelligence reports, “The expected growth in the use of this stack of technologies and smartphones will lead to an increase in online fitting rooms from $3,128.6 million in 2019 to $19,250.4 million by 2030, with an average annual growth rate of 18.5 percent between 2020 and 2030”.
Many brands are known being as a trendsetter for virtual trials, like MAC with interactive mirror and Tommy Hilfiger with online fit assistants in North America. Virtual fitting experiences have been implemented by various other brands too like ADIDAS, Swiss watches with ARTag technology, ASOS with fitting assistants in the UK.
Its popularity increased in Asia when Indian optical retailer Lenskart introduced an online fitting room with eyeglass frames.
The virtual fitting room is a sustainable concept which is contributing in conversions with lesser returns, ultimately cutting waste and reducing brand’s carbon footprint. Pandemic has shown the harsh reality and made brands and retailers realized the opportunity to showcase where the industry future lies?