Bringing the store to your living room with AR

Fashion brands are beginning to introduce emerging technologies such as AR in order to boost the online customer experience.
20 September 2018

Developers get deeper Google Assistant integration with new facilities announced by the company. Source: Shutterstock

Today’s consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping.

With just a simple Google of “Blue Shirt”, consumers can bring up pages upon pages of products, with the ability to filter the results based on their preferences.

Once they have chosen the desired shirt, shoppers are presented with a variety of delivery and payment options. Want it to be delivered today but pay later? No problem. Not in to collect the parcel? Have it delivered to the nearest collection point and pick it up at a time that suits you.

But while the rise of e-commerce has given more options and convenience to shoppers than ever before, this does not mean to say that it is totally taking over traditional brick-and-mortar retail.

The physical store still presents consumers with many benefits that the online store simply cannot offer, including the interactive component.

Shoppers still very much love the ability to walk into a store and to be greeted by a friendly and helpful customer assistant who can provide their expert opinion. They like to have the ability to see the products right in front of their eyes and to be able to feel and try on items of clothing before they commit to a purchase.

There are some things physical retail stores offer consumers that online shopping simply cannot. Source: Shutterstock

Looking to address these challenges in the online shopping experience is augmented reality (AR). This emerging technology is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time.

Unlike virtual reality, in which a totally artificial environment is created, AR used the existing environment and overlays new information on top.

AR meets fashion retail

AR is rapidly entering the retail world, providing consumers with a way to browse and shop with an experience that is both more interactive and more personal than simple images and video.

According to Janosch Amstutz, CEO of HoloMe, a computer vision company focused on the creation of holograms and humans in AR, one of the biggest advantages of the technology is that it can help bring the retail experience into the home.

“New technology allows customers to “try on” clothes, test out make-up and have models display clothing in their own homes – all done digitally. By improving the online browsing and purchasing experience, AR will boost conversion rates and could reduce the number of returned items,” Amstutz explained to Tech HQ.

The fashion industry is in the middle of a digital transformation. Many fashion brands and retailers are leveraging the latest technologies to increase the efficiency of their supply chain, add new value to their products, and create unique and powerful buying experiences.

Technologies like AR empower brand to add a “wow” factor that helps boost brand reputation and reach, setting you apart from your competitors.

With technology such as that provided by HoloMe, for the first time, fashion brands can deploy life-sized human holograms without compromising on quality.

“These holograms are accessible using smartphones or tablets, require minimal data and processing power, and can be created using just one camera – there’s no need to invest in a large studio,” explains Amstutz.

Customers can view life-like AR holograms that bring the catwalk directly into their living room, with models moving and posing to display the clothing to the best effect.

Of all the technologies entering the world of fashion, AR is perhaps the most exciting because it is a new way of marketing to prospective customers – it builds upon images and video to deliver an improved online shopping experience that can be accessed anywhere at any time.

By providing customers with a better way to browse, brands can experience both increased conversion rates and reduced returned rates. But not only this, fashion brands who embrace AR should expect to boost their brand profile by being associated with cutting-edge technology.