These 5 Retailers Are Investing In Virtual Try-On Tech
Virtual try-on is becoming a key differentiator for e-commerce brands, and an opportunity for traditional retailers to bring the in-store try-on experience into the comfort of their customers’ homes.
When Parfums Christian Dior launched its virtual try-on solution at Viva Tech 2023 earlier this month, the company joined a growing list of luxury brands leveraging AI and AR video commerce technology to accurately show how products drape, fold, cling, and stretch on real people, in real-time.
The push to delve deeper into virtual try-ons is fueled by two factors. First, the technology offered by software firms like Perfect Corp., Wanna, and Bambuser is improving. While companies have long been able to use technology to facilitate virtual fittings and digital try-ons, the newest solutions rely on AR and AI to make virtual try-ons more precise, and they more accurately mimic the in-store shopping experience.
Another factor has to do with the way consumers are shopping in 2023. Retailers are finding better ways to integrate virtual try-ons to maximize conversions and decrease product returns. The online fashion marketplace Farfetch recently found that customers would rather use virtual try-on tools when they are earlier in the path to purchases, and they would rather engage with the technology offered through QR codes in store windows than to enter physical stores and try on items in-person. Other retailers have found that by encouraging shoppers to try-on products virtually before buying, they can cut down on product exchanges and returns.
Here’s how five retail brands are delving into virtual try-ons and using the technology in new and innovative ways.
1. Parfums Christian Dior
Earlier this month, Parfums Christian Dior unveiled its latest virtual try-on solution for makeup, created in collaboration with Perfect Corp. and Bambuser, the video commerce firm. Christian Dior’s solution relies on AR video commerce technology, and it allows Christian Dior associates to conduct live, remote makeup consultations with customers located around the world. This isn’t the first time the luxury brand has partnered with Perfect Corp. Dior has utilized Perfect Corp.’s makeup virtual try-on solutions in various ways, and on various platforms, since 2020, including the brand’s own website, Google platforms, and WeChat.
Maison Valentino is launching a virtual try-on experience for its ready-to-wear collection. The experience is embedded in a demo app created by the AR technology company Wanna. Shoppers will be able to try-on selected items from Valentino’s men’s collection, as well as the company’s accessories line. Because luxury brands are limited in the number of customers they can cater to in-person, virtual try-on apps like Valentino’s can expose brands to wider audiences and give shoppers more confidence when they’re buying pricey items without seeing or feeling them in-person.
While Google isn’t technically a retail brand itself, the company recently debuted a new generative AI-powered virtual try-on option for shoppers searching for apparel from brands like Anthropologie, Everlane, H&M, and LOFT. Shoppers can tap products with a “try on” badge on Google Search and select the model that looks most like them to get a better idea of what they would look like in the product. The tool is currently limited to women’s tops only, but Google has said it plans to roll out men’s tops, as well, before the end of the year.
Farfetch has been investing in virtual try-on technology since 2018, and in 2020, it partnered with a Belarusian software company called Wanna to create a virtual try-on solution. The experiment was a success, and Farfetch now provides online shoppers with the ability to try-on thousands of products. Farfetch has also worked with Curie, a software company that specializes in automating 3D asset creation, on its try-on solution. In interviews, Fartech executives have explained that the company’s try-on experience is “distinctly different” from AR filters on platforms like Snap, both because it’s more accurate and because Farfetch’s solution is specifically designed to enhance the overall shopping experience.
5. Kendra Scott
The luxury jewelry brand Kendra Scott has been offering a virtual try-on option through the company’s own website since 2020. To use the feature, shoppers need to use the Safari browser on their iPhone. The tool relies on AR to allow customers to preview jewelry pieces remotely, specifically based on their size and how the jewelry looks in dynamic lighting. Shoppers can also book one-on-one personal shopping sessions where they meet with stylists via Zoom and interact via video or microphone.