AR is the new black: Augmented Reality changes the way we approach fashion.
May 18, 2021
According to this report, the fashion industry is worth $759.5 billion when we look at the e-commerce market, and it’s predicted to be worth over $1.002 trillion by 2025.
Statista reports an overall increase in e-commerce penetration from 46.6% this year to 60.32% by 2024. Applied to the three major fashion segments:
- Apparel: +12.7%
- Footwear: +11.6%
- Bags & Accessories: +8.5%
Also, according to an estimate by Digi-Capital, 3.5 billion people will be using augmented Reality by 2022, which equates to 44% of the world’s population. In an interview with Vogue, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that Augmented Reality is set to modernize shopping experiences and fashion runways. “I don’t think there is any sector or industry that will be untouched by AR,” Cook said.
With these impressive numbers, it’s not surprising that online fashion shopping is taking over the market, and consumers are way more interested in buying their apparel online than in the past.
However, many potential buyers are still concerned about online shopping when it comes to fashion because they fear buying the wrong size or something that can not suit their style or match their taste.
Thanks to Augmented Reality, these pain points can easily be removed, and users can finally have smooth online shopping experiences even from home.
But AR for fashion is not limited to retail; many brands are using this technology to offer their audience immersive experiences such as fashion shows or presentations of new collections.
First things first, let’s start investigating how AR can help fashion retail.
AR for fashion retail
As we already said many times in the past, AR is the perfect solution to make e-commerces more engaging and reliable and boost sales while diminishing the risk of returns and refunds.
When it comes to the fashion industry, Augmented Reality is a true game-changer: thanks to realistic experiences, potential buyers can virtually try on clothes and accessories even from home, experimenting with different models, styles, and colors safely from home.
Chanel, for example, offers its customers the opportunity to try on glasses and sunglasses on its e-commerce, overlaying a 3D model of the accessories on users’ faces, thanks to a face recognition algorithm.
Of course, not all brands have the Chanel budget to invest in custom AR experiences to integrate into their e-commerce; however, with the Aryel platform, even smaller brands, designers and shops can easily create their own WebAR experiences in a snap.
Of course, our powerful AR marketing platform supports also face recognition, which is an exciting feature when it comes to fashion and apparel.
AR for fashion shows
In the pandemic situation, fashion shows have suffered even more than retail; big brands and independent designers both suffered from a lack of audience at their new collections’ presentations, and the industry started to look for alternatives in the digital and virtual world.
Broadcasting the catwalks using Augmented Reality and enabling a 3D and multi-perspective view can make virtual events more immersive and engaging both for journalists and buyers, that can feel the collection’s mood even from remote.
Some brands and fashion institutions are already offering AR fashion shows; for instance, in 2020, British telecommunications and internet service provider Three UK teamed up with London Fashion Week and Central Saint Martin’s to create an AR runway experience. Top-model Adwoa Aboah was digitized into a 5G fuelled, high definition, 360 degrees, full-size capture, and the audience was able to see the AR model walk the catwalk in the finale.
Phygital is the next big trend for fashion communication.
When it comes to fashion brands, communication is crucial: most brands are now in touch with their customers online on social media, and the competition — above all for new and small brands — is very high.
However, creating an AR marketing campaign that shows 3D models and allowing users to virtually try on products and share the results online is a unique (and practical) way to engage with customers, attract a new audience, and get in touch with Millennials and Gen Z.
Augmented Reality can also be part of an omnichannel strategy that merges physical and virtual worlds. Zara, for example, offers its customers engaging AR to enrich the shopping experience in its stores.
AR can also be a good solution for B2B, not only B2C; Modern Showroom, one of our customers at Aryel, is using AR to show buyers and boutique owners the collections from remote and in person, without the need to bring the actual products to potential customers, that can easily explore the collection from their smartphone or tablet, before buying.
The fashion industry is experiencing a cultural and digital transformation, and AR is definitely going to be one of the major trends we will experience in the upcoming months.