Virtual Fitting Room: How They Can Increase Sales for Your Online Store
Would you agree with me if I said the online shopping experience for clothes is still boring? I mean you don’t even get to touch, feel and try on any of the offerings as we do in offline stores. The result? We end up with clothes that don’t fit and have to return them.
Offline stores have a fitting room that you can spend hours in, trying different clothes to see how they fit before buying. With ecommerce, the best you can get is crystal clear images and in-context videos showing someone donning the cloth that interests you.
Thanks to the virtual fitting room, ecommerce individuals can now sleep easy at night knowing they’ve got a solution for fussy customers who must try on items before buying. If your store’s bounce rates and returns are freakishly high, you might want to consider having a virtual dressing room integrated into it.
Table of Contents:
What is a Virtual Fitting Room?
This is the online equivalent of an offline store’s changing room where you can try on different clothes, shoes and other wearables to see if they are the right fit. Some virtual fitting rooms come as an Android/iPhone app that you can upload your image into or provide your descriptions and then it creates an online avatar for you.
Now you will dress the avatar in different shoes, tops, trousers and anything else until you feel satisfied with your results. Once you have something you like, you can proceed to pay for them.
There are also other virtual dressing rooms that are big enough to be installed in offline retail shops to attract foot traffic. They work the same way as the app versions only that these require a client to stand in front of the mirror-like screen. By simple hand movements like swiping, you can try on different attires and shoes to see which ones would fit you impeccably.
When you shake, dance or make any other movements, your image does the same. These capabilities come to life thanks to the augmented reality technology installed in virtual fitting rooms. Virtual reality fosters a live experience making shopping more fun than it has ever been.
How Virtual Fitting Rooms Can Help Businesses Lure In Customers (And Retain Them) :
It’s easier to be sceptical about the potential of a virtual fitting room considering many ecommerce stores haven’t adopted it yet. But here is the truth; this tech is as real as we are and it’s up and running in some shops. Here is how it can help your business expand to new horizons.
Connecting with clients on an emotional level
We are emotional creatures, and that is why there is so much bullshit on the web about the psychology of marketing. We head into a store without the intention of buying, but the music in the background is so moving that we find ourselves carrying a shopping cart. Don’t tell me that has never happened to you.
The same goes for virtual fitting rooms. If a customer has been shopping on other platforms without this tech, they will be thrilled to find it on your store. Given that the experience of trying on several attires is like a game, they will fall in love with your shop.
Promotes social shopping
One of the loveliest features of a virtual fitting room is that it allows you to share your dressed avatars on social media. This could be great for those who have tried to tap into social media traffic without success.
Now, how is it that when someone shares their gorgeously dressed avatars you get traffic, but when you endorse yourself they run away? Simple. No one trusts marketers. However, they do trust what their peers post online.
Builds a buzz around the brand
Not so many e-commerce shops have tried the idea of virtual fitting rooms. The few that have tried this out-of-the-box method have increased their sales by a glamorous percentage.
Immersive retail experience has the ability to create a buzz around your brand in ways you cannot imagine. One store that was able to use augmented reality to its advantage is John Lewis. During one of its holiday campaign, this online merchant decided to use Google Cardboard to recreate a VR story of a boy called Sam and his friend, Monty The Penguin.
The story was distributed throughout 41 stores in the UK for both children and adult viewing. It was consumed via VR headsets. The concept was so immersing such that the video accompanying the campaign got over 12 million views in merely three days and the sales shot up by 5.5%.
Having left a mark in shoppers’ lives, John Lewis’ influence grew further, and people still flock it on holidays to see if they have many more awesome offers. Their Christmas profits in 2018 were impressive.
Augmented reality-whether fused with virtual fitting rooms or kids toys- is a great way to build a buzz around your brand. But this can only happen if you tap into technology before it becomes a commonplace invention.
AR fitting rooms encourage clients to try on many products
You have huge bundles of products in your store, and your joy would be to see the shelves run out. But there is one problem – no one has the time to try out as many products as they would without looking weird (assuming it’s an offline store and there are people behind you waiting for their turn with the machine).
For those with well-optimized landing pages, the product recommendation section is one of the few ways you get clients interested in more than one product. Guess what – a virtual dressing room allows customers to tirelessly sift through all your collections trying to match different clothes with shoes. It’s fun by the way. You will hardly believe you are shopping.
When people sort through a huge chunk of your collections, they will end up buying more than one product. Others will stuff their wishlists with many items, and that is a sign that you just won yourself a repeat customer.
Evidence of the Tech in Action
An augmented reality-based virtual fitting room may still be considered a novel invention, but some companies have already tasted its fruits. A few companies that have dabbled with virtual changing rooms include Timberland, Hugo Boss, Adidas, LK Bennett, Matalan retail and many others.
Timberland’s Experience With a Virtual Changing Room
Since 2011, Timberland has been working hard to revolutionize its marketing strategies and tap into a growing market -the millennials. So in 2014, they decided to leverage the power of augmented reality by setting up a virtual fitting room in a shopping centre in Poland.
The virtual dressing room allowed customers to try Timberlands latest offers without physically touching them. The innovation took the form of a mirror (80-inch screen) where users stood before it and then they could try on different outfits from jumpers, dresses, trousers and much more.
The device took a snap of the customer and presented them with their look in different outfits. As one moved, so did their image. The final look was then saved and sent to a client’s email so can share on other social media platforms. Another copy was posted on Timberland’s fan page gallery.
Timberland understood that this innovation would catch on, so they came up with a special iPad app to enable many of their customers to take part in the campaign at a go. It was a huge success.
What Made the Campaign so Successful?
Timberland provided its customers with valuable technology that was both efficient and easy to use. The simplicity of changing attires through a swipe encourage mass participation.
Other companies like ASOS have also experimented with virtual changing booth for some time with a positive outcome. Amazon too has patented a virtual changing room app as they look forward to making this tech usable to all its customers. At the moment, augmented reality dressing booths are rampant in physical stores more than in online shops.
Launching a Virtual Fitting Room Campaign
I know you are pretty psyched right now to get the show on the road with this tech. However, it’s not as smooth as the words in this article. Integrating augmented reality technology into your products may demand more capital- especially if you have loads of stock to sell out.
Rather than go full scale, why don’t you start with a pilot program and test the technology on a few products first. Play around with the outcome and keep scaling until the tech is ready to be integrated on your entire store.
The virtual dressing room will be online, and all your buyers will be interacting with it at the same time. To be on the safe side, here are the questions you need to find answers to; have you designed the tech to handle massive traffic? Will it start to crush as soon as twenty people are using it? Will its processing speed get painfully slow?
The moment your customers start having a bad experience with your tool, they will jump you right away for another better option. This is why it’s essential to run a smaller AR initiative so you can learn about all the subliminal problems that could occur and fix them before launching the official program.
There is also the issue of content. Virtual reality technologies work with what you give them. So if you plug in the garbage, expect garbage to come out. Here is what I’m trying to say – provide your virtual dressing room with all the possible data a customer could key in. This way, when they type in their dimensions, the tool will give them good feedback on how they will look wearing a certain dress.
If they feed in some dimensions that are not in their database, the device will simply tell them this; “Sorry, but there is no data for what you are looking for.” If you were the customer, how would you feel to keep getting such unreliable feedback after trying several times? Would you still go ahead with the purchase? I don’t think I would.
One thing you need to know is this – a working virtual fitting room can be the silver bullet to converting many sceptical customers who have a problem buying online. On the flipside, if poorly designed, this tech could also have damning consequences to your bottom line.
The Bottom Line
You have always wanted to know why other ecommerce platforms are doing better when your numbers are declining. Well, the answer is simple; they try to make shopping for their customers easy and convenient.
Customer satisfaction is the solution to your depreciating sales. If you deal with clothes, integrating a virtual fitting room can help your clients buy goods that fit. This should minimize returns while increasing sales.
When an augmented reality-based changing booth is paired with better business practices and several payment options, nothing will stop your revenue from shooting through the roof.
Have you tried incorporating virtual fitting room to your ecommerce business? Share with our readers what your experience was like.