No matter how fast online shopping grows and develops, when looking for clothes, the online shopping experience is less satisfying than that of physical stores.
Although online the variety is much wider and it is easier to find exactly what you are looking for, however online products can neither be touched nor tried. As a result, the rate of returns is higher because people often order clothing of a non-conforming size and are forced to request the return.
Physical stores instead have dressing rooms, where you can try on clothes and choose the size that suits you best so when you choose a dress you are sure of your purchase.
To reduce returns and increase customer satisfaction, many eCommerce companies have therefore found a new solution, the use of virtual dressing rooms.
Keep reading our article to find out what they are and why they can help you increase your business profits.
Virtual Fitting Rooms Are a Solution that You Need
If before 2020 there were long lines in front of the dressing rooms of the most fashionable stores, due to the pandemic, many physical stores had to close and virtual dressing rooms became the only solution to try on the clothing you were buying.
As a result, many well-known companies have been forced to implement virtual dressing rooms on their stores and have been surprised by the results they have had. The benefits have been so great that this emergency resource has become an essential feature of their stores. In fact, virtual dressing rooms had reduced returns, decreased bounce frequency and increased customer satisfaction.
Being unable to choose a precise size online, customers often purchase a few different sizes to try them at home and then make returns. Such behaviour has become particularly common during Covid. In 2020, customers returned goods worth $428 billion, representing 10% of all retail sales in the United States. Pulling amounts means that for every billion dollars of orders, an average retailer gets returns worth 106 million dollars.
As more and more stores have implemented virtual dressing rooms on their websites, it makes sense to expect them to become one of the strongest trends in e-commerce in the near future. In this article, we will consider the benefits of virtual fitting rooms in more detail so that you can see how they can help you increase your online store sales and keep your customers satisfied. First of all, let’s take a closer look at the virtual fitting rooms and consider the way they work.
What Are Virtual Fitting Rooms?
A virtual fitting room is a feature that enables your website visitors to try on clothes without accessing them physically. The whole process works in real-time. Your visitors can evaluate the style of an item, its size, and see how it fits. These solutions are developed by various companies and are based on augmented reality.
Virtual fitting room software creates a 3D model of a user’s body based on the information obtained from a webcam. The result is a 360° model so the user can rotate it and see how an item fits, from different angles. Many solutions of this kind are AI-powered. AI algorithms help create full-body models so that users can see themselves as if they were standing in front of a mirror in a real fitting room.
The model created by an AI algorithm is combined with the chosen item by using radio frequency identification (RFID). This technology scans items selected by the shopper. The item is overlaid on the 3D model so the user can see how it fits without trying it on physically. There are many solutions from different companies that offer almost the same functionality but are intended for different platforms.
For instance, Apple has its ARKit that can be used to develop virtual fitting room apps for iOS, and Microsoft Kinect offers such functionality for Windows. Amazon even introduced its Echo Look device with a voice-controlled camera that is based on the augmented reality technology and is aimed to work as a “magic mirror.” Now that you know what virtual fitting rooms are and how they work, let’s take a closer look at their benefits.
Benefits of Virtual Fitting Rooms
● Decreased return rates
Returns are always a problem for fashion brands. If your return rate is high, it can not only create additional administrative difficulties but also decrease your profits. The impact of returns on profits becomes especially tangible when companies offer free returns. A great thing about virtual fitting rooms is that they can help you address this issue and decrease your return rate.
As much as 30% of returns in eCommerce happen because customers pick smaller sizes, and another 22% of returns happen when the size is too big. You can minimize the return rate by offering virtual fitting rooms so that your customers can see how different items look on them.
● Building an emotional connection with customers
Every marketer knows how powerful people’s emotions are. Have you ever walked into a store without a clear intention of buying anything specific, but the environment was so cozy that you’ve bought something? If you’ve purchased something because of the interior and music in a store, you’re not alone. When customers are in a good mood and they see that you care about them, they will be more likely to buy something from you.
A virtual fitting room can do the same for your website and increase your online store sales by showing that you care about your customers. Besides, trying on clothes online will deliver positive emotions because such an experience is similar to playing a game. 34% of consumers say that virtual fitting rooms make online shopping fun. Moreover, if your competitors are not using virtual fitting rooms yet, this feature can become a significant competitive advantage.
● Generating buzz
Virtual fittings are still a new technology so not all online shops can offer it. Companies that have already tried it, however, quickly realized that virtual fitting rooms can increase online store sales. One of the main advantages of virtual fitting rooms is that they can help you stand out.
Nothing can help you generate buzz around your brand as effectively as innovative technologies that create engaging experiences. Given that virtual fitting rooms are based on augmented reality, you can come up with various creative solutions, creating a unique shopping experience that people will be excited to talk about.
● Promoting social shopping
Virtual fitting rooms enable customers to share pictures of them dressed in your products, on social media. If you want to generate more social media traffic, virtual fitting rooms might be quite beneficial. People are more likely to share images of their 3D models than marketing content, and their followers are more likely to visit your website after they see user-generated content because people trust their friends more than marketers. Therefore, virtual fitting rooms can become one of your eCommerce marketing tools.
● Encouraging visitors to try on more items
You would like to sell everything you got but there are always some limitations regarding the number of items your customers can try. In offline stores, even if a customer would like to purchase a huge bundle of clothes, they will likely try on just a few items because of the people who are waiting in line. Fortunately, customers don’t need to deal with any limitations in online stores.
Virtual fitting rooms can increase your online store sales by enabling your customers to try on and buy more items. A perfect solution is to combine virtual fitting rooms with personalized recommendations so that your visitors can scroll through different options and match clothes with shoes, hats, and accessories. Not only will such an approach boost your sales, but it will also create a unique, engaging customer experience.
● Increasing loyalty
As we’ve already mentioned above, virtual fitting rooms can help you decrease return rates. The fewer returns you get, the less frustrated your customers are, and the higher customer satisfaction. The main factor that impacts customer loyalty is customer experience, and adding virtual fitting rooms to your website can take customer experience to the next level because such a feature is not only useful but also engaging.
How to display eCommerce products in AR
If you do not have the possibility to install a virtual dressing room directly on your store because it is too expensive technology, know that simply showing your products in AR or showing them through your mobile phone in your customer’s home is much easier.
ECommerce platforms such as Woocommerce and Shopify have already integrated AR technology in-house and therefore just upload 3D files in the right format to be able to show the products in Augment Reality in your store.
Of course, creating the 3D of your product is not exactly easy, however, don’t despair about this Yakkyofy thinks!
Yakkyofy offers 3D files of its products, ready to be uploaded to Shopify, Woocommerce and platforms such as Sparks. Choose the product you like and our team in China will make the 3D file for you.