If you're in the fashion industry, you know how important it is to stay ahead of the game. You need to deliver unique and engaging experiences that will excite your customers and set you apart from the competition. That's where augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) come in. These technologies are transforming the way we design, manufacture, market, and sell fashion.
In this article, we'll explore the benefits of using AR/VR in the fashion industry, by decoding how popular fashion brands that are already using these technologies to their advantage, and much more.
Benefits of AR/VR in the Fashion Industry
Enhanced Customer Experience
AR and VR technologies can bring a whole new level of engagement and interactivity to fashion. With AR, you can virtually try on clothes and accessories, see how they look from different angles, and get a more accurate sense of how they will fit. With VR, you can enter a virtual showroom, explore different products, and even attend fashion shows from the comfort of your own home.
A study shows that 71% of consumers prefer stores that offer AR/VR experiences. Adidas has integrated AR technology into its mobile app, allowing users to virtually try on its products before purchasing them.
Improved Design Process
One of the key benefits of AR/VR in the fashion industry is the ability to create and test designs in a virtual environment. This helps fashion designers to identify and address any issues before the design goes into production. This can significantly reduce the time and cost involved in the design process, while also improving the overall quality of the final product.
Increased Sales and Revenue
By offering more engaging and interactive experiences, you can attract and retain more customers, increase sales, and drive revenue. AR and VR can also help reduce the number of returns by providing customers with a more accurate sense of how products will look and fit. An AR fashion statistic shows that AR can reduce product returns by upto 25%.
In 2020, Gucci launched a new AR shopping experience on its mobile app. The feature allows customers to try on virtual shoes using their smartphone camera and see how they would look in different settings. The app also allows virtual try-on for its Ace sneakers, which has increased the sales of the shoes.
Better Operational Efficiency
Another application of AR/VR in the fashion sector is to improve operational efficiency. By automating certain tasks and streamlining processes, these technologies can reduce the time and cost involved in various aspects of the industry, from manufacturing to logistics.
For example, H&M began using VR technology to test its store layouts before they were constructed. This helped the company to identify and address any issues before construction, reducing the time and cost involved in the process. The company has also experimented with using AR technology in its supply chain to improve the accuracy of inventory tracking and reduce waste.
How Will AR and VR Impact the Fashion Industry in the Future?
The impact of AR and VR on the fashion industry is already substantial, and it's only expected to grow in the future as technology advances and becomes more affordable and accessible.
One of the most promising areas of growth is the increased use of AR in online shopping. More and more people will opt for trying on clothes and accessories virtually, without having to leave their homes. This will not only provide a more convenient shopping experience but also reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion by decreasing returns due to poor fitting.
Another exciting area of future development is personalized fashion. AR/VR technologies will enable fashion brands to offer bespoke experiences to their customers, allowing them to customize garments and accessories to their individual needs and preferences. This level of personalization will lead to increased customer loyalty and engagement, as well as a more sustainable fashion industry by reducing waste in the manufacturing process.
Moreover, AR/VR could be used to create more immersive marketing campaigns, allowing fashion brands to tell more compelling stories and create deeper connections with customers. For example, AR/VR could be used to create virtual storefronts, allowing customers to browse products in a fully immersive digital environment.
Challenges of Implementing AR/VR in the Fashion Industry
As with any emerging technology, the integration of AR and VR in the fashion industry also comes with some challenges. Two of the major challenges are data privacy and environmental impact.
As AR/VR technologies collect data on consumer behavior and preferences, there are concerns about how this data will be stored, shared, and used. Therefore, it is important to be transparent about how you are collecting and using this data and to ensure that you comply with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.
Another concern is the environmental impact of virtual fashion. While the use of virtual clothing and try-on technologies can reduce waste and lower the carbon footprint, the development and use of AR and VR technologies themselves can have a negative impact on the environment.
The production of these technologies requires the use of rare earth metals, which can be environmentally damaging to extract and process. Additionally, the energy consumption required to power these technologies can contribute to carbon emissions.
Prioritizing data privacy and transparency in the use of AR/VR can help address these concerns. You can also work to minimize the environmental impact of these technologies by exploring sustainable production practices and investing in renewable energy sources.
Popular Fashion Brands Using AR/VR
Nike's "SNKRS" app has been a game-changer as it uses AR technology to bring customers a unique and interactive experience. Customers can preview the sneakers and see how they look on them. As a result of the app's success, Nike has reported an increase in customer engagement and sales, as well as a reduction in returns.
Tommy Hilfiger's VR experience in the form of a fashion show in 2015 was a perfect example of a fashion brand using virtual reality. The experience gave users a 360-degree view of the runway, allowing them to feel like they were attending the show.
The VR experience was a huge success for Tommy Hilfiger, helping them to stand out among its competitors and providing a new and innovative way for consumers to engage with the brand.
One of ASOS’ features, the "Virtual Catwalk," uses AR to allow customers to see how different outfits would look on a virtual model that matches their own body type and size. This feature not only provides a more personalized shopping experience but also helps customers visualize how the clothing would fit and move on their bodies. According to ASOS, this feature has led to an increase in customer engagement and satisfaction, as well as driving sales.
As the fashion industry continues to evolve, there is a growing need to provide unique and engaging experiences to customers. The application of AR/VR in the fashion sector can enhance the industry in numerous ways. From enriching customer experiences to improved design processes, the potential for AR and VR in the fashion industry is vast.
As technology advances, it will be exciting to see how you can utilize these technologies to create immersive and sustainable experiences for customers. The future of fashion is here, and it's augmented and virtual!