Benefits of AR for Fashion and Retail
We aren’t the first to say it and we won’t be the last: 2018 is the year of Augmented Reality (AR). AR has already paved it ways across our mobile devices with apps like Pokemon Go and Snapchat but more recently AR has shot up the adoption curve due to developer software such as Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore. These developments mean there is currently extremely talented people with the tools to create decent content and a lot of people who are hungry to consume it.
There are many excellent uses for AR, but let’s talk about how perfect the medium is for fashion and retail.
Real Estate is expensive: with AR, fashion brands can create a virtual store and place it anywhere. You want to have a pop-up store in Times Square? No problem. You can design and create your very own portal, accessible from by mobile where customers can shop your collection.
Valuable Sales Tool: Consumers can try on makeup, nail polish, accessories, clothing and shoes without needing to do anything or even leave their home. The same principle applies for those wanting to shop for furniture and homewares, the digital layer that AR places over our world allows people to shop in a more seamless and interactive manner. These factors are likely to reduce pre-purchase indecision and decrease the rate of products being returned.
Change your environment: Changing out an environment to suit a campaign or your marketing strategy is fairly easy and cost effective in AR. This in turn tempts customers to visit over and over.
Drives Sales: Meitu helped drive sales for Charlotte Tilbury: 13% of users who tried the lipstick through the app clicked the "buy" button.
Adding value to visiting the store: AR is a great way to reward your customers for visiting the physical store. Customers can point their phone at an item of clothing and have a model walk from behind the clothes rack wearing the item so you can see what it looks like on. Other ideas include having a brand ambassador digitally walk around the new items area or creative an interactive treasure hunt where the final stop is the store.
Add value to attending an event: If you have a fashion show you could point your phone above the runway and view the entire collection floating above the models walking.
Engages users who are geographically isolated: AR can be activated using markers. A marker could be a physical poster (as an extension of a offline marketing strategy), an instagram post or GPS based tracking, but it also can be used without markers and has the ability to bring your campaign to a person who is geographically isolated. Not everyone has the ability to step into Sephora to try on a lipstick colour or to stand in line at a Supreme store to see how their new shoe would look on them.
Engagement is shareable: You can virtually “try-on” a pair of shoes, in a range of different colours or designs and send the options to a friend for an opinion.
Creates Buzz and press: Like we said, 2018 is the year of AR. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
“At some point, we’re going to look back and think, how did we not have a digital layer on the physical world,” said Greg Jones, director of VR and AR at Google.