Are Virtual Mirrors the Next New Thing in the Fashion Retailing?

We live in an era of rapid urbanization which feeds into the growing demand of consumers. E-commerce has gained substantial popularity over the past few years. 
However, surveys suggest that e-shoppers return approximately 70% of the apparel order. 

The major reason being the “fit” issue. 

Though e-commerce is a convenient option and provides an endless aisle advantage, it certainly cannot replace the in-store experience. 

Consumers prefer trying on clothes before purchasing. The in-store shopping experience is what the shoppers look for. The physical stores give a sense of assurance and satisfaction to the consumers.

With the ongoing pandemic, the practice of social distancing is being followed everywhere including the retail stores. Retailing has become a tougher job now as there are several constraints and concerns. 

Consumers cannot touch, feel, and try-on clothes like they used to. At times like today when crowding during sales and standing in queues is not a viable option, we need an alternative. This is where “Virtual Mirrors” come to play.

What are Virtual Mirrors?

A virtual mirror is a concept of augmented reality that shows the user how the outfit would look on them without trying them physically. 

It shows the fitting and has a motion rendering technology that enables the viewer to see the looks in various motions as well as in different exposures of light (for both day and night look). 

It has good accuracy for showing the fitting. 

It allows the consumers to try-on several clothes in a short span of time and make an instant purchase. 

Image: Virtual mirror for apparel retailers | Image source: Indiamart.com

How do AR-based Virtual Mirrors work?

A mirror leverages RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) plus augmented reality technology, which serves the purpose of a fitting room. When the user brings a piece of clothing in front of the mirror, it scans and stores the image of the same. The mirror then scans the user to create a virtual model wearing that scanned piece of clothing. As the user moves to view the dress from different angles, the virtual model displayed in the mirror also moves in real-time to display the 360 views.

Several online stores are also taking benefits of virtual mirrors by allowing consumers to try-on clothes, shoes, and other accessories and aid with their fit and look issues. Certain brands have also used a virtual mirror as a marketing tool, attracting the shoppers passing by.

How do Virtual Mirrors benefit retailers?

Virtual mirrors can boost up the sales drive for retailers. This is a relatively new technology and provides better customer engagement. 

It provides a natural experience to consumers by using natural gestures and body language. 

It saves a lot of time and provides a range of clothes to choose from. 

Virtual Mirror is an apt fill-in to the conventional concept of trial rooms. Customers do not need to wait in long queues with several garments to try-on, they can just stand in front of a mirror. 

Virtual Mirrors are a safe-switch considering the corona outbreak and the safety measures to be followed in accordance.

Who is using Virtual Mirrors So far?

Several big brands such as H&M, Zara, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste and Burberry are making use of virtual mirror technology. AR-powered smart mirrors are rapidly becoming a part of physical and online shopping and have transformed the way customers used to shop. It is a convenient and efficient technology gaining momentum slowly.

References and further reading:

  1. https://www.quytech.com/blog/how-virtual-mirror-technology-will-change-the-way-you-shop/
  2. https://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/virtual-mirrors-and-computer-vision/
  3. https://digitaldm.com/virtual-mirror/

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