January 12, 2022
| 5 min read
In the fast-paced digital age, the world of eCommerce has swiftly risen to prominence, revolutionizing the way we shop and interact with brands. With the convenience of browsing and buying products from the comfort of our homes, eCommerce has grown exponentially, projected to account for nearly a quarter of all retail sales worldwide by 2023.
However, amidst this boom lies a significant challenge — improving conversion rates. Despite the ease of access and the expansive variety of products available online, businesses often struggle to convert website visitors into paying customers. One of the critical pain points is the 'intangibility' of online shopping. Consumers still miss the tactile experience of retail shopping, the ability to touch, feel, and try on products before making a purchase decision. This hurdle often results in cart abandonment, driving down conversion rates, and consequently impacting revenue.
Enter the cutting-edge advancements in Augmented Reality (AR) — specifically, Virtual Try-On (VTO) technology. Emerging as a beacon of hope for online retailers, VTO technology integrates the physical and digital realms, allowing customers to virtually 'try on' products before buying them. Whether it's glasses, jewelry, or even furniture, VTO technology enhances the customer's shopping experience, instills buying confidence, and most importantly, it offers an innovative solution to boost eCommerce conversion rates.
In this era where digital innovation and customer experience rule the roost, VTO technology is not merely an option — it's a game-changer. Let's explore how this exciting technology is reshaping the eCommerce landscape and offering a fresh perspective to tackle age-old retail challenges.
Virtual try-on technology refers to a digital tool used in online retailing that allows consumers to virtually "try on" different products, primarily apparel and accessories, before making a purchase. This innovation has brought a revolution in the eCommerce world, providing a solution for customers who are unsure about how a product might fit or look on them.At its core, virtual try-on technology creates a simulated environment for the consumer to experience the product in a manner that closely resembles physical trying-on. It works by leveraging advanced technologies like augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), thus transforming the online shopping experience and bringing it one step closer to the physical, in-store experience.
This technology employs AR to superimpose a digital layer of the product onto the user's image or live camera feed. The user can see the product as if they were wearing or using it in real-time. This is commonly used in fashion and beauty sectors. For instance, online eyewear stores often use AR-based try-ons to enable users to see how different frames look on their faces. Similarly, beauty brands utilize AR to show how different shades of makeup would look on the user.
AI-based virtual try-ons leverage machine learning algorithms and computer vision technology to understand user's body dimensions, shapes, and preferences to recommend and visualize the look of jewelry items. They can also provide personalized recommendations based on the user's past behavior and preferences. AI is extensively used in online apparel shopping, where fit and size matter a lot to customers. Some advanced systems can even predict how a dress will fit a user by creating a 3D model of the user's body and superimposing the dress onto it.
This technology blends elements from both AR and VR (Virtual Reality) to create a more immersive shopping experience. It enables customers to interact with digital products in their real environment. For example, furniture retailers often use MR try-on technology to help customers visualize how a particular piece of furniture will look in their actual room space.
These different types of virtual try-on technologies aim to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping, making it easier for customers to make confident purchase decisions. Not only do they enhance the shopping experience, but they also contribute significantly to improving conversion rates in eCommerce.
In the vast, ever-evolving landscape of eCommerce, one prevalent issue that many businesses grapple with is low conversion rates. A conversion rate in this context refers to the percentage of visitors to your online store who complete a desired action – typically, making a purchase. This metric is a critical performance indicator for any eCommerce business, as it directly affects their bottom line.
However, the stark reality is that not all visitors to an eCommerce website make a purchase. In fact, the average eCommerce conversion rate, according to recent studies, hovers around just 2-3%. This means that, in many cases, a staggering 97-98% of visitors leave an online store without buying anything. This has led to the question: why do so many potential customers leave without making a purchase?
The reasons why shoppers abandon their carts or leave a site without purchasing can be manifold. However, one of the primary reasons is uncertainty about the product, particularly in regards to its fit or look.
Uncertainty About Product Fit: Unlike in a physical store, online shoppers can't try on a product before purchasing it. This is especially challenging when buying luxury products like jewelry and watches. Customers may be unsure whether the product will fit them correctly, which can result in hesitation to complete a purchase.
Uncertainty About Product Look: Online shoppers are also unable to physically examine products. They rely on product photos and descriptions, which can sometimes be misleading. This uncertainty about whether the product will look as good in person as it does online can be a significant deterrent to completing a purchase.
In addition to these, other factors such as complicated checkout processes, hidden costs, or a lack of payment options can also contribute to low conversion rates.
In the next section, we'll discuss how a revolutionary solution – virtual try-on technology – can help mitigate these issues and significantly boost eCommerce conversion rates.
Virtual try-on technology is designed to mimic the in-person shopping experience as closely as possible. It allows online shoppers to visualize how a product would look on them, effectively addressing the most common challenges that hinder conversion rates in eCommerce.
For instance, one of the major reasons shoppers abandon their online carts is due to uncertainty about product fit and appearance. With virtual try-on technology, customers can "try on" items like glasses, makeup, or jewelry virtually before purchasing, giving them a better idea of how the product will look and fit.
This technology also reduces the need for guesswork. For cosmetics, shoppers can test different shades against their skin tone. For accessories like glasses or jewelry, they can see how the items match their facial features or style. This reduces the element of surprise when the product arrives and, consequently, lowers cart abandonment rates.
Virtual try-on technology has multiple benefits that can significantly improve eCommerce businesses' performance:
In a nutshell, by addressing common online shopping concerns and enhancing the overall shopping experience, virtual try-on technology can play a crucial role in boosting eCommerce conversion rates.
As we gaze into the horizon of eCommerce and technology, it becomes increasingly clear that virtual try-on technology is not just a fleeting trend, but a transformative force that's here to stay. With developments in areas like machine learning, 5G, and even further advancements in AR/VR technologies, the potential for virtual try-on technology is expanding at an exponential rate.
Machine learning, in particular, is expected to play a key role in the future of virtual try-on technology. Today's algorithms already enable accurate fitting and style suggestions, but as these algorithms learn and evolve, they'll become even better at understanding user preferences and body types. This will likely lead to even more accurate fit predictions and style recommendations, ultimately leading to a more personalized shopping experience for users.
The impending widespread adoption of 5G technology also bodes well for the future of virtual try-on technology. The increased data speeds and reduced latency that come with 5G will make virtual try-ons faster and more efficient, reducing the current lag that can sometimes hamper the user experience. As these technologies become mainstream, we can expect virtual try-ons to become even more integrated into the online shopping experience.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, which have been foundational to virtual try-on technology, are also rapidly evolving. Future advancements could allow for even more realistic and immersive try-on experiences. Imagine, for instance, a virtual dressing room where you can try on different outfits with a 360-degree view, or a shared virtual space where you can shop with friends from the comfort of your home.
Throughout this article, we've explored the potential of virtual try-on technology in tackling one of the major challenges in eCommerce - enhancing conversion rates. As the digital landscape becomes increasingly competitive, businesses need to employ innovative methods to capture consumers' attention and boost their confidence in making a purchase. Virtual try-on technology stands at the forefront of these methods, offering an interactive, personalized, and confidence-boosting shopping experience.
The combination of reduced returns, improved customer satisfaction, and enhanced online shopping experience makes virtual try-on technology an investment worth considering. It's not just a trend; it's a step towards the future of eCommerce, a future where customers shop confidently, knowing exactly what they're getting. We strongly encourage businesses to consider integrating this technology into their platforms to remain competitive and increase their conversion rates
As per McKinsey & Company, 38% of the e-commerce market leaders are leveraging augmented reality with the help of technologies like virtual try-ons. Do you wish to be one of them?
mirrAR’s clients have seen impressive results with an average increase of up to 160% in customer engagement and 30% in conversion rates.
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