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February 13, 2024

| 8 mins read

Revolutionize your Retail Brand: A Look at 6 Stand-out Virtual Try-On Technologies

Revolutionize your Retail Brand: A Look at 6 Stand-out Virtual Try-On Technologies

You must have come across the “Expectation vs. Reality” posts on social media where users criticize/troll products that are miles away from what they expected. For instance, customers purchase sunglasses that look stunning online, but when they put them on in real, they look like something straight out of a horror movie. So, they schedule a return pick-up for those sunglasses they thought would complement their looks.

Unfortunately, 7 of 10 product returns happen due to poor fit or style. Even worse, these returns cost businesses a staggering US$550 Bn annually. These statistics have questioned the retail industry, but a game-changing solution has emerged—virtual try-on (VTO) software.

Picture this: Your customers, the makeup enthusiasts or fashion-forward trendsetters, confidently exploring products online, knowing exactly how that foundation color will fit into their skin tones or that dress will drape on them. This dream is becoming a reality with virtual try-on technologies.

In this article, we’ll showcase six exceptional virtual try-on experiences across various retail sectors, highlighting the tangible benefits they deliver.

Virtual Try-on Beauty

Searching for and picking the right beauty products are among the most difficult things for customers while shopping online. Most people won’t know the correct shade/color of a makeup product, and every beauty brand provides numerous tones that suit various skin tones.

Virtual makeup try-ons allow shoppers to view how different lipstick or eyeshadow shades will look on them without applying them physically. Users can try multiple shades of blush, foundation, and lipstick in real time using their device’s camera until they find the perfect match for their complexion. These experiences include virtual lipstick try-ons, eye shadow try-ons, or try-ons for hair color. Customers can experiment with various makeup looks without committing to a particular style.

Besides, makeup virtual try-on tools analyze shoppers’ skin tones, textures, and facial features through their device’s camera to recommend the most suitable makeup products. Several retail brands have also incorporated AR-based tutorials and beauty tips in their makeup try-on apps to guide shoppers in using the product accurately.

Considering what they bring to the table, it’s no wonder virtual makeup try-ons have gained popularity among beauty enthusiasts and shoppers, .

Virtual Try-on Jewelry

Virtual jewelry try-ons bring the sparkle and allure of a jewelry store directly to customers’ screens. Combined with advanced 3D modeling, this virtual try-on technology helps customers try jewelry pieces digitally and check how the design, shape, and size look on their attire and personal style. These include rings, necklaces, and bracelets, to name a few.

Shoppers can enjoy the virtual try-on experiences in the following ways:

  • Face: Facial recognition software tracks specific facial points, allowing realistic placement of earrings, necklaces, and even makeup items.
  • Hand or Wrist: The software uses videos or images of a customer's hand/wrist to superimpose bracelets, rings, or watches precisely.

Another fantastic idea in jewelry virtual try-on experiences is personalization. This is an incredible way to explore a wide range of design options, including multiple metals, gemstones, and settings. Shoppers can mix and match these elements to create their own unique jewelry pieces.

Virtual Try-on Watches

Virtual watch try-ons are yet another intriguing try-on category. Shoppers have to choose a watch from the brand’s AR app and point their smartphone camera directly toward their wrist.

Then, advanced 3D modeling and AR seamlessly overlay incredibly detailed watch images onto the user's wrist in real-time. Shoppers can rotate their wrists to explore the watch from every angle, experiencing the play of light and how it fits. Moreover, they can clearly determine the shape and face of the dial, the band’s texture and material, and explore functionalities.

Further, precision sizing algorithms ensure that the watch materializes on the customer's wrist in its actual size, offering an accurate sense of scale and proportion. Shoppers can switch between different sizes, styles, colors, and bands with a few taps.

As wrist-tracking technology improves, more and more watchmakers will integrate AR virtual try-on watch features into their websites, mobile apps, product pages, and social media handles.

Virtual Try-on Fashion

According to a survey, 55% of people who purchase clothes online have returned a product as it did not look the same on them as expected. With virtual fashion try-ons, this is no longer the case. The AR-enabled solution lets shoppers try garments based on fit, style, and size preferences without physically wearing them.

As a camera-equipped device captures the shopper, the underlying AR technology pairs the product’s virtual representation with real-life images to demonstrate how the product looks on them. This eliminates the guesswork of whether an item will fit their physique, suit their style, and complement their features.

Gone are the days of tedious trips to retail stores or malls to try on endless outfits. Thanks to cutting-edge technology suite, virtual fashion try-on apps let shoppers test an extensive collection of clothes with a few clicks and taps—all from the comfort of their couch.

Virtual Try-on Eyewear

This is the most popular type of virtual try-on technology out there. It uses 3D facial models, uploaded images, or even social media data to deliver personalized shopping experiences. Virtual try-on software for eyewear requires head and face tracking and the following data to overlay 3D models of the product on the users’ faces:

  • The position of the ears
  • The distance between the eyes
  • The height of the forehead
  • The width of the face

Shoppers can put on different frames and be 100% sure about their purchase decisions based on their unique facial features and style choices. Additionally, they can check the glass color and how a particular frame would look on them.

One of the highlighting points of virtual try-on software for eyewear is the precision it achieves. With minimal-to-zero effort, customers can accurately examine how frames will fit their faces, considering factors, including nose bridge width, face shape, and temple length. Plus, they can share the try-on results with their social media followers to seek their feedback and opinions.

Virtual Try-on Skincare

Virtual skincare try-ons are a rapidly evolving segment of AR-powered beauty tech. They offer customers the life-like effects of skincare products directly on their faces, creating a more personalized and engaging shopping experience.

The skincare virtual try-on software uses facial recognition and mapping tools to analyze a shopper’s unique features via their live camera feed or an uploaded image. Some solutions incorporate AI-enabled skin analysis, detecting areas of concern like dark spots, wrinkles, or redness.

Virtual try-ons then simulate how moisturizers, serums, masks, and other skincare products would work. This includes illustrating improvements in texture, tone, and the appearance of blemishes. Shoppers can easily browse and virtually apply a wide range of skincare products, exploring different options without applying physical samples.

Existing Challenges & Future Trends

Virtual try-on technology is making significant strides, and the future holds exciting possibilities for the retail industry. Here are some critical trends to watch:

Enhanced Accuracy and Personalization

Virtual try-on software will become even more customized based on individual body types, skin tones, and unique features. This involves using more advanced 3D body scanning techniques and AI-powered analysis for a truly personalized fit and product recommendation. Advancements in graphics processing will result in even more realistic product renderings, factoring in skin tone, texture, and lighting conditions for a true-to-life experience.

Multi-sensory Experiences

While virtual try-on technology has primarily focused on visual aspects, the focus will likely shift beyond visual accuracy to encompass multi-sensory experiences. Retailers may explore technologies that let shoppers experience how products feel, sound, or even smell virtually.

Case in point, users can feel the weight of a jewelry piece, hear the rustle of clothing, or perceive a perfume’s fragrance. Such multi-sensory experiences can bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping, further slashing purchase uncertainty.

Focus on Sustainability

Virtual try-on technologies can become a driving force in promoting sustainable practices within the retail industry. By allowing shoppers to virtually test a wider variety of products without the need for physical samples, VTO considerably reduces production waste and the subsequent adverse ecological impact due to product returns.

In addition, brands can leverage virtual try-on software to display eco-friendly product lines and educate customers about the sustainable materials and practices involved in production. For instance, imagine customers virtually trying on apparel made from recycled materials, letting them explore sustainable options without sacrificing style.

Ethical Sourcing Transparency

Brands can use virtual try-on technologies to showcase ethical sourcing methods and the environmental impact of different materials. These leading-edge solutions can offer a platform for promoting transparency in the supply chain.

Imagine virtual try-on experiences highlighting the origin of materials, production processes, and labor practices associated with each item. This allows shoppers to make conscious decisions based on their ethical values—particularly in the beauty industry—potentially fueling demand for ethically sourced and produced items.


Virtual try-on software moves beyond limited body types. Advanced body scanning, modeling, and facial mapping will accommodate a broader range of body sizes, shapes, and features. That way, everyone can see themselves accurately reflected in the virtual try-on experience, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or creed.

Besides, brands will prioritize adequate representation of diverse skin tones. Realistic simulations of makeup and skincare will consider varying undertones and textures across ethnicities. This breaks down barriers and empowers those often underrepresented in the beauty industry.

Virtual Fitting Rooms

Virtual fitting rooms are set to take the retail space by storm. Currently, the global market value for virtual fitting rooms is around US$5 Bn, which will triple by 2029. For in-person retailers, smart mirrors powered by artificial intelligence (AI) as virtual trial rooms help boost sales by letting customers try on multiple outfits and sizes without leaving the fitting room.

Virtual fitting rooms can take numerous forms, which brands can use in tandem for optimal effect.

  • Body sizing solutions: Help remove complexity around sizing and offer an efficient way for shoppers to find the right product for their physiques.
  • Wardrobe assistants: Use product apparel and accessory images—segmented by AI and categorized into brands, seasons, or occasions—to create limitless outfits by combining the items in a retailer’s inventory.
  • In-store smart mirrors: Enable shoppers to try on clothes in real life and coordinate them with accessories virtually. Also, shoppers can check color options, pricing, availability, and product info.

Data Privacy Concerns

Despite a promising future, the path forward for virtual try-on technologies is not immune to challenges. Privacy concerns about data collection and usage are and will remain a pressing issue.

These days, app users have significantly more data awareness. Not only that, sharing videos or images may make people have second thoughts. Moreover, cloud computing provides potential attack vectors, requiring additional prevention and expertise to strengthen security.

To maintain user trust, brands must implement:

  • Clearer data usage policies: Transparency in how data is collected, stored, and utilized.
  • Stronger encryption: Protecting sensitive data like body scans and facial recognition information.
  • Granular user control: Allowing users to choose which data is collected and how it's used.

Building the Winning Retail Strategy

The retail landscape is evolving, and customer expectations are soaring. Gone are the days of static product images and an uncertain online shopping experience. Virtual try-on technologies take e-commerce personalization, engagement, and convenience to the max. When someone checks how well a necklace or an eyeshadow color will look on them in real life and in real time, the experience is not only impressive but also pretty persuasive.

In industries, especially beauty and fashion, where style and personal expression reign supreme, virtual try-on software helps shoppers when they’re making up their minds about a product. Multiple case studies have shown that AR-enabled “try before you buy” experiences increase awareness and sales.

So, bid goodbye to the old hit-or-miss approach—AR-enabled virtual try-on experiences will reimagine how retail brands engage with their customers.

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