Enhancing the In-Store Experience
Fashion brands and retailers have integrated AR technology into the in-store experience, which is a clever move. Approximately 61% of consumers favor stores that offer AR experiences, and 40% of consumers would pay more for a brand’s product if they have the chance to experience it through AR.
AR mirrors and software programs are revolutionizing fitting room experiences in physical retail stores. For example, Modern Mirror founder Nicole Reader developed Avant-Garde Fitting Systems (AFS) that uses a series of cameras to scan consumers’ bodies and help them virtually try on clothes in the physical store. The AFS cameras take hundreds of images that capture the person's shape and size within 1.5 milliseconds. Once captured, customers have access to their profiles for in-store and online purchases. Mirrors and scanners streamline the try-on process, allow retail associates to allocate more time to engaging with customers, and decrease returns. According to Reader’s research, "the biggest issue was getting them into the fitting room," she explained, saying she felt "it was diminishing even if it was a luxury experience” (Robinson, 2021). Reader also found that “40 percent of consumers are buying multiples of items because they don't know the size, fit or how it will look on them” (Robinson, 2021).
How are specific brands using AR mirrors?
Ralph Lauren installed virtual mirrors in stores’ fitting rooms that detect which items the consumer brought into the fitting room. The mirrors display other sizes available and colors of the items as well as recommendations for similar items. The mirrors also display a “call an associate” button to connect customers with employees. The different features like light settings and language options also tailor the experience to the customer. According to the company, the mirrors have an engagement rate of 90 percent.
Timberland used Kinect technology, a type of motion sensor that uses the same technology as a mid-range 3D scanner, to develop a virtual fitting room, but the brand did not stop there. They transformed the fitting room into one of the main window displays as a strategic move to drive more foot traffic. The screen would show a virtual version of you when you stand in front of it. You can choose items to try on without entering the store.