The world is constantly changing and the fashion industry, which is fourth in the global economy’s total output, needs to adapt. It’s currently facing many difficulties. There are many retailers and brands in high-competition environments. These businesses must improve their business processes, boost sales, attract customers online and offline, and make the environment more eco-friendly.
The industry has turned to IoT and AR to find solutions. Over the past decade, many customers have moved to online shopping. The COVID-19 epidemic has helped to increase the popularity of online shopping. Global consumers are shopping online 49% more than before the pandemic in 2021.
E-commerce has been a new direction for fashion businesses. Online retail is not without its challenges, but it can also serve as a platform to help solve the most pressing problems in the fashion business.
E-commerce uses digital tools to connect with customers and convince them to make online purchases. In response to economic recessions and environmental crises, there are many ecommerce solutions that can lower production costs and increase sustainability of the fashion industry.
AR is a highly sought-after emerging technology because it can be used to assist industry players in addressing a range of issues. This technology is certain to be the key to fashion’s future. It can make online retailing more efficient. These five points are strong evidence.
#1: AR increases profitability
The digital try on technology is one of the best opportunities that ecommerce has with AR. It allows customers to virtually try on clothing (e.g. Snap or ZERO10 Clo-Z), shoes(e.g. Wanna Kiks and Kivisense, Vyking), accessories. (e.g. Perfect. Hapticmedia. QReal.) And beauty products (e.g. ModiFace. Virtool. Visage Technologies.) In a very similar manner as in the real world.
This is essential because it helps people determine if the product fits before they purchase it. In 2019, just before the pandemic struck, 55% said that their preference to shop in bricks-and-mortar stores was due to the opportunity to try clothing on.
While it is unlikely that consumers’ tastes have changed, COVID-19 forced people online to shop. Even though they are more comfortable buying online, many consumers still want to wear the clothes. Many consumers purchase clothing on e-commerce platforms, then try the clothes on at their homes and return at least some of it.
People are being pushed to spend more mindfully due to the global economic downturn.
AR tryon allows customers to use their smartphones’ cameras to see how the digital image of the item they want will look on their device. It can look extremely realistic as technology is available to track the body, segment it and simulate different types cloths.
It helps you make clearer and more conscious choices. Customers feel confident in their choices and are more likely to buy more. Thus, sales see a rise while returns fall. For retailers, returns are resource-intensive as logistics costs increase and profitability decrease for each product.
#2: AR makes shopping easier and more sustainable
Fashion’s biggest challenge today is sustainability. Fashion is one of the biggest pollutors on Earth right now. The US throws away 11.3 Million Tons of textile each year.
Clothing production plays a significant role in the environment crisis. Brands produce far more clothing than they sell, especially for mass-market brands. Humanity is clearly buying too many clothing items.
Many shoppers find it simpler to just throw the excess items in the dumpster than to return them.
AR try on technology encourages better shopping habits and decreases textile waste. In addition, AR try-on technology encourages a drop in returns. This reduces logistics CO2 emissions.
AR try on may reduce physical clothing production in the future. AR can be used for more than just trying on clothes that have been manufactured. It can also be used as a tool to help you try on concepts pieces that may not yet exist. If a consumer requests it, they may be able to see and try on the concept clothing in real life. The fashion industry might benefit from this practice.
This means that there will not be any overproduction of items that aren’t in high demand.
A commitment to sustainability can help ensure a better future. It is also a way to increase brand loyalty. McKinsey estimates that 63% Europeans consider sustainability marketing to be an important selling factor.
#3: AR is key to the Metaverse
The Metaverse is a topic that is often discussed when it concerns the future of our society. In 2021, the number of internet searches that included the word “metaverse”, rose 7.200%. The mass adoption isn’t happening right now but it’s going to be huge in the near future. AR allows retailers and brands to begin exploring the possibilities in the Metaverse. This opens the doors for the future of fashion.
The Metaverse presents two huge sales opportunities for brands: digital clothes can be sold to avatars by users and the ability to set up shops within the virtual space, where people can purchase clothing. Although this may seem like a delusional option, the prospects for the second are very impressive.
Internet users spent $60-70 trillion on virtual goods within videogames in 2021. So, there are already many people who are comfortable buying digital clothing, accessories and cosmetics. The second option is to transform the typical ecommerce shopping experience into an immersive one. It will bring fun to an otherwise boring process.
The Metaverse offers a platform for marketing enhancement. It allows brands and retailers to connect with their audiences and display their products. Metaverse will enable sellers to provide more targeted offers to their customers, and to develop better loyalty programs.
It is possible to wait until Metaverse is popular and has broad audiences. A retailer or brand may have to chase the ones who made their presence there sooner. It is easy to be an early adopter rather than catch up.
#4: AR helps connect with Gen Z
Gen Z consumers have taken over, and retailers and brands are trying to figure how to reach them. These young people have grown up in technology, so e-commerce has to communicate with them in the same innovative way. They see shopping as an experience, not a transaction.
Gen Z consumers are more likely to fully assess the quality of fashion goods before they purchase, so it’s important for ecommerce to give them the best information. AR try on is a persuasive tool because it allows them to form an informed opinion. It opens up new avenues for Gen Z to connect online via social media, including the Metaverse.
The young consider clothing a form of creativity and self expression, especially in the age of social media. Many times, a post on a social media platform requires a statement look that will only be worn once. It isn’t very environmentally-friendly.
Gen Z cares about the environment, and is committed to reducing pollution. Digital apparel can be appreciated by Gen Z. They will also appreciate the ability to order physical clothing if they feel the need to protect the earth.
#5 – AR facilitates the discovery and development of new talent
Fashion designers are not financially easy to start. It is not easy to start a fashion design business. They have to buy fabrics, accessories, and other material. Models and large amounts of resources are required to create a stunning presentation.
AR can be a more sustainable and financially sound way for emerging designers to showcase their collections before buyers, consumers, journalists and influencers. Augmented reality can make fashion competitions more accessible to young designers, eliminating the need for geographic and financial boundaries. These contests may even go to the Metaverse.
The result will be a more democratic fashion industry, with more talented fashion designers having the chance to be part of it.
Online selling clothes is much cheaper than running an actual brick-and-mortar shop. However, designers who want to be successful must first conquer their market. These designers also need digital tools. Designers that are unknown to the consumer are usually feared. Changes in the consumer’s mind require a lot of effort.
Forecasting the future can seem futile because it is impossible to be exact. There are always some black Swans, waiting to make an impact and change the game. AR is already improving e-commerce and it’s not possible to predict it.
It is the technology that forward-thinking retailers, brands and retailers are experimenting with. They see its potential to solve their problems or provide them with new opportunities.