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.
In an effort to find solutions to these problems, the industry turned to IoT (and AR) emerging technologies. Many people have moved to the internet over the past decade. The COVID-19 epidemic has helped to increase the popularity of online shopping. Global consumers are shopping online 49% more now than they were before the pandemic.
E-commerce has been a relatively recent direction for fashion businesses. Online retail is not without its challenges, but it can be a tool platform to address some of most pressing issues within the fashion industry.
Digital tools that are used in ecommerce can allow for new communication with consumers and encourage them to purchase online. E-commerce solutions offer a way to cut production costs and increase sustainability for the fashion industry, as well as help to address the economic recession and environmental crisis.
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
One of the best opportunities for ecommerce is the digital try on technology. 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 similar way as they do in the physical world.
This is essential because it helps people determine if the product fits before they purchase it. 55% said that they were able to try clothes on in brick-and mortar stores prior to the pandemic.
It is unlikely that consumers’ tastes have changed but COVID-19 made it easier to shop online. So while more people are comfortable shopping online, they still like the idea of trying on clothes. The result is that they often purchase apparel online, try it on at home and return at most some of the items.
People are being pushed to spend more mindfully due to the global economic downturn.
AR tryon lets customers use their smartphones’ cameras to view the digital version of the item that they like. It can look extremely realistic as technology is available to track the body, segment it and simulate different types cloths.
It encourages you to make clearer and more thoughtful decisions. Customers feel more confident when they make informed decisions. This motivates them 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 polluting industries on Earth. The US throws away 11.3 Million Tons of textile each year.
Clothing production plays a significant role in the environmental crisis. Fashion brands produce far more clothing than they sell, especially for mass-market. Humanity is also buying way too much clothing.
Many shoppers find it simpler to just throw the excess items into a 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 help you try on concepts pieces that may not yet exist. If a customer 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 will mean that there will not be any overproduction of non-demanded goods, which could end up as waste.
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 term “metaverse,” rose 7.200%. The mass adoption isn’t happening right now but it’s going to be huge in the near future. AR offers retailers and brands the opportunity to explore the Metaverse possibilities. This opens the doors for fashion’s future.
Two major opportunities exist for brands in the Metaverse: selling digital clothes to avatars, and arranging shops within the virtual space so people can purchase real clothing. Although this may seem like a delusional option, the prospects for this are very real.
Internet users will spend $60-70 trillion on virtual goods through video games in 2021. So, there is already a lot of people who have become accustomed to purchasing digital clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and other products. The second option transforms e-commerce shopping into a fully immersive experience. This option will bring fun to an otherwise purely mechanical 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 common knowledge, however, that being an early user is more advantageous than catching up.
#4: AR helps connect with Gen Z
Gen Z consumers have taken over, and brands and retail are looking for the best ways to reach them. These young people are accustomed to technology, so e-commerce must communicate with them in the same innovative way. They see shopping as a journey, not just a transaction.
Gen Z consumers are more likely to fully assess the quality of fashion goods before they purchase, so it is important for ecommerce to give them the best information. AR try on is a persuasive tool because it allows them to form a more informed decision. You can also engage with Gen Z online using new tools, such as social media or 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 network requires a statement look that will only be worn once. It’s also not sustainable.
Gen Z cares about the environment, and makes efforts to reduce pollution. They appreciate digital apparel. They’ll be driven by the desire for the protection of the environment, and will love the ability to order physical clothes.
#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 purchase textiles and accessories. Models and large amounts of resources are required to create a stunning presentation.
AR can be a sustainable and profitable way for emerging designers to showcase their collections before consumers, journalists, bloggers, and other influencers. AR makes it possible for young fashion designers and entrepreneurs to participate in competitions that are more inclusive and reachable, regardless of where they live or how much money they have. These contests could even go to the Metaverse.
As a result, fashion will become more democratic and more ingenious designers will be able to join the industry.
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. Consumers tend to be cautious about designers who are unfamiliar to them. Changes in the consumer’s mind require a lot of effort.
Forecasting the future can seem futile because it is impossible to be exact. Aside from that, there are always black swans who will 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.