Augmented Reality (AR) is one of those things that is changing the way the digital world interacts with the real world. It’s literally bridging the gap between the two.

What Is AR?

AR is a little different to its sister Virtual Reality (VR). While VR is a completely simulated reality, AR is when the software overlays real-world images and videos with computer generated objects.

We see it almost daily with filters on social media. The technology maps your face and augments it in real time for your videos on TikTok and Instagram.

2 Ways AR Is Changing Things In Fashion

In the fashion world, this has been a massive game changer – especially for the online shopping part of it all.

  1. An Immersive Digital Experience

Studies have predicted that by the end of 2022, hundreds of thousands of brands will be making use of AR to help improve the online shopping experience.

Think about – you can “try on” the clothing, shoes, and accessories by using a video or photograph of yourself on the website or mobile app. You can see how the items you want to purchase will fit your body and not just try to imagine it based off the images of the model used in the online store.

This leads to better after sale satisfaction with your customers and fewer product returns for your store. In fact, Shopify did the research and found that they boosted their conversion rate by 97% when they started using AR and 3D imaging. They also lowered their rate of product returns by 40%.

  1. Better Insights From Customers

The AR technology holds onto the data from all the customer experiences it works on. You can see how often products were “tried on” and what the conversion rate for that is. You can see how often customers come back to “try on” products before they buy them, or how long the shopping session is before a sale is made.

This is invaluable market research. It’s almost like being able to spy on people in the brick-and-mortar shops, without compromising anyone’s privacy.

Is AR A Reality For All Fashion Brands And Retailers?

For quite a few years now, AR has been deployed for smaller items such as jewelry, hair accessories and cosmetics. It’s obviously much easier to see how something like a pair of sunglasses will look on a face than an entire outfit with fabric that moves as the person moves.

The technology to digitally render a 3D version of clothing over a video of a person and have that rendering move with the person if they move around in front of the camera, is available. At the moment, however, it’s still expensive and still largely in the pilot phase.

A lot of work is being done now by tech startups and larger fashion houses to implement this type of technology. From the live sports betting online NZ offers to clothing, tech advances are everywhere. With all this research and development underway, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.