The fashion industry is a mecca for artistic and technological innovations. To reduce try-on friction and reach new audiences, high fashion apparel brands, like Dior, Gucci and Neiman Marcus, have incorporated modern technologies like augmented reality (AR) into their marketing strategies.
AR Is Changing The Way Consumers Experience Fashion
Opportunities for immersive technology are reinventing shopping experiences for consumers. Bringing digital components into the high-end fashion industry, AR adds new layers to consumers’ current perceptions of how to shop for clothes. Essentially, the smartphone has become a monocle through which apparel buying is experienced. From catalogs to storefront window displays, AR converts basic marketing materials into delightful three-dimensional experiences and adds inviting elements to the in-store shopping process. Incorporating AR into marketing strategies enables fashion brands and retailers to deliver customer-first interactions and connect with new audiences.
AR Is A Good Look For Fashion Brands Looking To Reduce Try-On Friction
AR is helping revive the in-store experience and decrease try-on friction for clothing stores and fashion brands. AR layers within a brand’s app can empower a customer to virtually try on a clothing product on the screen. The sense of connection and ownership have traditionally been vital drivers for the in-store customer fashion experience. By adding AR elements to both in-store and online experiences, fashion marketers are encouraging shoppers to more easily foster positive feelings about new clothing articles and accessories.
From photos taken with interactive fitting room mirrors to Snapchat and Instagram partnerships, fashion brands have the opportunity to take AR and create outstanding brand awareness among a new group of consumers. Millennials and Gen Z shoppers, generations that have not historically represented the primary targets for luxury fashion brands, can experience products in new ways with AR. AR filters empower prospective shoppers to take and share photos and videos which depict them enjoying the products or promoting the brand’s message. As a result, AR has created a powerful social media branding opportunity, encouraging the sharing of user-generated content (UGC), for brands that once shunned the ideas of mainstream advertising.
Dior Debuted Its Capsule Collection With AR & A Snapchat Partnership
Last month, famous fashion house Dior announced three new Snapchat filter lenses as part of its introduction of the capsule collection, a partnership with luxury luggage brand Rimowa. The three new filters, the face lens, world lens and marker tech lenses, allow viewers to experience various elements from Dior’s latest ad campaign. For example, the world lens gives Snapchat users a front row seat in a futuristic car, in which the Rimowa suitcase can be discovered via AR.
Gucci Paired AR & VR With Its 2018 Spring Collection
In Spring 2018, Gucci incorporated both AR and virtual reality (VR) into its marketing with scannable window displays. The “Hallucinations” campaign was a video of artist Ignasi Monreal stepping into one of his illustrations to provide viewers a tour of the Gucci items worn by the models depicted in Monreal’s images. Fifteen of the 20 campaign illustrations Monreal painted appeared in print magazines and newspapers. Consumers could scan the images with their Gucci app to reveal the AR elements hidden within. Although Gucci was not the first apparel brand to launch this type of campaign, it was one of the first high-end luxury fashion houses to embrace AR.
In summer 2019, Gucci added more AR elements to its marketing and launched a digital lens within its app for consumers to try on the new line of Ace sneakers. With the Gucci app, users choose an Ace sneaker style, point their phones’ cameras at their feet and then view how the shoes look on them via a virtual try-on experience.
Neiman Marcus Added Tech Benefits From Online Shopping To The In-Store Experience
In March 2019, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus opened its first Manahattan location —
a 188,000-square-foot, three-floor store in Hudson Yard packed with the latest retail technologies. CEO of the Neiman Marcus Group, Geoffroy van Raemdonck said, “Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards will be all about providing physical and digital experiences in a way not seen at other stores, creating a personal customer experience that is seamless and magical.” The launch of Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards provided impressive tech, including memory makeover mirrors and interactive fitting rooms. The memory makeover mirrors enable shoppers to record beauty demonstrations and make-up tutorials experienced in-store and later access the content via text or email. Meanwhile, the interactive fitting rooms come with touch-screen mirrors which allow shoppers to customize the lighting and send messages to sales associates requesting alternate sizes or products.
What’s Next For AR In Fashion?
AR is still in its infancy when it comes to fashion applications. Retailers are trying to perfect the try-on experience and determine how their brands will connect with customers differently in-store and online. As shopping evolves, improved AR can help retailers relieve pain points, reduce friction and re-create the shopping experience into an interactive immersion that blends the digital with the physical.
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