Posted by Alex Jackson on 27th Jul 2018
It looks good in the picture… but will it look good on you? That is the number one question faced by consumers when shopping online for clothing, accessories, and cosmetics.
Facebook is in the process of fine-tuning some tech to answer this question so that you can make your next purchase from one of their advertising partners. You are probably quite familiar with this technology, if you have kids or have played Pokémon Go yourself, it’s called augmented reality. Up to this point, its applications have been fairly basic and more gimmicky than practical. It’s been mostly used by retailers to demonstrate stationary objects like furniture, home goods, and appliances. The concept is simple, you take a picture of a room and place the item in the picture so you can visualize how it will look in the environment It’s neat, but not earth-shattering. But with the rapid advances in both hardware and software, AR technology has rapidly improved and is finally coming into its prime with many retailers like Amazon, Target, and Ikea also jumping on the AR bandwagon.
So what exactly has Facebook done? It’s vastly improved AR tech by making it more fully interactive. Want to try out a pair of sunglasses? Or see how that wild shade of lipstick looks on you before you shell out 30 bucks? Well, that’s just what this new AR tool does. Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and Sephora will be among the first retailers to test out the new ad format coming soon to your Facebook news feed. Michael Kors first AR ad allows a shopper to try on a pair of sunglasses virtually, click on the ad and it activates your device's camera so you can see how the sunglasses appear on your face, you can change the color of the frame or the tint of the lenses of your shades. The virtual sunglasses move with your face seamlessly so it’s far less cartoonish than some face filters you may already be familiar with using Instagram or snapchat. Augmented reality is poised to play a crucial role in the future of retail, it’s not just for games or making cartoon faces with friends it’s becoming a new important marketing tool, and its applications are boundless. For starters these interactive products are far more engaging to consumers and engaging that shopper is the first critical step in converting a casual shopper into a customer. This technology can also be used to measure yourself, and the garment eliminating the need to try it on greatly reducing losses suffered by retailers for items returned that do not fit properly. You can also build and try out outfits and entire wardrobes virtually before making your first purchase. That’s a lot of potential time saved by your average shopper.
These tools will soon be in the hands of independent entrepreneurs such as yourself and for those early adaptors, it will be a tremendous asset to grow your business. Knowing what to sell and utilizing all the tools available to you is key to your businesses success so it’s always important to keep your eye on the horizon for the next tool to help your business thrive.
It’s becoming clear that while technology has not completely closed the gap between the real and virtual shopping experience, it has certainly moved in leaps and bounds to narrow the gap.
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