The fashion industry has always been regarded as one of the industries that most pursue practical benefits. From the runway to the store, from brand positioning to celebrity endorsement, the ultimate profit is an important criterion. According to studies on consumer behaviors, “shopping experience” is an important determinant during the consumer purchasing process, so, to fashion brands, upgrading online shopping experience is a key point.
To better meet consumers’ needs, having more positive interactions with consumers is essential, which is a more far-reaching and meaningful direction for brands. Under the impact of COVID-19 this year, the suspension of offline stores has pushed brands to rely on online channels to a greater extent, and AR, the application of augmented reality, is one of the highlights.
Apply AR to enhance the buying experience
Both the official websites of fashion brands and third-party platforms are actively deploying online channels and improving consumers’ online shopping experience. Aiming at AR application is the next move.
In China, Tmall has always been an important platform for luxury brands to link with Chinese consumers. Since the pandemic, many heavyweight luxury brands chose Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion and Luxury Soho as their business partner in China. In addition to Tmall’s extensive sinking market and wholesome supporting services, Tmall has also been digging into the needs of its users – besides proposing new communication forms such as livestreaming and short videos, Tmall is also an industry leader in AR try-on and 3D interactive stores.
AR has been known as a new technology for a long time, but its application in the shopping process may still be new to most consumers. The introduction of AR in the purchase process is an important step that can promote consumers to make buying decisions. AR try-on can break the barriers between online shopping and physical shopping in a true sense, enhance the interaction between users and brands, and provide a more real buying experience.
Utilizing AR as a channel to create communication value
Affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 at the beginning of this year, Shanghai Fashion Week quickly launched the “Cloud Fashion Week” in cooperation with Tmall. The special feature of this fashion week is that AR technology was applied to the fashion show for the first time in the runway: models walked in front of the green screen, and the postproduction team used AR technology to render the runway effects the brand needed.
The brilliance of the application of AR is to spread the technology by social media. Not only brands and platforms can obtain social media posts from consumers that highlight the brand’s technological connotation, but also they can gain access to consumers’ social life, thus establishing a model that goes beyond the simple “sale-purchase”. At the marketing level, it can also gain further exposure to promote marketing.
It is not difficult to find that AR-like technologies are not just projects that brands have just started to develop after the pandemic. In the context of the declining offline retail and the generation of GEN Z becoming the brand’s target clientele, whether it is a luxury brand or a fashion shopping platform, it should be smarter to emphasize its own technological attributes.