2023 Fashion and Retail Augmented Reality Trends and Predictions

Annabelle Egwuyenga
September 28, 2022

In recent years, Augmented reality (AR) has grown increasingly popular in the fashion and retail sectors. The COVID-19 pandemic accounts for a large percentage of this increase. There’s been a global shift and adoption of online shopping since the lockdown.

Closed shops = People buying items on their phones from the comfort of their homes. Majority have found it convenient and are reluctant to go back to their old way of shopping.

Chart: Pandemic Accelerates Shift to Online Retail | Statista

Pioneered by tech giants, more brands are optimizing their shopping experience by offering customers engaging, immersive content that brings products to life using AR technology.

As we move forward, it is clear that AR will continue to play a significant role in the retail and fashion sectors. Let’s take a look at some top trends and predictions for the future of AR in these industries:

  • Virtual Try-On Solutions
  • Digital Clothes, NFT Collections and the Metaverse
  • Smart Mirrors
  • Advertising with Social Media AR Filters
  • Integration with other technologies: AI & AR Collaboration

Virtual Try-On Solutions

The adoption of virtual try-on solutions has been on the rise in recent years, and this trend is anticipated to continue. Digital try-ons serve as convenient alternative to physical fitting rooms, as customers can try and buy any item they like from the comfort of their home.

L’Oreal is a fashion brand that has adopted virtual try-on technology. They allow customers to virtually try on makeup products using just their smartphone.

One of L’Oreal’s virtual try-on technology offerings is its “Makeup Genius” app, which uses AR technology to apply makeup products to a customer’s face in real-time. Customers can try on different makeup looks and purchase the products directly within the app.

L’Oreal has reported that the adoption of its virtual try-on technology has been successful. In a case study, the company reported that its Makeup Genius app has been downloaded over 30 million times and has resulted in a significant increase in sales.

L’Oreal Makeup Genius

56% of shoppers surveyed by NielsenIQ said that AR gives them more confidence about the quality of a product, and 61% said they prefer to shop with retailers that offer AR experiences.

Therefore, we should expect to see more brands adopt AR-powered Virtual try-on experiences to stay ahead of the curve.

Digital Clothes, NFT Collections and the Metaverse

Digital clothes, also known as virtual fashion or digital fashion, are non-physical garments that can be worn in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) environments. NFTs, on the other hand, are unique digital assets that are verified on a blockchain, and can be used to represent ownership of digital items.

The Metaverse is a collective virtual shared space that is created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality. Its regarded as the future generation of the internet, as it is where the physical and digital worlds merge.

According to CB Insights’ Industry Analyst Consensus, the metaverse could represent a $1T market by the end of the decade. The metaverse has great potential to reshape the future of various industries, including retail.

A good number of notable brands display digital collectibles/wearables in the metaverse. Balenciaga released a VR fashion show called “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow.” Adidas attracted attention from all around the world when it unveiled its Virtual Gear NFT collection, which was produced in association with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, the makers of the PUNKS comics from the Pixel Vault, and cryptocurrency investor Gmoney.

A lot of other brands are also experimenting with NFT wearables.

16/16 Adidas digital wearable NFTs

We can envision seeing more fashion firms create metaverse collections and use digital clothing and NFTs as a tool to engage with customers as VR and AR technology continues to advance and become more broadly accessible.

Smart Mirrors

Mirror mirror on the wall do I look better in the white dress or the gold one?

It will be easier to answer this question thanks to smart mirrors. These interactive mirrors revolutionize the way customers browse and try on items at retail shops. They offer a one-of-a-kind shopping experience by utilizing technologies like augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

One brand leading the charge in the adoption of smart mirrors is Neiman Marcus. The luxury department store chain has introduced “Memory Mirrors” in select locations, allowing customers to record their try-on sessions and compare different outfits side-by-side. The mirrors also have the ability to suggest additional items to complete an outfit and allow customers to easily purchase items directly from the mirror.

Smart mirrors can be optimized to boost sales for stores while also giving customers a more convenient and customized shopping experience. Retailers can increase the average order value by recommending additional items and enabling simple checkouts directly from the mirror.

In addition to the retail industry, smart mirrors are also being implemented in other sectors such as healthcare and fitness. For instance, The Mirror is a home gym system that utilizes a smart mirror to provide personalized workouts and track progress.

The Mirror home gym system

Overall, the adoption of smart mirrors in retail and other industries is on the rise, and it will be fascinating to observe how this technology develops over time and how it’ll impact the way we shop and interact with products.

Advertising with Social Media AR Filters

The use of AR filters to advertise on social media platforms is a powerful marketing tool that has come to stay. Brands can now easily create content to tell their brand story in a unique and immersive way, that users can engage with on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

Some examples of brands that have adopted social media AR filters include Maybelline, which used an AR filter on Instagram to promote its SuperStay Matte Ink lipstick.

Image Credit: Lenslist

Social media AR filters provides an opportunity for brands to reach and market to a large and engaged audience. AR filters on social media are often shared by users, which can help to increase brand awareness and reach even more potential customers.

We can anticipate seeing more companies use AR filters on social media to advertise and market their products as the technology continues to advance and become more accessible. In addition, we can expect to see social media platforms offer technologies to support brands in releasing sophisticated and interactive AR filters to employ in their marketing campaigns.

Integration with other technologies: AI & AR Collaboration

The future of AI and AR collaborations in the fashion and retail industry looks bright and promising. Combined, these innovative technology can exponentially take the retail and fashion industry to the next level. AI makes AR work better.

Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

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For one, Artificial intelligence powers facial and spatial recognition software needed for AR to function. Environment sensor data must be interpreted using complex algorithms. In comparison to a model created only by humans, AI can streamline that process and increase accuracy.

One potential use of AI and AR in the fashion industry is the development of virtual fitting rooms. Using AR technology, consumers will be able to virtually try on clothing and accessories before making a purchase, eliminating the need for physical fitting rooms and reducing the amount of returns due to incorrect sizing.

AI can also be used to create personalized shopping experiences for customers. By analyzing data on a customer’s past purchases and preferences, AI can make personalized product recommendations and curate a unique shopping experience for each individual.

In addition to enhancing the shopping experience, AI and AR can also be utilized in the production process of fashion and retail products. For example, AI can be used to optimize the design process, while AR can be utilized for virtual prototyping, allowing for quicker and more efficient production.

This 2023, we can expect an increased adoption of AR try-on technology. According to Statista, Revenue in the AR & VR market is projected to reach US$31.12bn this year. It is also projected there will be 2.4 billion mobile augmented reality (AR) users worldwide.

In conclusion, it is clear that AR will continue to play a significant role in the retail and fashion industries. Brands that embrace this technology will have a competitive advantage, as they will be able to offer customers engaging and personalized shopping experiences that set them apart from the competition.

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