Virtual Shopping Boutiques: Augmented Reality is changing the fashion landscape
Augmented reality in the fashion industry has – virtual fitting rooms, virtual makeover artists, virtual try-it-on technologies, and even virtual apparel. But if you think that these are the future of AR, then let me introduce you to – virtual shopping boutiques!
Based in London, Machine-A is a concept-based store that has innovatively integrated augmented reality to make fashion feel more real and immersive. Since the lockdown has caused a dip in physical shopping experiences as well as physical fashion shows, Machine-A came up with the idea of hosting virtual shopping boutiques.
What are AR shopping boutiques?
Machine-A partnered with the Institute of Digital Fashion to display the passionate works of Martine Rose, A-Cold-Wall, and more with the agenda of reaching out to people and highlighting the alluring and pleasant works done by them. The Machine-A Founder and buying Director. Stavros Karelis mentioned – “We wanted to raise awareness for the brands that we are carrying, especially in this period of time when the store is shut and London Fashion Week is taking place digitally.”
AR shopping boutiques aim at changing the fashion landscape, inculcating unique and engaging ways to enrich customer experiences, and offering interactive events.
How does an AR shopping boutique work?
Embedded in posters and billboards, a QR code scan allows for the sales floor of the Autumn/Winter 2021 collections from the London Fashion Week to come virtually alive to help customers tour through the pieces. The experience essentially brings out the best possible blend of digital content with AR.
Through AR shopping boutiques viewers have the chance to experience a “…digital rendering…” of the world of fashion. As Stavros Karelis further said – “For us, it’s important to always be discovering new innovative ways to engage with our customers and our community.”
Without even having to click a button, and instead simply scanning a QR code Machine-A’s consumers can transport from their homes into the boutique and from the AR boutique “…directly onto to the e-commerce site…”.
Top reasons why AR shopping boutiques are loved in the fashion industry
While AR shopping experiences are becoming more frequent and common in the fashion industry, they are being seen as an “essential” feature to keep customers engaged and loyal. Be it customer retention, brand loyalty, emotive inclusion, and any other indispensable growth strategy, AR stands at the center of them all.
While luxury brands from Gucci to Estee Lauder have already stomped their way into AR-based trial rooms, and Pangaia and Balenciaga are experimenting with virtual worlds, AR shopping boutiques are loved in the fashion industry because they come with the power of storytelling. Through the AR shopping boutique set up by Machine-A, the company was not just able to create buzz about its name but also offer customers the story of the works of the designers in an “emotive and genuine” way.
Further to instill a new life and soar to new heights in the AR fashion industry, Leanne Elliott Young and Catty Taylor launched the Institute of Digital Fashion, a year ago.
Furthermore, multiple independent designers are in dire need of finding a platform that can innovatively connect their work with an interested target audience and customer following. And what better solution that AR integrated into the fashion industry in the form of shopping boutiques!
Stavros also believes that these AR shopping boutiques can efficiently filter out consumer preferences and add the special element of ‘customization’ into the digital platform.
Make Your Virtual Shopping Boutique today
Top brands in the world are engaging in AR-based events, product launches, product visualizations, and in-depth storytelling to not just thrive but to dominate AR-based shopping. As Forrester’s Vice President and Principal Analyst, Julie Ask, puts it – “Ten years ago, it was a bit gimmicky. Today, the quality of the digital representation of products is excellent. AR is proven to drive more browsing among consumers, higher conversion rates and fewer returns”.