Welcome to the virtual makeup chair, where customers can try multiple products, change their minds and try anew – from the comfort of their couch and in mere minutes with virtual try-on.
With the lockdowns and temporary closure of retail shops, brands and customers have caught on to the necessity of online shopping. This generation-defining pandemic period turned even the mature age groups to shopping online. So, the trend is clear: no one is giving up on the comfort of shopping from their couch and the ease of ordering online anytime soon. But let’s be honest, there’s one undeniable downside to shopping online; globally, 40% of shoppers think that not being able to see, touch and try out products keep them from online shopping.
Enter the Virtual Try-On
The VTO technology is taking our beloved online shopping experience one step further – turning its disadvantages into advantages. Customers cannot visit the store? Then they can see more options in seconds. They don’t get to touch the products? But they can compare and see for themselves. They can’t try them on? Well, yes… Yes, they can!. And as customers switch between options, see which goes better with which, and come up with multiple complete looks that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t!) have tried on even if they were spending hours in the store itself, the e-commerce starts to become something new, something immersive.
A report on consumer trends shows that 45% of beauty buyers in the US and the UK want to try the products at home before buying – and Virtual Try-On gives them exactly that. They can be on the couch and try the products, a recipe for seamless shopping (or should we say, the future of shopping?) and a better brand experience. And be it at home or in-store, it’s easier (and safer!) to try the products virtually. Especially now, when the try-on experience is no longer compromised. Really, it is a win-win situation: Brands can invite their customers back to the stores if they like, but the VTO technology will help create a truly omnichannel experience.
So, in short, why is VTO on the rise?
For one, it’s faster. The mere minutes of switching between products would take the shoppers maybe hours to try in the store.
Two, it gives customers a more comprehensive view of products and possibilities. They get to experience with trial and error what works for them and what goes with the products they already own. And brands can make better, more accurate suggestions that hit the spot.
Three, bringing online shopping and try-ons together eliminates the element of surprise and the possibility of customer dissatisfaction once the product is delivered. Therefore, the purchase decision becomes much easier for the customer and the buyer journey gets shorter.
Four, customers can venture out to a different array of products they wouldn’t have gone for in the store and products can reach a wider audience.
And last but definitely not least, Virtual Try-On creates sustainability by eliminating what is arguably the biggest downside of online shopping: returns. According to research on consumer expectations, now over 60% of customers bracket their purchases to see which item works for them. Reducing returns with VTO would both save the customer (and the brand) time and increase their satisfaction regarding the shopping experience while helping companies move away from unsustainable business models. It’s high time we each do our part in protecting the planet, wouldn’t you agree?