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Most of us have already experienced Augmented Reality either through gaming or through filters on social media, but we might be wondering how are luxury brands leveraging this technology? In this article, we are going to explore how brands like Dior, Chanel or Gucci use mobile augmented reality to build immersive and unforgettable experiences for their consumers. We have identified 7 key applications of mobile AR for fashion brands.
First, let’s go through a quick definition of Augmented Reality. “Augmented reality is the layering of digital components onto our existing reality, often done through a viewing device such as a tablet, smartphone, or AR glasses. Augmented reality is used to enhance or augment the world around us with digital information.”
Now let’s see how this technology is playing out in the luxury industry.
1. The use of lenses
What better way to immerse your audience in your brand universe and move beyond physical marketing efforts than to use augmented reality lenses? That’s precisely what Chanel decided to do while hosting a holiday pop-up at The Standard in New York. During four days, the brand created a busy shopping area into a winter wonderland with hot chocolate, ice skating, and plenty of ‘Instagramable’ spots out of the boutique hotel. Chanel also invited its community to try out an AR experience accessible through a Snapchat lens or by downloading an app through Chanel.com. Those unable to come to the pop-up could also use the lens which created more virality for the campaign. For the rest of the Chanel community around the globe, you were still invited to view the world through the lens of the brand which was pretty amazing.
2. Virtual Try-on
Who has never experienced virtual try-on experience through Snapchat filters? One of the most common use-cases for augmented reality in fashion is for enabling virtual try-one experience. Loads of makeup brands have jumped into this space, including L’Oreal and YSL Beauty. Over the years, brands such as Dior and Gucci have created a series of filters for Snapchat and Facebook to enable consumers to try-on accessories. Dior created filters to enable hats and sunglasses virtual try-on while Gucci launched a feature within its iOS app to enable augmented reality try-on of its line of ACE sneakers. Both experiences help consumers relate to the brands and visualize these luxury products on them. It’s also a way for brands to get closer to younger generations of consumers more sensible towards new technologies.
3. Embedded experiences
For the opening of Burberry’s new retail shop in Tokyo, the brand launched an Augmented Reality shopping tool through Google Search technology. The tool enables consumers to experience Burberry’s products embedded in their environment. The goal is to enhance customers’ research and shopping experience online.
With the current COVID-19 situation, there are even more opportunities for augmented reality in fashion especially regarding Runway Shows, Smart Mirrors, Showrooms, and Windows. Let’s explore further AR potentials.
4. AR runway Shows
Runway shows have always been expensive and resource-consuming to produce. COVID-19 has indeed accelerated the need for a digital version. An augmented reality runway experience is a true alternative as it complies with the rules of social distancing. It’s also a way to democratize the runway, enabling new guests who wouldn’t usually be invited to the front row of the fashion show.
What we mean by augmented reality runway isn’t just a live stream of the events, which has existed for a long time, but visualizing augmented reality models in your living room. It was done recently at the London Fashion Week where the British fashion model Adwoa Aboah walked proudly the catwalk in augmented reality.
5. Augmented Reality mirrors
It will be interesting to keep an eye on augmented reality mirrors which will develop further. Smart mirrors are moving from in-store to in-home, assisting us every step of the way: whether we are trying different outfits, discovering our style, assisting us with online purchases but also dressing up and who knows maybe even helping us to stay fit.
6. Augmented Reality showrooms
Augmented reality can provide a simulation of the in-store experience anywhere. 3D is becoming the new standard for product rendering offering a 360° view in any environment. It is also being used extensively to conduct product research, testing the demand for certain products.
Many companies have been trying to use augmented reality to offer a showroom experience to their consumers. For example, Kohl’s and Snapchat created a partnership to offer an immersive shopping experience using the Snapchat app to transform any space into a showroom. Users could explore countless looks and add items to their shopping cart for purchase in real life.
7. Augmented Reality windows
New collections have often been showcased using display windows to catch shoppers’ attention in your store. Using augmented reality, brands can add a new layer of digital storytelling and interactivity. For example, Helen Papagiannis developed an augmented reality activation to show how Louis Vuitton could extend its window displays. Smartpixels developed similar activations for Dior, Moet Hennessy, Nike, and Kenzo.
Augmented reality technology will continue to shape the future of luxury retail, especially in a post-COVID19 world. The current crisis has disrupted the industry and various innovations are yet to come.