Why is it worth investing in shoe virtual try-on?

Frequent AR consumers by age group
Frequent AR consumers based on age range

Augmented Reality : a rising trend

The e-commerce market is predicted to increase by roughly $11 trillion between 2021 and 2025 [1].


As businesses moved online during the COVID-19 epidemic, the global digitalization trend increased at a breakneck rate. Due to lowering barriers to penetrating the sector, competition is rising. To illustrate, it is estimated that today there are 12-24 million e-commerce websites worldwide [1].


Therefore, it is mandatory for brands to invest their resources to gain a distinctive competitive advantage. Solutions are many, but today it is clear how Augmented Reality (AR) and virtual-try-on are in the spotlight.


According to Google’s 2019 AR survey, 66% of people would like to use Augmented Reality technology to make better buying decisions [2]. People who buy luxury products tend to spend more time considering their purchases and often use 3D assets and AR technology to help them decide.

What is virtual try-on, and how can it benefit the shoe market?

Immagini 3D utilizzate per la Realtà Aumentata
Augmented Reality tool for shoes

Virtual try-on is a great use case for Augmented Reality experiences in retail. This feature allows shoppers to see how products will look in their homes and on their bodies before purchasing them.


Augmented Reality allows placing 3D images in real-world scenarios. Virtual try-on tools allow you to see how products would look on your body as if you were in a real store.


Among all the shoe sales made online, between 20% and 35% are returned [3]. Moreover, around 30% of e-commerce buyers reported the main reason for returning goods was the fact that they were “not as described” [4].


SmartPixels with its 3D rendering service can support you in implementing a virtual try-on tool on your website. In this way, customers will be provided with more information before making their decision.


Don’t you think that if they could virtually “try on their beloved pairs of shoes before they shop”, it would reduce return rates?

Virtual try-on for sneakers by Amazon

Soluzione di virtual try-on sviluppata da Amazon
Virtual try-on filter for shoes by Amazon

Augmented Reality and virtual try-on are most likely to reshape both the fashion and shoe industry.


According to research, shoppers who interact with AR and virtual try-on features are 90% more likely to convert than those who don’t [5]. Shoe brands began to understand the potential of these devices. In fact, we’re already seeing relevant examples of brands implementing this technology and using it to boost conversions.


To illustrate, the retail giant Amazon recently introduced a new interactive purchase experience. Virtual try-on for shoes employs Augmented Reality technology to project virtual shoes onto any user’s feet in real-time. Many shoe brands, including New Balance, Adidas, and Puma, rely on this ground-breaking technology.


Each customer will have the chance to try on any available pair of shoes. Moreover, they can zoom, rotate and visualize the 3D models of their items from a multitude of angles.

Virtual try-on for shoes: step by step

Virtual try-on solution by SmartPixels
Virtual try-on filter for shoes created by SmartPixels

SmartPixels is able to digitalize all your shoe collections and realize your virtual try-on solution.


With our 3D configurator software and advanced technology, you can easily create a custom AR experience by following a few simple steps.


-For instance, we need your physical items in order to scan them and realize 3D renderings. Once the digital images are available, they are integrated into your website, ready to deliver the virtual try-on experience.


-The final decision on which shoes to buy lies with the consumer. You just need to make sure that your online catalog (and other sales channels) have the right selection of shoes.


-To unlock the virtual try-on feature, users have to press the “virtual-try-on” button. Once this is completed, the smartphone’s camera opens automatically. In the last step, shoppers will just need to point the camera at their feet to show how the pair of shoes fit them! 

Why shoes’ virtual try-on can provide engaging customer experiences

Soluzione di virtual try-on sviluppata da Gucci
Gucci virtual-try on filter for sneakers

Augmented Reality allows customers to view and interact with products in a way that is similar to if they were in a physical store. This makes online shopping more realistic and enjoyable.


As AR technology gets better, retailers may start using it to engage new groups of consumers in different ways.


The Italian luxury brand Gucci has developed a technology that allows customers to try on its iconic “Ace” sneakers using Augmented Reality. Buyers see a virtual image of the sneakers overlaid on their feet after pointing a smartphone straight down and choosing a shoe style.


Since the app is able to track foot movements, users are able to visualize the digital pair of shoes in real-time, from different perspectives.


SmartPixels is an expert in interactive 3D product generation and visualization. Leveraging SmartPixels 3D renderings software, digital assets can be created and implemented for a variety of uses, including virtual try-on. Brands can improve customer satisfaction by letting shoppers see 3D visuals of their products and try them on in real-time. 


[1] Shopify, the Future of e-commerce 2022

[2] https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-trends/ar-shopping-interest-statistics/

[3] https://highheelsdaily.com/2017/02/12/whats-the-return-rate-for-shoes-purchased-online/#:~:text=A%20rough%20statistic%20for%20the,every%20three%20to%20five%20sales.

[4] https://www.emarketer.com/content/returns-are-expected-to-be-extra-concentrated-this-holiday-season

[5] https://www.retailcustomerexperience.com/articles/why-retailers-should-embrace-augmented-reality-in-the-wake-of-covid-19/