Virtual trial rooms for online shoppers

PRIYA SHETH | Updated on March 12, 2018

Shopping online is now being turned into a more immersive experience. -K. Murali Kumar

There’s not much reason now to wonder if that petite looking blue dress on the Web site will fit you or not.

When it comes to buying something online, a buyers’ hesitation is almost always associated with how an apparel or accessory will look on them. Often you wonder, “Will it suit me?” Now, you can put all the self-doubt to rest. Online retailers are investing heavily in technology to give users the best buying experience.

Want to shop for sunglasses? The safest bet would be to walk into an opticians’ store and try on all sizes and shapes, until you find the one that best suits your face. Now, you don’t need to do any of that. Advanced technological tools can give you real-life experiences online. Log on to the Web site of GKB Optical, for instance. The Web site offers a number of interesting tools such as the ‘Try-on Virtual Mirror’ and the ‘Face shape guide’ that helps consumers try and buy products.

The ‘Try-on Visual Mirror’ allow consumers to upload their picture and try on the sunglasses and spectacle frames available on the website. The Face shape guide gives tips to buyers which can help them choose what kind of frames best suites their face shapes. Four face shapes are mentioned – heart shaped, round, square and oval.

Another website, offers online shoppers the facility of a ‘virtual trial room.’ Called ‘Zovi Eye,’ this feature allows shoppers to stand in front of the webcam and see the image of the clothing on them.

There was a time when only an image of the product was available online. High investments in technology have enabled e-tailers to allow shoppers to zoom into the fabric and even get a three-dimensional view of the apparel.

Fitiquette is a fashion Web site that uses a technology that can allow customers to try on outfits in a virtual 3D world based on the user’s exact body dimensions. The trial room gives a 360-degree view of the fit and drape of a garment on the actual body dimensions of the consumer. Online shoppers can rotate the model to check the ‘fit.’

Other technology

Few other technological developments that are prevalent and followed by global retailers in the online space include co-shopping, price drop alert and customer product pricing, said an e-tailing report by Technopak.

Co-shopping allows users sitting in different locations to view the same product page and discuss the product in a chat window. Customer tagging allows consumers to leave comments on products and act as a guide for other consumers. The price drop alert allows consumers to automate an incoming email message. This message is sent to you, when the price of the product drops to a specified level.

Another technology in the offing is haptic technology which will allow online shoppers to touch and feel the product. This could, for instance, let you get explore the ‘texture’ of the garment and so on.

Analysts say that with the increasing penetration of the internet, 3G devices and introduction of new 4G devices, online shopping is going to become even bigger. Cheap smartphones and retail applications are driving the adoption of online buying. A report by Technopak says that e-tailing is still a very small part of overall retail in India (about 0.1 per cent). It is projected to grow at a rapid pace to reach 7 to 8 per cent of the total Indian retail market by 2020.

Published on September 27, 2012

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