Augmented Reality for Shops
Big Returns For Online Fashion
Making an online purchase for clothing has long been marred by people expecting a certain style and receiving something different, or colours that are not quite right for the outfit they choose. A Sydney based entrepreneur is stitching up these problems with his application which is the first of its kind in this country. It allows customers to try before they buy when purchasing online.
An augmented reality virtual mirror application, Bonn,(see video below) developed by Matthew McCourt allows online shoppers to try on clothing and accessories from the comfort of their own home or office. The ability to turn your lounge room into a virtual change room is groundbreaking, taking the on-line shopping experience to the next level.
The global trend of people making retail purchases online is evident in Australia with constant media coverage of the economic hardship faced by bricks and mortar retailers. Matthew has come up with this excellent concept where people’s webcams and computer screens become the change room mirror and gives users a remarkably accurate picture of how apparel will look and fit them.
The online boom is not without a few speed bumps along the way. McCourt says that around 40% apparel items purchased online are returned, which hinders the growth of online shopping for fashion items.
“Online retailers can gain access to our product which we’ve just launched,” McCourt says from his Bondi apartment. “Consumers can try on various items and get a great representation of what they will look like in their newly found outfit. The augmented reality benefits the online store, making for fewer returns with the try before you buy situation.”
The technology, which uses image recognition and tracking software similar to your Xbox Kinect, has been developed to operate on any computer or tablet with a webcam. The user can stand in front of their computer and use their hands to interact with the software.
Matthew says this form of try before you buy is a game changer when it comes to online shopping.
“The concept gives a richer experience for the online shopper,” McCourt said. “Not only can they try before they buy but they can upload photos from Bonn straight onto social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.”
The social media plug-in gives users the opportunity to share their new fashion find, giving online retailers cross platform marketing exposure. For example, a girl in Sydney shopping for a wedding dress could use the application to try on a few different dresses. She could then send the uploaded photos across to her parents living in Europe. Although Mum lives 1000’s of kilometres away, she is still involved with the purchasing decision.
“This helps when mum is paying for the dress.” Matt joked.
Retailers can license the software application as a bolt-on to their existing e-commerce offering. The solution is a must have tool for all online or bricks-and-mortar retailers with an online presence who are seeking to drive traffic and sales to their products.