Technology has transformed everything around us. From the way we eat, travel, learn to even
communicate, every realm of life has seen a rapid advancement - thanks to technology’s
integration. Similarly, the world of fashion too has undergone a major revamp.
Until a few years ago, the concept of buying online was often shrugged off as a madman’s idea.
Today, it’s become a norm, with online sales comprising of a huge chunk of revenue for retail
players. Over the years, from sales analytics to smart logistics, the wave of technological
transformation has constantly been changing the course of the fashion industry.
Today, the buck stops at yet another revolutionary innovation; one that is sure to redefine the
shopping experience for all.
Introducing virtual mannequins. What are they, you ask? We all know the clothing display
mannequins that stand outside shops, draped in garments, grabbing our attention. Now imagine
them in a whole new light in the digital world, where they can interact, look exactly like you and
can be used by you to try any garment you like, from the comfort of your home.
Let us explain clearly. The virtual mannequin, which runs online, is a game-changing technology
that is built on augmented reality. As we all know, augmented reality is the face of the future.
It’s a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real
world, thus providing a composite view. In the context of the fashion industry, through
augmented reality, virtual mannequins let you trial the clothes you like, right where you are -
without having to go anywhere. In short, this virtual mannequin enables augmented reality
shopping, all while offering an experience that is as realistic and even more engaging than the
physical trial that one would undertake at a store.
At the crux of this digital trial room is a mission to offer an engaging trial experience to users. To
enable this, the digital mannequin works on a 3D model. All users need to do is create their
digital avatar. With WonderFashion, users can go a step further and create a digital avatar that
looks exactly like them. Here’s how: WonderFashion’s virtual trial room lets users click and
upload a selfie. Once uploaded, the image is rendered and applied on to their digital avatar in 3D.
This way they can create their digital twin. Right from skin complexion to height, weight and
other fine details, everything can be altered to suit their physical appearance. This is a major
breakthrough, because, they can exactly see how any article of clothing looks on them and then
proceed to make a purchase.
These selfie-based avatars add a whole new dimension to shopping online. From accessing the fit
to seeing how a particular colour or shade of garment looks on them, everything can be clearly
portrayed to the consumers, thereby leaving no room for second-guessing.
For the retail industry, this can prove very beneficial. Many times, we all shop and order a piece
of clothing online and then wait for a couple of days for it to arrive at our doorstep. Only after
we receive it and try it do we realise that we have ordered the wrong fit or notice that the actual
colour defers from that of the image shown online. With a digital mannequin, all this can be
resolved. The user can check each every detail applied on to his avatar and only then purchase it.
This wins the loyalty of the customer and allows businesses to save a lot of money by resolving
the ‘returns issue’.
The same digital avatars have the potential to become online assets to represent the users’
personality online. Users can share digital avatars with their friends, edit them as and when
required and even add more enhancements on a regular basis to match their physical appearance.
There are many advantages that virtual mannequins bring to the table. Thanks to digital trial
rooms, brands can move their entire wardrobes online, enabling them to take their stores to
where the customer is. This gives the user the chance to trial 1000’s of clothes in a day without
feeling even a bit tired. Users can try and buy as many clothes as they want without having to
step out, wade through traffic, stand in crowded aisles or wait for days- sometimes weeks - until
they receive their online-purchased deliveries.
With high-definition rendering and a dynamic interaction interface, virtual mannequins allow
customers to enjoy a 360-degree view, once they have applied the garment of their choice to their
digital avatar. Even the smallest details of the clothing can be seen in crystal-clear clarity to
enforce better purchasing decisions.
Apart from offering a great experience to customers, this technology also extends a great deal of
help to businesses. Store mannequins are expensive and at the same time are required to be
well-maintained, requiring regular attention and care. With digital trial rooms, the need to have
them becomes obsolete. This way, businesses can reduce expensive mannequin costs and at the
same time also save a lot on maintenance expenses.
In an on-ground store, digital trail rooms also make the stores very efficient. Sales personnel can
deploy this application on a tablet or a cellphone and hand it over to the customers who step
inside. Customers can then go through the entire collection available at that particular store and
try them out virtually. This digital dress-up solution makes shopping much easier and enjoyable
for customers, thereby enabling businesses to offer a better customer experience. Additionally,
since it reduces physical trials, businesses can save time and cost otherwise incurred due to
folding multiple clothes.
One more great advantage that virtual trial rooms offer is that businesses can encourage
contactless trial. In a time like this, when the COVID pandemic has left businesses out of sales,
the virtual trial comes as a blessing. While it not only offers a great trial experience, it also
mitigates any risk of the spread of infection. Users can try clothes online and businesses can use
this to their advantage to display multiple styles and combinations to upsell more.
Given the many benefits virtual mannequins offer, we cannot help but agree that it is easy
shopping online, when powered by virtual mannequins. With more and more retail players
keenly looking into investing in this technology, we are certain that in a few years the digital trail
room is going to change the way we shop - for better.