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06/22/2021

Survey: Virtual try-on becomes real phenomenon

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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More than four in 10 consumers have used a virtual try-on feature while shopping online.

According to a new survey of U.S. consumers from 3D and augmented reality (AR) commerce solutions provider Vertebrae, 44% of respondents have used virtual try-on while shopping on a retail site, and 69% of those respondents report they ended up buying the product online or in the store as a result. 

Virtual try-on combines AR with a front-facing camera to allow shoppers to see how apparel items would look on their own face or body. Of respondents who have used virtual try-on while shopping on a retail site, three in four did so in the last year. 

In addition, close to eight in 10 (77%) respondents who have never experienced virtual try-on would like to try it if it were easily available on a retail site. Almost half (49%) of respondents are likely or very likely to buy from a brand if they offer virtual try-on.

Despite numerous online retailers offering virtual makeup try-on features, the survey finds that use of virtual try-on is most widespread in eyewear. Eyewear is also the category where consumers find this tool most useful. Seven in 10 respondents selected eyewear and sunglasses as the top item that would be most useful to try on virtually in order to make an informed purchase decision. 

Almost eight out of 10 (79%) respondents are interested in using virtual try-on for eyewear if it is easily available on web or mobile sites. In comparison, only 27% feel that makeup would be most useful to try on virtually. And respondents most trust eyewear brands themselves to deliver the best virtual try-on experience (47%), over big-box retailers (29%) or Amazon (15%).

Other interesting findings include:
● More than four in 10 respondents (43%) said they were very unlikely or unlikely to use virtual try-on if it required extra steps such as uploading a photo or entering measurements.

● Respondents report the top three most helpful uses for virtual try-on are “I can see if the style is right for me” (63%), “I can see whether the color is right for me” (51%), and “I get an accurate sense of the size of the item” (46%).

“Virtual try-on is transforming shopping for entire categories like eyewear, hats, footwear, and soon clothing,” said Vince Cacace, founder and CEO of Vertebrae. “We are at an inflection point where both the technology and consumer demand is there. The survey reveals a huge opportunity for retailers to use virtual try-on  to differentiate and drive sales, particularly as consumers expect the best experiences to come from the brands themselves.”