Virtual try-on: what it is and why your brand needs one

Despite the growing popularity of online shopping, brick-and-mortar stores have retained their main advantage – customers being able to try out products before buying them. But, as shopping increasingly moves online, brands are striving to offer a holistic user experience on their digital channels, too.

Luckily, the advancing virtual try-on technology makes it possible to try on almost anything in seconds – from makeup, jewelry, and glasses to clothes and shoes.

The benefits of a virtual try-on

Today, most computers and smartphones support AR. What is more, its popularity keeps growing every day, mostly thanks to social networks. This makes virtual try-on solutions easily accessible and highly desirable to end users. It’s a great opportunity for brands to get closer to their customers on their favorite platforms.

What’s in it for beauty brands?

For brands, a virtual try-on can make a significant difference when it comes to marketing and sales.

Whether it’s a smart mirror in a brick-and-mortar store or a tailor-made mobile application, a virtual try-on delivers a quick, realistic, and personalized product experience to customers. This technology allows consumers to experiment with numerous products in no time, often paired with product recommendations to stimulate additional sales.

Besides being a useful tool on your customers’ shopping adventures, a virtual try-on can be a valuable source of information, too.

For example, you can keep track of which products are selling the most and adjust the offering across various locations to meet the real needs of your customers. A virtual try-on can also help reduce the significant costs associated with product returns.

Why do customers love virtual try-ons?

For customers, having a chance to try on the desired product makes buying decisions much easier, especially when shopping online.

Knowing how the desired product fits them increases the chances of buying it and being happy with the purchase. This makes the overall user experience better and more personal. In return, customers are more likely to buy from the same brand again.

How to develop a virtual try-on?

Virtual try-on should be personalized for each brand. It should present products as realistically as possible and be easy to use. At Visage Technologies, we tailor each virtual try-on to the specific goals and needs of each client. However, the main steps in the development are always the same.

First of all, you need to be able to detect a person’s face in photos or videos.

Our FaceTrack detects 99 facial points and tracks faces in real time. This ensures that the desired product stays in place even when the user moves their head – just like looking in a mirror. The user only needs to turn on the camera – everything else is automated.

Then, great attention is paid to the optimal presentation of the products.

In order for this technology to be both useful for customers and profitable for retailers, it is necessary to show the attributes that are important to customers as faithfully as possible. For example, red lipstick may sound like a simple product at first, but customers will immediately notice the difference between various shades of red, and a glossy or matte effect.

The faithfulness of the product is the reason why creating a single model of glasses can take several hours. At Visage Technologies, 3D models are created manually according to the original frames, paying attention to the texture, dimensions and special effects of the material (e.g. glossy). When it comes to cosmetics, we consult with clients and make-up experts, and try to replicate the colors and effects visible on real models.

The last step is to develop the application itself.

More and more brands allow their customers to try out their products directly on their website or webshop, while some opt for specialized mobile apps. Virtual try-on solutions are also increasingly used on tablets or smart mirrors in physical stores, which is a big advantage at a time of the pandemic, when the benefits of contactless testing and buying are obvious.

Virtual try-on in practice

The possibility to virtually try makeup, glasses, or jewelry is a must-have for brands in the cosmetics, eyewear, and lifestyle industries. In just a few clicks, customers can check out how the chosen product looks on them. Quality face tracking allows them to get a realistic picture in real-time, even if they move their head around.

Oriflame developed an award-winning virtual makeup app that lets users virtually apply lipstick, mascara, eyeshadow, blush, and eyeliner, and get a real-time view of how they look. Once they’ve found their favorite products, they can easily add them to their shopping cart. It’s a great way to discover new favorite products online, without the need to visit a physical store, communicate with salespeople or feel pressure to decide on the spot.

Our technology was also integrated into WOW HOW, a mobile application that teaches users how to apply makeup in an interactive way. WOW HOW matches make-up tones and techniques with specific skin tones and facial features of each user. The step-by-step instructions explain how to apply various make-up styles. Users get information about the best techniques, along with useful tips within each tutorial. To minimize trial and error, users can watch the instructions and apply makeup simultaneously, helping each user achieve the best look. Using WOW HOW, beauty enthusiasts can try out new makeup colors and techniques in the comfort of their home, at a pace that suits them best. Reliable face tracking helps create a truly personalized and interactive experience for each user.

VirTry used our technology to bring their virtual try-on to life, as well. Using their mobile application, users can virtually try glasses and headphones on in seconds. They can browse through the collection, create a list of their favorites and compare different products side-to-side. Thanks to precise tracking and realistic 3D models, the try-on feels almost like looking in the mirror. Users can also take selfies and share them with their friends on social media.

Virtual try-on technology can improve the hair salon experience, as well. Piiq Digital used smart mirrors to help clients visualize how the desired hair color would look on them before committing to a specific treatment. Clients can try out different hair colors virtually and find the best fit without fearing bad hair dye outcomes. This not only prevents clients from being unhappy with their new hair color but also helps stylists provide the best service. For hair professionals, it’s a useful tool that helps them understand clients’ wishes and bring them closer to achieving perfect results.

However, virtual try-ons are not reserved for cosmetics and accessories only. They can also be used to preview the results of various aesthetic interventions such as dental treatments of cosmetic surgeries. For example, Arrisum allowed dental patients to preview the results on their dental treatment. In a few simple steps, patients can design their new smile and compare it with their current teeth. This helps patients visualize the desired results before any physical intervention. This not only guarantees patient satisfaction, but also makes their dentist’s job much easier.

People interested in facial cosmetics treatments want to see results – fast. Allergan wanted to help them visualize those results from the comfort of their home. Their application, Juvéderm Visualizer, lets users preview the results of a selected cosmetic treatment. This helps them choose a treatment that suits them best and communicate their wishes to their healthcare practitioner more effectively.

Be where your customers are

Virtual try-on technology has huge potential. It allows brands to personalize the user experience and better meet the expectations of their customers. By letting customers try on products from the comfort of their home, brands can grow their sales and significantly decrease their return rates.

Our technology can be used for trying out makeup, glasses, colored contact lenses, jewelry, and headphones. You can integrate it into your own product or let our experienced team create a ready-made solution for you. We offer a fully customized approach aligned with your business goals and expectations. To try out our demo or discuss what a virtual try-on can do for your business, get in touch.

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