Nowadays, people shop online much more frequently than in-person. For the most part, the shift from brick-and-mortar to click-and-order has been great for consumers. But there's one issue that all online fashion shoppers have experienced: you can't try on clothes before you purchase them. 73% of all returns are due to the fact that we can't try on our orders before buying. This issue alone has led to skyrocketing rates of returns for online retailers everywhere.
Part of the answer to this dilemma is virtual try-on technology. Augmented Reality-based try-on experiences have become increasingly popular on social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram, where brands will feature their products with virtual try-on filters. Users can try on various accessories from the comfort of their own home using these AR filters. These try-on filters are extraordinarily popular, and highly effective marketing tools for brands. Snapchat alone has 200 million users engaging with its AR features daily, and Instagram has over double the amount of overall daily users as Snapchat. This means millions of people are using these platforms' AR filters for shopping every day. Still, it’s not a perfect solution.
The problem with AR-based shopping on social media platforms is that products are scattered without any rhyme or reason. Searching for particular brands or particular articles of clothing is an unintuitive, inconvenient process for users. Moreover, these platforms weren't originally created with virtual try-on experiences in mind. It's a tacked on feature to existing social media platforms who don't necessarily specialize in ecommerce, let alone AR-based virtual shopping.
TRYO is filling that gap as the world’s first dedicated virtual try-on experience app. TRYO is a multi-brand, multi-category virtual try-on app, featuring hundreds of products from brands like Chanel, Gucci, Adidas and more. Virtual try-on experiences are the sole focus of the TRYO app: it contains a substantial collection of shoes, hats, watches, and glasses for users to virtually try on and purchase. TRYO was developed by The Glimpse Group subsidiary QReal, an industry-leading creator of 3D and AR experiences for platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. They’ve created AR social media filters for companies like Chanel, Vans, and Puma, and as experts in the virtual try-on scene, QReal has finally created a one-stop shop for AR-powered online shopping.
The TRYO app allows you to browse hundreds of products from a variety of brands, all of which come equipped with AR try-on capabilities. When you launch the app, your front-facing camera is activated and you're presented with five categories: Trending, Hats, Eyewear, Shoes, and Watches. The Trending section contains popular items from the previous four sections. At the bottom of the screen, you can swipe through a variety of products according to your section, many of which feature multiple colors to choose from. When you're trying on an item, you can take a picture of yourself to save to your camera roll or share with friends.
The "Eye It" button allows you to examine a high-quality 3D model of your item camera-free. Rather than swiping through twelve staged shots from different angles as you would on a normal website, users can explore each product in 360 degrees with complete visual fidelity. You can examine a product from every angle, providing a helpful second look at a product after trying it on virtually.
If you're looking for a particular product, you can search for brands or product names using the search bar. You can also share a product with friends and save products to your "Saved Products" section to purchase later. Once you've tried an item on, you can click the "Buy It" button which links you to the retailer's site where you can complete your purchase in-app.
TRYO is not only convenient for users, but highly valuable for retailers too. In order to feature your product on TRYO with a virtual try-on experience, your product needs a high-quality 3D model. The problem is that until now, creating 3D product models is costly and time-consuming for retailers. And although everyone in the sales channel benefits from the 3D model, the cost of creation is usually shouldered by a brand or retailer and then siloed on their properties.
This is where QReal comes in. By working with QReal, brands and retailers can individually license the 3D model from QReal, allowing them to share the cost while continuing to benefit equally. Mike Cadoux, Managing Director at QReal and co-creator of TRYO, explains how “The same 3D model can serve the brand and the retailer, and honestly the cost should be dispersed across the full sales channel. So what we’re creating behind TRYO is a large database of branded items that can then be distributed to all the different sales channels, and the costs can be shared by all of them.”
Beyond convenience for online shoppers and businesses alike, QReal's modeling service and TRYO serve a more important function industry-wide. Businesses everywhere need to begin translating their 2D product catalogs into 3D models viewable in 360 degrees. This shift from 2D to 3D product viewing is an ongoing movement across fashion, home goods, and any other product-based industry.
Google has already begun featuring 3D models of products front-and-center for online shoppers. Soon, 3D models will be the first thing customers see on a given product search. Given that people engage with 3D images almost 50% more than with static images, it's crucial for businesses to feature high-quality 3D models of their products. QReal is providing an easy, affordable way for businesses to translate their 2D product images into 3D models, and TRYO offers a convenient and exciting way for consumers to engage with the next generation of online shopping. “We want to show brands how easy it could be to embed a virtual try-on experience into their own websites,” says Mike Cadoux. “It may seem like a daunting task, but we're able to do it. TRYO shows it can be done."
Cameron is the Content Writer/Editor at The Glimpse Group. As a former academic researcher in the humanities, he blends his outside perspective as a relative newcomer to tech with Glimpse's industry-leading expertise to demystify the world of VR, AR, and the metaverse.