Can AR Reduce Returns for Jewelry Brands?  

Perfect Corp. has created an innovative virtual hand-sizing technology aimed at assisting jewelry brands in minimizing their return rates. 

With the introduction of their new tools, users can now visualize accessories like rings, bracelets, and watches, empowering them to discover the most fitting products without the inconvenience of ordering and returning items. 

“We are excited to debut the latest technology in hand sizing for fingers and wrists as a way to further enhance the consumer shopping experience for jewelry purchase journey,” said Perfect Corp. CEO and founder Alice Chang in a statement. “By empowering consumers with a fast and convenient tool to find their finger and wrist size, we are able to help them make more confident purchase decisions, building on a more satisfying customer experience.” 

Amidst the growing trend of virtual try-on, Perfect Corp. has unveiled its latest suite of tools. Other retailers launching virtual try-on include the jewelry brand Kendra Scott, which introduced a Safari web browser-based virtual try-on tool in 2020, allowing customers to try on jewelry using their iPhones. 

In the previous year, Sally Hansen leveraged Perfect Corp.’s technology to allow shoppers to experiment with various nail polish colors from their collection. 

Following a similar trajectory, Snap joined forces with Perfect Corp. in December 2020 to integrate its beauty testing tool into Snapchat. The collaboration allowed users to virtually try on products and conveniently make purchases directly through shoppable lenses provided by brands. Since then, the social network has partnered with renowned brands like American Eagle, Gucci, and Adidas to create immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences. 

 The Conversation Around Returns and Buyer Confidence

Although AI continues to provide numerous benefits, addressing current inflationary challenges seems to be beyond its scope. However, AI is being used to tackle logistical hurdles and enhance the customer-facing experience. These efforts include utilizing AI-powered predictive analytics for inventory management, employing Shopify-powered chatbots for customer service, generating product imagery, and creating Google-generated product descriptions. These initiatives share a common objective: improving user experience and boosting buyer confidence. 

Although the primary objective may not be solely focused on preventing returns, it plays a crucial role. Brands and retailers aspire to attract high-intent shoppers who are delighted with their purchases. In pursuit of this goal, they are leveraging the capabilities of AI. 

Augmented Reality Brings Real Products Into a Virtual Environment

AR technology allows retailers to enhance the shopping experience for customers by seamlessly blending virtual elements with the real world. By leveraging this technology, retailers can assist customers in visualizing products within their environments, resulting in an immersive and interactive shopping experience.  

In addition, AR technology can amplify customer engagement by delivering entertaining experiences. AR can aid retailers in creating a personalized and interactive shopping environment, fostering customer loyalty and reducing return rates. 

According to a report in March, Apple and IKEA have already embraced AR technology to allow shoppers to visualize how products would look within their homes. Similarly, brands like Ray-Ban and Nike have implemented virtual try-on technology, and virtual fitting rooms have gained significant popularity in recent years. 

Other brands and retailers such as Prada and American Eagle have also capitalized on Snap’s AR Enterprise Services (ARES) through their debut product called Shopping Suite. These innovative AR solutions are enabling brands to offer immersive and interactive shopping experiences to their customers. 

Before its public launch, Snap reportedly collaborated with various retailers, including Princess Polly and Goodr sunglasses. These partnerships allowed for experimentation with ARES and Shopping Suite features, showcasing Snap’s commitment to refining and optimizing the AR experience for retailers and customers. 

To solidify its investments in augmented reality, Snap has shared success stories from retailers who have leveraged its AR technology. For instance, Goodr observed a remarkable 67% increase in conversion rates among mobile users who engaged with the AR Try-On feature. Likewise, Princess Polly saw a significant 24% decrease in return rates for customers who utilized the Fit & Sizing recommendation tool. Acknowledging the potential cost implications associated with implementing AI and AR tools, Snap is actively working towards making its technology more accessible to retailers, aiming to empower more brands to benefit from these impactful technologies. 

Manicures Have Even Found a Place in the Augmented World  

French green beauty brand Manucurist teamed up with Perfect Corp. o bring its Green Flash nail colors to life through an AR virtual try-on experience.  

Through the utilization of AI-powered virtual try-on technology, visitors to the Manucurist website now have the opportunity to virtually test out 50 diverse nail polish shades from the Green Flash collection. This immersive experience allows users to explore a wide range of colors, from navy blue to poppy red, in real time, directly on their own hands. All of this can be done conveniently within the comfort of their own personal space, enhancing the ease and enjoyment of the nail polish selection process. 

Read more: Manicures Go Virtual With AR 

Does AR Actually Convert Customers?

While Perfect Corp. is a prominent player in AR, it’s worth noting that there is still ample room for improvement in this technology. This includes enhancing its technological capabilities and promoting widespread adoption across various industries and sectors. Despite the advancements made so far, AR technology continues to evolve, presenting opportunities for further development and refinement. 

During the ARES announcement, Snap stated in a press release that over 250 million users engage with AR on Snapchat daily. It’s worth noting that Snapchat’s primary demographic consists predominantly of Gen Z users. 

Moreover, research has revealed that 56% of shoppers express enhanced confidence in the quality of a product when utilizing AR, and a significant 61% of shoppers prefer retailers that provide AR experiences during their shopping journey. 

Farfetch also reported that during its first-quarter 2023 earnings report, AI would play a significant role in its strategy after achieving 8% year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth.  

In pursuit of its forward-thinking strategy, the eCommerce platform unveiled a comprehensive plan encompassing various elements. This includes the implementation of cost-cutting measures, the formation of strategic partnerships, and the establishment of Farfetch as a pioneering force in the realm of AI. José Neves, the CEO, is determined to propel the company to new heights and strengthen its standing within the market. 

“We’re developing three proofs of concepts, three prototypes, which I’ve seen already and made me very excited personally as a technologist,” Neves said on the earnings call on May 18. “It can’t be just a mechanical robotical conversation. It has to be an inspirational, engaging conversation. And even in the early different elements, we’re already seeing that and the way the models learn and get better very quickly, [it’s] quite impressive.”  

See also: AI Fuels Farfetch’s Return to Growth 

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