Window shopping is about to get a whole lot more exciting, with Australian designer fashion brand Oroton launching augmented reality try-on mirrors across the window displays of its stores in Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building and Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall. The AR displays, which come from fashion tech company Zero10, give customers the opportunity to virtually try on items from Oroton’s new collection. The plan, according to Oroton’s chief executive Jenny Child is to inspire customers
omers to come in-store to check out the technology, as well as invite passersby to engage with the mirrors. “We’ve already seen promising results,” Child told Inside Retail. “Storefront traffic flow has increased, and we will be closely monitoring conversion to fully understand the impact AR technology has on customer shopping habits.” The data collected through the try-on mirrors can be used to help Oroton design products in future: if a certain bag, or style, is able to convert from try-on to buy more frequently, the brand will be able to take that lesson into future collections. Zero10 is a fashion tech company that has previously worked with international brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Calvin Klein and JD Sports across several AR projects. Child noted that Oroton has been investigating AR technology for some time, and has seen the tech beginning to impact the retail industry. “We began researching AR and the way in which a growing number of international brands were beginning to adopt the technology in their bricks-and-mortar stores,” Child explained. “There is the possibility of using AR in other ways to enhance the shopping experience at home or in the store. We are only just scratching the surface.” While Oroton is the first brand in Australia to bring Zero10’s smart mirrors to market, other brands have been experimenting with similar technologies. Recently, The Party People launched its own ‘try-on’ mirrors in time for Halloween, and, back in 2018, Seafolly tried its hand at smart mirrors in its change rooms. Beyond mirrors, Ikea has an AR app called The Place, which allows customers to virtually place furniture in their home to see how an item will look in the room. Likewise, several beauty and eyewear brands allow customers to try on makeup or glasses through their apps and websites. Compared to its sister-technology, virtual reality, augmented reality is cheaper to implement and, typically, requires less powerful hardware to function. Almost all smartphones on the market are now able to tap into AR functionality, for example, compared to the dedicated headsets that are typically required for VR experiences. According to Child, AR has the added benefit of bridging the gap between the online and physical experience of shopping. “Our AR activation enables us to weave cutting-edge technology into the retail experience, inviting excitement back into bricks-and-mortar retail in a way that engages a younger generation,” Child said. “[We’re also hoping to] invite people who may otherwise have never stepped into the store to find out what Oroton represents today.” Raising the bar Child noted that Oroton strives to invest in technology that improves the customer experience, and added that the bar for great experiences is always going up. “Customers are seeking a more personalised, fun and interactive experience from the brands they love,” she said. “We want to grow, learn, and evolve alongside our customers’ shopping behaviours.” In saying that, Child is also deeply aware of how difficult the past year has been for many consumers, and said that she hopes that the brand’s AR experience can be part of “the best, most joyful gifting experience”. “Oroton has been a ‘go to’ gifting brand for so many Australians over the decades, and we are working hard to make sure we continue in that role,” she said.