How Global Fashion & Lifestyle Brands Use AR/VR in Marketing?

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are making waves in the marketing world. Offering marketers futuristic concepts to engage their audiences. Especially when it comes to experiential and digital marketing, AR/VR is redefining user experience. Marketers are leveraging these technologies out of the gaming and entertainment sector to build immersive interactions with consumers. These technologies are opening new avenues for marketers to connect with consumers and deliver high-value informative content.

When it comes to the fashion sector, marketing in fashion and lifestyle is dynamic, ever-evolving, and fast-paced. Making the sector one of the early adopters of AR/VR technology during COVID lockdowns. The sector quickly adopted virtual marketplaces, offering consumers one-of-a-kind immersive experiences in shopping. Helping fashion brands to:

a. drive engagement numbers during lockdowns
b. boost sales on both tangible products and new offerings of virtual products
c. enhance brand experiences, making them more engaging and memorable for their users.

How Does the Fashion Sector Use AR/VR Marketing?

The fashion retail sector adopted AR/VR to match their customer expectations and assist them 24/7 with their purchase decisions. Revolutionizing how the brand interacts with its consumers, fundamentally changing user experience for consumers. Let’s understand how brands are shaping new experiences with AR/VR marketing:

1. Product visualization

AR/VR aided the fashion industry in revolutionizing how a customer can visualize a product in their real-world environment before they decide to make the purchase. From fashion brands, and beauty brands to lifestyle, everyone is building their unique narratives of virtual interaction both in-store and digitally.

For instance:

i. L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius: A first-ever virtual mirror app by the brand that accurately tracks a user’s unique facial features using AR/VR technology. The app then applies flawless makeup in real time, allowing users to virtually experiment with various makeup looks and explore personal recommendations on the app. The app has a link to all products for users to make the final purchase.

ii. Lily’s virtual fitting rooms: In a successful pop-up campaign, Lily, a womenswear brand in China, installed smart mirrors across a metro station in Shanghai. These mirrors were powered by VTO which offered passing commuters an interactive screen to virtually try on a brand’s clothes in real-time. If a user liked their look, the smart mirror would generate a QR code for users to download their images and purchase from the store. Increasing store football and overall brand engagement.

2. Virtual Showrooms

VR technology has helped the fashion industry to find new ways of consumer interactions and revenue models. VR helps marketers create an immersive virtual storefront that mimics an actual store to bring the products to the user’s fingertips. Building virtual stores in fine detail that can offer users a wholesome view of the product from their home.

For instance:

i. Tommy Hilfiger: In collaboration with Emperia, Tommy Hilfiger created a virtual store experience for their customers. Launching it across multiple metaverse platforms like Roblox, Spatial, DressX, and Ready Player Me. Allowing the brand to integrate its unique virtual presence across several digital environments. Offering users a seamless shopping experience.

ii. Burberry: The virtual retail storefront for Burberry in 2021 was an interactive virtual replica of their flagship Tokyo store. Launched in collaboration with Elle Digital Japan. This Burberry virtual showroom offered an immersive shopping experience to global audiences for the Spring/Summer 2021 collection. The British luxury brand also offered consumers various touch points like access to styling tips and films in collaboration with Elaiza Ikeda.

3. Enhancing customer experiences

AR/VR helps fashion marketers to deliver a set of unique customer experiences. One that transforms a user’s journey with the brand, making it more emotional and interactive. It allows users to build an online community with like-minded people and explore their creative interests in fashion with the use of technology.

For instance:

i. Nikeland: In partnership with Roblox Metaverse, Nike designed a virtual community called Nikeland. This virtual space offers features like Nike buildings, fields, and arenas where players can compete in a variety of games like tag and dodgeball. Nikeland is the virtual space modeled after the brand’s real-life headquarters. It also has a feature for players to purchase digital products for games for their avatars.

ii. Gucci Town: In partnership with Roblox Metaverse, Gucci Town is a virtual hub for fashion enthusiasts. It offers experiences like exploring the Gucci town while also learning about the brand’s rich history. It lays significance on connecting with virtual people with its interactive elements like mini-games, art exhibitions, a Gucci store for bespoke digital avatar shopping, etc. that can be browsed at leisure.

4. Experiential marketing campaigns

AR/VR allows brands to turn their static 2D visuals and ad campaigns into interactive 3D experiences. Marketers gain a dynamic way to showcase their products. The interactive capability helps the users to build a connection with the brand and enhances their decision-making process.

For instance:

i. Topshop: The brand did a VR catwalk experience allowing users to sit front and center at a high-profile fashion showcase. And then took them backstage for them to see the action with models and celebrities. The event was in real-time with customized Oculus Rift VR Headsets. The store visitors were then able to re-live the show on demand.

ii. Louis Vuitton: The brand had its flagship store overrun by animated characters in Paris, all in augmented reality. Users could point their smartphones at the building to view the official LV app and see the characters interacting with the building through AR experience. The characters were sneaking out of the window, climbing up the walls and onto the roof, where they set up a jam session to play a catchy tune. This campaign allowed LV to target an entirely new and different audience.

AR/VR is bringing unprecedented changes in the fashion sector. It is truly transforming how both – brands and consumers interact and engage with each other. From virtual try-ons to magic mirrors at stores, the potential of this technology is immense for fashion retail, digital marketing, advertising, experiential marketing, and more. The technology is helping brands reduce return rates, reach customers during lockdowns and in remote locations, and increase engagement. Pushing the limits of creativity and bringing new opportunities for the fashion industry.

Author: Mankiran

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