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Are your sales and revenue crippled by the way the pandemic has disabled you from doing offline product demonstrations? Fret not! We believe that the next big thing in the jewelry business is here and it may just outlive the pandemic—the jewelry virtual try-on!
What is Jewelry Virtual Try-On?
Like other try-on technology, the jewelry virtual try-on is a feature that allows shoppers to try on jewelry products using any camera-equipped device. With the help of Augmented Reality (AR), this feature helps them contextually visualize how a certain product would look on them before making a purchase. It’s an AR alternative to the in-store jewelry shopping experience.
Make no mistake though. Virtual try-ons have existed long before the pandemic, but the recent turn of events in the public health department has accelerated the adoption of this technology; thus, making it one of the most essential technologies for many retailers.
The 2019 Nielsen Global Survey on AR was proof of shoppers’ pre-existing interest in this technology. As the figure showed and under the assumption that this option would be available to them in the next two years, 51% of polled global shoppers were willing to use AR (and VR) to assess products before buying. Meanwhile, in June 2020, 21% of different American businesses had planned to invest in AR (or VR) technology for their online store, up from 8% in the first quarter of the same year. The first figure manifested the craving of many shoppers for immersive, real-life experiences without investing a lot of time and effort to get them, while the latter depicted the direct response of retailers to the demand.
Sounds promising, isn’t it? Here’s why your jewelry brand should have a jewelry virtual try-on.
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Top 5 Benefits of a Jewelry Virtual Try-On
1. Reduce return rates
The pandemic has turned everyone into online shoppers. However, all those lockdowns and movement restrictions have only exacerbated product returns. This isn’t surprising. When you take away their freedom to shop in-store to reduce the spread of the virus, you also take away the tactile experience of shopping.
Of course, public health matters more than anything else. But this doesn’t have to be a total retail shutdown.
In fact, online shopping has become the primal therapy for many. With many unable to see their loved ones, people have turned to online shopping to improve their happiness and distract them from the desolate state of 2020 (and for some, this goes on to 2021).
Further, in a study conducted by the Monash Business School’s Australian Consumer and Retail Studies (ACRS), 55% of online shoppers reported that they did not feel lonely while shopping for non-essential products.
Adapt or perish?
Considering this coping mechanism, it’s not surprising for product return rates to increase as your shoppers won’t be able to touch, feel, and try on your products before buying. Now, you can choose to follow your own path but that could harm your sales and conversion rate, especially if your competitors are adopting new technologies according to the dictate of time.
Moreover, you can take a risk by staying traditional hoping that your return processes are enough to convince shoppers. This is a costly risk to take. In fact, 40% of American shoppers alone held back on shopping online due to complicated product return processes. That’s reasonable. After all, it’s a pandemic. The last thing you would want to do is to become an added burden to your shoppers.
On the other hand, jewelers who rely on their business and have employees to support would find staying traditional inappropriate for a non-traditional time; hence, they tried to adopt newer technologies to make shopping more convenient for shoppers.
The jewelry virtual try-on is one of these technologies. Hailed by many as the antidote to the increasing returns in this pandemic, this AR alternative has proven to reduce product return rate by 27%. While the experience is different from tactile shopping, the virtual application helps shoppers tremendously in making an informed buying decision by filtering out incorrect sizes and fits.
Reduction of your overall costs
The benefit of a jewelry virtual try-on rolls over to your overall costs. Product returns cost more than it actually is. For instance, if you’re traditionally sending jewelry products to your potential customers for them to try on at home, you also have to factor in the cost involved in logistics, labor, and restocking, among many others.
You must also consider the tendency to over-order. For example, there will be shoppers who will order more than they want or can afford because they know that they can always return the jewelry items after trying them on. This isn’t an ideal business approach as it involves a lot of waste both in tangible and intangible forms. However, you can avoid this by introducing a virtual fitting application. This will eliminate all the waste, reduce product returns, and make your supply more fluid and moving.
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2. Increase the utilitarian and hedonic value
Utilitarian value is the value that the shoppers receive based on a rational consumption behavior while hedonic value relates to the value the shoppers receive according to their experience of fun, playfulness, and enjoyment.
When you incorporate a jewelry virtual try-on into your shoppers’ buying experience, you increase both their utilitarian and hedonic needs in shopping. The jewelry virtual try-on application fulfills your shoppers’ utilitarian needs by helping them eliminate the suit, fit, and match dilemma.
The suit, fit, and match dilemma is very common online. They might like your jewelry products in photos but in reality, the products might not actually fit them or suit the look they’re going for. However, the jewelry VTO can address this dilemma by providing your shoppers with detailed visual information like size, color, design, and style. They can simply click a button to try on the jewelry item virtually and visualize whether it suits their lifestyle or a particular look that they are going for.
Additionally, the ease of use and usefulness of your jewelry virtual try-on can increase the utilitarian value that your shoppers receive. Your AR application mustn’t be just fun or engaging, it must also be frictionless. This means that no matter how interactive your technology is, your shoppers may decide not to buy from you if interacting with your technology requires too much effort or is difficult to navigate.
The hedonic aspect of your jewelry virtual try-on involves mostly interactivity. Therefore, the more interactive your application would be, the more hedonic value your shoppers get. The interactivity factors may include customization or the capability of the application to allow shoppers to try on the jewelry using a model that looks like them or upload an actual photo of themselves if they cannot do a live try-on using their camera.
The flexibility of your application is another factor that determines interactivity. Can shoppers rotate the product to any angle they want? Are they able to resize the view? Can they try on different products under different lighting conditions in one session?
Such is the beauty and usefulness of a jewelry virtual try-on. It helps create an interactive shopping experience that’s on par with in-store shopping. By giving your shoppers the power to try on your jewelry items in the comfort of their homes or anywhere they are in the world, you increase their online purchase intention.
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3. Differentiate your brand
Differentiation has always been a game-changer because it’s something that you can create more than you can find. Not all of your competitors have the acumen to identify their differentiators. Hence, to create it, you must first explore the area that can potentially make your brand outstanding.
The jewelry virtual try-on is an excellent differentiator to gather attention, attract your target shoppers, and eventually turn those leads into conversions.
One of the elements that makes it such is its promise of an immersive experience. By empowering your shoppers to make informed buying decisions, you create an interactive shopping experience that’s positive, memorable, and highly relevant to the shoppers.
4. Meet growing shopper expectations
The concept of virtual try-on started in the cosmetic space, but time and unforeseen challenges, like the pandemic, have extended its usefulness beyond the makeup landscape and followed the evolution of e-commerce. Today, shoppers expect everything to be available at their fingertips, especially for high-value items like jewelry.
As a high-priced item, your shoppers would often think twice before purchasing your jewelry online. For them, seeing is believing but not when the threat of virus transmission remains. The best way to seal the deal is to allow them to try on your jewelry remotely.
As such, they expect that in the face of challenges, you would have thought of their needs and address them using advanced technologies. They expect that when they go to your online store, they can interact with your products, try them on before buying, and share them on their social media platforms with their social media communities. These are basic features. Apparently, in the time of the pandemic, these are also consumers’ basic needs.
Unfortunately, if you don’t meet their expectations, you won’t get their money because they can find what they expect in some other brands.
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5. Boost conversion rate
In new data released recently, Shopify found that products with AR content showed a 94% higher conversion rate compared to products without AR. This figure exhibited the cravings of shoppers for AR alternative applications when shopping online.
All the benefits mentioned above compounded into this one, the conversion rate. After all, when you introduce tools like a virtual jewelry try-on, your end goal is to compel your shoppers to take any action on your website, may it be completing forms or checking out.
The increase in conversion rate driven by AR-powered tools like virtual try-ons is a clear statement that shopping is more than just a transaction. It’s all about the holistic shopping experience—one that promotes connection and interaction while appealing to emotions.
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Jewelry Virtual Try-On: A Saving Grace
Overall, the jewelry virtual try-on is the pandemic saving grace you need, but it’s more than just a trend. It’s forward-looking and it’s the most future-proof approach to the continuously evolving retail market.
As the digital world continues to reshape your customers’ decision processes and shopping patterns, we don’t want you to stay on the sidelines.
You don’t have to just survive. With different advanced technologies around you, you can thrive.
Have you considered implementing AR-powered tools like jewelry virtual try-ons for your jewelry store? Let us know in the comment section below!