Virtual reality seems to be the norm for most online sellers. Lenskart has introduced a virtual trial room feature, where its potential buyers can try on the spectacles before they purchase them. Buyers can click a selfie through their webcam, and pick out glasses that best suit their face through a 3D feature.
Lenskart is not the only online store that is giving its buyers the trial room option. Apparel stores are also exploring the option of providing its customers with a virtual trial room. With online shopping gaining prominence, a trial room option is a smart move. Online women’s fashion store Voonik has recently purchased TrialKart, an online dressing room app. The company is also working with technology companies to fine tune features like image recognition and tagging, to make things easier for its customers.
Voonik’s co-founder and CEO Sujayath Ali feels that these measures are important to keep up with the competition. “It’s not like a choice, you will be going down if you aren’t competent on the visual experience,” he says.
Apps on virtual trials picking up pace
Apart from TrialKart, there are many other options available for online stores. Hyderabad based company Dres-.sy says that enquiries have doubled in the past two months. Dres-.sy provides its users with a readymade model of an online trial room. Hemanth Satyanarayana, founder CEO of the company has said that even the Aditya Birla group has contacted Dres-.sy for a trial run.
Huge investments to retain customers
The entire exercise of enabling virtual fitting rooms is working out to be quite expensive, naturally. Lenskart’s CEO, Peyush Bansal says, “We invested millions of dollars in getting this as close to reality as possible.” Online jewellery store Carat Lane, which gives its buyers a 3D trial feature, acknowledges the investment in this technology to be one of its biggest over the past year.
What is the magic number that you need to launch a virtual trial room?
According to Sriram Ganesh, CEO of Whodat, an augmented reality firm, “For a company of a fairly decent scale, if you have Rs 30 lakh in your pocket, you can get started for about a year,” at the basic level.
At a slow trot
Not all online stores are as enthusiastic about this concept for now. Snapdeal and Myntra have not joined the party with good reason.
Arvind Singhal, chairman of advisory firm Technopak feels, “People having entry-level smart phones may not have enough memory, processing power, resolution of their screens and streaming capacity.”
While it may excite buyers to try on their wares before buying them, one size may not fit all. Although, a trial run might work for some.