How Virtual Technology Is Disrupting The E-Commerce Marketplace


Steve Olenski, Contributor

January 13, 2016

Shopping online is a very different experience today than it was 10 years ago. E-commerce has grown dramatically across industries and has turned the web into a widely used, reliable way to shop for most consumers in America.

But in spite of all that progress, marketers in the retail space have always faced the obstacle of getting their customers to take a leap of faith and buy their clothing and accessories online. In the past, it’s been perceived as a risk for customers to buy these things online because people just like to try clothes and accessories on before committing to purchasing them.

“One of the main barriers to shopping online for glasses is fit, and it is still a category where consumers like to try on and see items in person. We want customers to have the easiest possible experience and make sure there are no barriers to stop them from making that purchase.” Daniel Rothman, CEO at

Directly addressing that barrier is virtual try-on technology, giving consumers the ability to try on clothes and accessories before making a purchase decision online–a virtual dressing room. A growing list of retailers are employing virtual try-on technology, and in some unique ways.

While only one in 10 people who enter a store will buy something, two out of three people who try something on in a dressing room will go on to make a purchase. If virtual dressing rooms can be compared to their in-store counterparts, virtual try-on technology will continue to be a big deal in E-commerce.

And this rising technology isn’t limited to online shopping experiences. Stores like Macy’s are adopting it in select locations, offering options to “try on” an outfit in every available color, find out your exact size, and offer suggestions of items to fashionably pair with your outfit. Other stores are going a different direction with the technology, preferring to offer suggestions and outfit design rather than superimposing the clothing onto the user. The technology is still new, and superimposing doesn’t always look natural.

Kady Thomason of Rock Republic clothing believes virtual try-on technology is the future of shopping, online and in stores, and that we’re only seeing the beginning of this innovative dressing room update.

“Being able to see yourself, 360 degrees, wearing something where fit is crucial, like pants, glasses, a fitted blazer–that’s going to change the shopping game forever, online and in-store. There will be a major reduction in returns, because shoppers will be able to accurately identify the size and color product they’ll want. It’s helping the consumer get exactly what they want. It’s exciting to see how this juxtaposition of fashion and tech will evolve.”

Marketers can look forward to providing their customers and users a personalized and simple try-on process that will help close more purchases for their company and leave the customer satisfied with their decision. That’s a win-win.

Adding to the customer experience is the changing face of customer reviews. With tools like Yotpo, companies are able to add to the authenticity of the experience. 

“It’s a huge advantage that leads to a direct uplift in sales when stores can bring customers closer to a personal, real experience with a product. Whether that’s in the form of authentic reviews, having questions answered by actual customers or seeing real buyers’ photos of a product,” said Tomer Tagrin, Yotpo’s co-founder and CEO.

The increasingly competitive eCommerce landscape demands new solutions, whether for shoppers looking to buy a pair of shades or customers who simply want to read reviews about the glasses they are looking to purchase. Virtual technology coupled with authentic verifiable product reviews result in a potent mix that all eCommerce sites  - and marketers - should embrace.

This article was written by Steve Olenski from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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