AR Augmented Reality (Credit image/Pixabay/Geralt)NexTech AR Solutions has announced the release of its ‘Try-It-On’ augmented reality (AR) experience for online retail. The platform is the first of several sentiment-based technology solutions. These solutions are being developed for its patent pending web enabled AR eCommerce platform and site optimisation.

The new solution for online retailers uses facial tracking capabilities and AI-assisted computer vision technology.  This provides realistic experiences that enables consumer to see their appearance wearing apparel items like glasses, headwear or jewellery. The current iteration tracks eyes. This enables an AR preview for items like glasses, goggles, and other eyewear.  AR previews are expected to created for lips, ears, mouths, and other zones above the shoulder.

A virtual changing room

NexTech says Try-It-On technology can easily be deployed through any retailer’s existing website. Once integrated into an eCommerce site, consumers can ‘try on’ items using the camera on their desktop or mobile device. The technology can also be embedded and used in banner ads and social posts on Facebook. The application can be integrated in a digital marketing strategy to drive store traffic and convert shoppers into buyers.

Evan Gappelberg, CEO of NexTech (Credit image/LinkedIn/ Evan Gappelberg CEO of NexTech)
Evan Gappelberg, CEO of NexTech

A significant pain points in online retail for consumers is the inability to try something on before they buy it. This often leads to frustration, the ordering of incorrectly sized items, and unnecessary returns that are costly to the retailer,” said Evan Gappelberg, CEO of NexTech.

NexTech’s new Try-It-On AR technology eliminates the issue. Retailers can offer a virtual fitting room to consumers to assess the look and fit of an item before purchase.”

NexTech’s AR solutions for eCommerce is web-based and avoids the need for expensive app development. It can be deployed through a few lines of embed code within existing eCommerce websites. For a monthly subscription fee, the browser-based AR platform is accessible to all online retailers without upfront costs. According to NexTech this allows retailers to give customers the fun, customised and convenient shopping experience they crave.

Providing AR to the masses

Technologies like augmented reality shouldn’t be available only to large brands with deep pockets. There are thousands of small to midsize retailers that don’t have budgets or technical knowhow to develop the AR in-house. Our solution could significantly boost sales by implementing such a technology,” said Gappelberg. “We have eliminated the need for developing an app and offer a simple, cost-effective web-based program. As a result, NexTech can make AR available to everyone. Empowering online retailers of all sizes to offer a personalised 3D-AR shopping experience to their consumers without cutting into profits.”

According to Statistica, the global retail eCommerce market is projected to reach $4.8 trillion in 2021. Augmented reality technologies that can offer a more personalised online shopping experience like this are poised for rapid growth. Recent research states 74 percent of consumers expect retailers to offer an augmented reality experience. One-third reported they would be more likely to buy a product after using AR to preview it.

Enterprise Times: What this means for retailers?

NexTech’s announcement is exciting for retailers. Any tools that help shoppers to make informed purchasing decision and drive conversions can only support retailers. Major issues for retailers are the high rate of abandoned carts and product returns.  Giving consumers the ability to try their clothes in a virtual changing room, before purchase can only support online retailers. The proof is in the deployment and adoption.

The Try-It-On AR technology has to seamlessly fit into retailers existing user experience and meets user expectations.

According to NexTech, AR technology can be deployed through a few lines of embed code within existing eCommerce websites. Unfortunately, the press release was unclear which ecommerce platforms can utilise the ‘Try-It-On’ augmented reality tool. Is it available for all platforms?  None of the major ecommerce platform providers make any references to NexTech’s AR tool. Consequently, it is likely down to systems integrators and NexTech to integrate the code, undertake QA and testing to ensure AR works effectively on eCommerce site. NexTech needs to provide further information on how retailers can get involved and incorporate AR into their sites.


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