News Feature | January 10, 2017

Dressing Room App Lets Shoppers Skip The Fitting Room At The Gap

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Omni-Channel Fulfillment At GAP

Augmented reality solution makes trying on clothes a breeze.

Gap, Inc. is testing a smartphone application that uses avatars to allow customers try on clothes virtually and remotely, according to reports from CES 2017.

The DressingRoom app, which the apparel retailer describes as an augmented reality solution, allows shoppers to overlay different clothes and outfits to see how they look from a variety of angles before making a buying decision. With this app, shoppers can choose from one of five pre-determined body types, rather than the actual photo of the potential buyer. 

Bloomberg notes that DressingRoom will be available this month for Lenovo's Phab2 Pro and ASUS' ZenFone AR, two smartphone models that use Google's Tango augmented reality technology.

Gil Krakowsky, VP Global Strategy and Business Development at Gap explained, “Gap has been working on the fit of our products to better match the way customers are shaped instead of just looking at “fit model” sizes. One of our top priorities is continuing to improve our technical knowledge around how fabric stretch, drape, and feel impact the sensation of fit. A lot of that customer information was inputted into the Avametric technology, backed by the Google Tango platform and ASUS hardware, to develop the DressingRoom by Gap pilot app we’re looking at today.”

“Technology gives customers incredible autonomy around the shopping experience and it's our responsibility to constantly explore new ways to make the shopping experience effortless and pursue solutions that will add value to the customer experience,” Krakowsky said.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have already been adopted by retailers like Wayfair and Home Depot to help shoppers with home décor choices, but clothing retailers have been slower to jump on the VR bandwagon. In fact, as Steve Brown wrote for Innovative Retail Technologies, “Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) are changing retail as we know it.”

Gap is hoping that the app will help attract shoppers, who are spending less on clothing and more on experiences. And brick-and-mortar retailers are also being increasingly challenged by online competitors, especially when it comes to clothing sales.

As Brown asserted, “Most shopper journeys today start online, but roughly 90 percent still end in physical retail. New technology may shift the entire journey online. Many shopper journeys will soon begin in virtual or augmented reality. If the virtual product discovery experience is compelling enough, and buying confidence is boosted as a consequence, shoppers will feel less of a need to make a trip to the store as the closing phase of their decision process. Retailers will need to follow the eyeballs. Every retailer needs to have a VR/AR/MR strategy in place. Now.”

Looks like Gap is jumping on the VR/AR/MR bandwagon now.