Amazon adds a virtual try-on option for shoes to its shopping app

Looking for new summer kicks? amazon today announcement(Opens in a new window) an augmented reality try-on feature for mobile shoe shopping.

It is currently available on the Amazon Shopping iOS App(Opens in a new window) (Android coming soon), and includes sneaker brands New Balance, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Superga, Lacoste, Asics and Saucony.

When customers go to the product page for AR-enabled shoes, they see a button for “Virtual try-on”. The app then says “point your feet”. Once it detects a shoe-hungry foot through the phone’s camera, it snaps an animated image of the product that spins as your foot moves.

Time and data will tell if the feature achieves its goal, which is presumably to make customers more likely to buy, reduce returns, and build shopper trust and affinity for Amazon’s fashion brands.

In March 2021, Amazon was the top seller of clothing online, eclipsing retailers like Target and Walmart, MarketWatch(Opens in a new window) reported. The Amazon Fashion team, led by Vice President Muge Erdirik Dogan, makes both original clothing (i.e. the March announcement of Amazon Aware, an in-house brand of sustainable products) and sells clothes from other brands. For several years, it has been a breeding ground for experimentation.

This isn’t Amazon’s first foray into AR apps. Its Made-For-You program uses it to scan customers’ bodies for custom measurements, generate a blueprint for the garment, then show the customer what it will look like with a virtual try-on before making it.

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A few years ago, it also launched AR View, a feature that lets you see what different items in your home will look like before you buy them.

Amazon rivals are also getting in on the AR action. walmart spear(Opens in a new window) virtual dressing room technology in March, around the same time Snap published(Opens in a new window) AR tools businesses can add to their apps. Although in-store shopping has seen a post-pandemic rebound — even Amazon recently opened a clothing-focused store in California — retailers are still betting people will want to browse from the comfort of their own homes, too.

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Edwin S. Wolfe