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Leveraging personalization and customization affordances of virtual try-on apps for a new model in apparel m-shopping

Letwin Tawira (School of Media and Communication, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Alex Ivanov (School of Media and Communication, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 29 March 2022

Issue publication date: 9 February 2023

1960

Abstract

Purpose

Virtual try-on apps (VTOs) hold great potential to transform online apparel shopping, yet their acceptance by consumers has been lukewarm. By drawing on two theories – Sirgy’s theory of the self and Sundar’s theory of interactive media effects (TIME) – the study tests a PLS model with two new constructs: Photo Satisfaction and Consumer Inspiration, and their impact on Adoption Intention.

Design/methodology/approach

This mixed methods study examines the effects from personalization and customization affordances in the latest generation of apparel VTOs. The proposed model was tested in a quasi-experimental within-subjects design, as 61 female participants completed a goal-directed and an exploratory apparel shopping task using two VTO apps available on the market.

Findings

Inspiration induced from the customization affordance in the exploratory task influenced Adoption Intention as strongly as Fit Confidence did. For both conditions, users’ satisfaction with their avatar picture had a stronger effect on Perceived Augmentation than the individual trait of Body Esteem. The study also demonstrates how TIME’s Sense of Agency component could help theorize positive consumer responses to mobile marketing technology, which in our study were induced via the app’s Mix and Match feature. Also demonstrated was that Perceived Augmentation could be influenced by body-image affective judgments made during the pre-task VTO avatar creation phase.

Practical implications

VTO’s customization feature “Mix and Match” appears vital for the adoption of such apps for exploratory m-shopping of apparel. Also important is the satisfaction with one's photograph during the avatar-creation phase. We further suggest that apparel retailers work with Augmented Reality developers to include dynamic avatar capability as well as social sharing affordances in VTOs.

Social implications

60 billion USD worth of returns occur annually in the online apparel retail industry, mostly related to fitting problems, not to mention the larger carbon footprint from the increased transportation. A more wide-spread adoption of VTOs can not only help with these problems but also lighten the traffic in brick and mortar fitting rooms, a potential hazard at this time of pandemic.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine Consumer Inspiration in the context of online apparel retailing and to demonstrate the importance of Photo Satisfaction during the avatar-creation phase in influencing the subsequent user experience in apparel VTOs.

Keywords

Citation

Tawira, L. and Ivanov, A. (2023), "Leveraging personalization and customization affordances of virtual try-on apps for a new model in apparel m-shopping", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 451-471. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-09-2021-0652

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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