Augmented Reality (AR) integrates computer-generated images to a physical environment in real-time. Online apparel shopping presents some product-related risks, as consumers can neither physically see and touch the products nor try them on. The present study examined whether AR conveys reliable apparel product information in terms of fit, size, and product performance; and how AR affects attitudes toward apparel and purchase intentions when shopping online.
This research was designed as a within-subject quasi-experimental study using repeated measures in two conditions: virtual try-on using the AR technology vs. physical try-on. A scenario was developed to help participants imagine themselves shopping online for a specific dress.
Results indicated that size and color of dresses were conveyed accurately when utilizing AR as compared to physical try-on. Visual attributes such as style, garment details, and coordination with other items were found to be satisfactorily predicted when AR was employed. Overall, attitudes towards both AR and real dress, and purchase intentions were favorable. Participants with higher telepresence levels were found to have more positive attitudes towards the dress and greater purchase intentions when using AR as compared to the participants with low telepresence levels.
Our findings implied that AR can provide enough information especially for garment sizes and visual characteristics when making purchase decisions. AR technology can be instrumental in introducing a certain style, building positive attitudes towards products, and driving sales, when the consumers perceive a certain level of “being there”. This study was limited to female students in North America. Also, because a single stimulus was used, the results cannot be generalized to other stimuli.
Our study findings showed that participants were able to select the right garment size by using AR. The average ratings for visual characteristics such as style and detail were above the neutral level when using AR; indicating that participants can understand visual attributes in AR when shopping online. Moreover, in the AR condition participants with higher telepresence levels had higher attitudes towards the garment and purchase intentions as compared to the participants with low telepresence. AR can be instrumental for online apparel shopping. Retailers need to understand the potentials of these technologies and work with technology developers to enhance consumers' experiences.
We would like to thank Iowa State University, College of Human Sciences Helen LeBaron Hilton Grant for funding our study; and to Zugara for allowing us to use their resources.
Baytar, F., Chung, T. and Shin, E. (2020), "Evaluating garments in augmented reality when shopping online", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-05-2018-0077Download as .RIS
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