Zalando enables virtual try-on via Snapchat

Zalando is the first online fashion retailer in Germany to use the new virtual dressing application `Try On’ from instant messaging service Snapchat, reports Textilwirtschaft. Using augmented reality (AR) media from the platform, so-called Lenses, users can virtually try on selected products from Zalando’s own brands Even & Odd, Zign and Your Turn.

To do this, Snapchat users first take a full-body photo and upload it. They can select one of the garments on offer. The app then fits it into the photo. In the process, it removes any protruding parts of the worn clothing and thus creates a realistic overall impression. This makes it easier for users to see if the garment suits them. They can also share the photo to get the opinion of their friends.

Users take a full-body photo, then Try It fits the selected garment. (Photo: Snap)

If they like it, users can buy the product through the Zalando online shop. Snapchat forwards them directly there. The full-body photo can be saved for later try-ons.

Deep Learning simplifies the process

Snap, the operator of the platform, provides the necessary tools for companies that want to present themselves on Snapchat. The technology behind Try On is called Snap AR Image Processing. It was developed by US computer vision specialist Forma. In contrast to earlier virtual dressing solutions, users do not have to record a video of themselves. A full-body photo is sufficient. The new solution is also less costly for fashion retailers. They no longer need to create 3D scans. Product photos, which they already created for their online shop, are sufficient. The application uses deep learning algorithms to generate AR objects from the images. Operators do not need any special AR developer skills.

Snapchat had already introduced its new technology in the US this summer. American Eagle is one of the first users there. However, the solution still lacks visualisation of the right size. The customer does not realise in which size the garment fits best. Snapchat is expected to add this function later. The company bought Berlin-based start-up Fit Analytics in March 2021. Its digital size advisor uses various data, such as age, gender, weight, height, and shape, as well as brand preferences, to determine the optimal size of the desired garment.

Zalando takes a different approach. The online retailer has taken over Swiss start-up Fision and reportedly plans to integrate a body measurement function into its own app before the end of the year.

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Joachim Pinhammer

Joachim Pinhammer unterstützt als Retail Experte Handels- und Technologie-Unternehmen durch Beratung und Marketing-Expertise. Er war als Senior Analyst und Director Retail Technology bei der Analysten-Gruppe Planet Retail tätig. Davor war er als Director Marketing der Wincor Nixdorf AG (heute Diebold Nixdorf) verantwortlich für den internationalen Marketingauftritt der Retail Division des Unternehmens. Joachim Pinhammer ist regelmäßiger Sprecher auf Veranstaltungen der Messe Düsseldorf (EuroShop und EuroCIS), des EHIs und anderen Branchen-Events. Er veröffentlicht Fachbeiträge in Magazinen und Online-Foren der Branche.

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