While lockdown measures drag on in many areas around the globe, retailers are increasingly focused on developing reality technology to give consumers a way to interact with products before making purchases.

According to Mobile Marketer, the reality technology marketwhich encompasses both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)is predicted to reach $18.8 billion this year, based on data from Statista. These changes could be most pronounced in the retail sector, as “consumer spending on reality technologies is projected to reach $7 billion, and distribution and services spending on the technologies could reach $4.4 billion.”

Clothing brands try on AR for size

Clothing brands and other retailers have felt the sting from lost sales as so-called “nonessential” shopping has largely moved to web-only sales. But it isn’t simply the shopping experience itself that has been forced to adapt. The quarantine also means canceled modeling shoots, which has left merchants scrambling to provide customers a way to visualize a garment’s fit. And for some outlets, those solutions are treading uncharted waters; ASOS is developing augmented reality features to simulate what their newest apparel will look like on models. The AR wave doesn’t stop at the clothing sector, however; jewelry vendor Kendra Scott has developed a new AR feature that lets shoppers “try on” its bling remotely. Consumers can see what earrings, necklaces, and other items look like in dynamic lighting, and with movement.

That’s not all!

International businessware brand Suitsupply has introduced a hybrid of digital and in-person provisions to help ensure customers have a safe shopping experience. According to a recent press release:

Suitsupply implemented a guided virtual experience helping customers pre-select items for store visits through co-browsing sessions with live style experts on Suitsupply.com, making the shopping journey more convenient and seamless. Customers are not gambling on size availability, but rather guaranteeing their selections will be waiting. The brand goes a step further with an optional appointment booking tool to reserve prepared fitting rooms and private shopping suites.

Amidst the challenges of the pandemic, it’s refreshing to see exciting developments in tech and retail as industries innovate new ways to connect with consumers. For more information on innovations in virtual reality technology, check out this post.