How Gucci Is Using AR to Let Shoppers ‘Try On’ Shoes Through Its App

Gucci wants to make it easy for you to try on its sneakers from the comfort of your iPhone screen.

The brand rolled out a new iOS app update this week that offers virtual try-ons using augmented reality. For now, the feature is only available for the Ace sneaker — the ’70s-inspired classic that Gucci offers in dozens of colorways and designs — but the technology behind the tool can be applied to a wide range of styles.

According to VentureBeat, it was developed by Wannaby, a Belarusian company that specializes in commerce applications for AR. The startup also has its own app, Wanna Kicks, that allows users to visualize what sneakers by brands like Adidas, Nike and Allbirds will ultimately look like on their feet. (Its other project — Wanna Nails — offers similar capabilities for manicures.)

The feature, it says, helps increase conversions and cut down on return rates by giving shoppers a chance to get a realistic 3D look at the product, as well as share screengrabs by text, email or social media. This is particularly valuable for footwear, which, along with apparel, sees online return rates that can be double those of other categories due to fit issues.

Brands throughout the footwear industry have been experimenting with AR for the past few years: Last spring, Adidas prereleased its Deerupt sneaker via an AR-enabled unboxing experience on its website; Nike partnered with Facebook on a feature that gave SNKRS users a chance to get a first (virtual) look at a new sneaker style on the Messenger app; and Zara rolled out in-store technology that allowed shoppers to visualize styles on models by holding their smartphones up to designated sensors.

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