Amazon already had a try-before-you-buy program for Prime members, where you can return an item of clothing after trying it on at home. On Thursday, it added Virtual Try-On, an augmented reality (AR) experience where you can try on shoes without ever touching them via iOS.
All you need is the Amazon app and an iPhone to see what a pair of kicks will look like on your feet.
Amazon adds Virtual Try-On for shoe shoppers with iPhones to see how shoes look on their feet
Amazon’s new virtual try-on feature for shoes is available for iPhone users in the United States and Canada.
“Amazon Fashion’s goal is to create innovative experiences that make online fashion shopping easier and more enjoyable for customers,” said Muge Erdirik Dogan, President of Amazon Fashion.
“We are thrilled to introduce Virtual Try-On for Shoes, so customers can try on thousands of styles from brands they know and love at their convenience, wherever they are,” he added.
Easy to use
To use this feature, open the Amazon app on your iPhone, select a pair of shoes, and look for the Virtual Try-On button under the product image.
If it’s there, press the button and point your iPhone camera at your feet. After a moment of loading, the shoes will appear as if they are on your feet. More or less.
You can change shoe colors from the same screen while looking at your feet on the iPhone screen, which is a nice feature.
But Virtual Try-On is not perfect. When moving my feet, my shin sometimes hit the top of the shoe, I found. The shoes jumped off my feet for a second here and there too.
But you can get a decent look from different angles. You may find the experience slightly better than just looking at the photo selection and the “View in 3D” option.
Thousands of shoes, but not nearly all
You can choose from “thousands of sneaker styles” put together with this digital fitting process from brands like New Balance, Adidas and Reebok, Amazon said in a statement. And he plans to add more.
Even so, for some major brands, like Nike, Virtual Try-On is not available. And I clicked quite a few sneakers from several brands and couldn’t find any Virtual Try-On button.
And it should be noted, of course, that trying on shoes hardly helps you with some crucial factors when it comes to choosing new shoes, namely fit and comfort. But it gives you a bit more visual sense of the shoe.
Clues to Apple’s AR/VR future
The feature is available exclusively on iOS. This seems to support the chatter around WWDC22 that iOS 16 is full of hints about Apple’s AR/VR future.
While Amazon’s new feature is for shoe purchases, the retail giant and Apple began bolstering shopping experiences with AR in 2017.
The Amazon app lets you use AR to get a better idea of clothes, furniture, and beauty products, to name a few.
AR shopping seems to have a bright future as a win-win for consumers and retailers. It is available 24 hours a day, requires no interaction with store employees, and extends the reach of shoppers to an infinite number of products.
And it’s all in your iPhone, or soon will be.