Adidas is letting shoppers virtually try on its new line of running shoes with a feature in its iOS app. The sportswear maker's mobile platform uses augmented reality (AR) to overlay digital images of its new Alphaedge 4D running shoes through a smartphone, Footwear News reported.
To use the AR feature, mobile users need to open the Adidas app and tap on the product pages for Alphaedge footwear. A virtual version of the shoes will appear on a user's feet, and will track body movements for a more immersive, 3D view.
Adidas worked with Vyking, a developer of AR applications for e-commerce, on the virtual try-on. Vyking first showcased the technology last year on its Instagram account, Quartz reported.
Adidas's new virtual try-on feature in its iOS app aims to help shoppers pick out new shoe styles without setting foot in a shoe store in an effort to improve the customer experience. While the AR feature can't help to determine the exact size and fit, it at least gives shoppers a better idea of how the shoes will look on their feet before they commit to making a purchase. The feature can also help Adidas to manage customer expectations and reduce returns, although many consumers say they rarely send back products they order online because it's too much of a hassle.
The sportswear maker is among those that have added AR experiences to their mobile marketing efforts. Adidas this month began hosting a gamified AR experience that's powered by mobile phones at its flagship store in Paris to highlight environmental sustainability and how it converts recycled plastic into shoes.
Rival Puma last month made AR experiences a central feature of the grand opening of its first North American flagship store in New York. GOAT, a secondary marketplace for authenticated shoes, last month added similar AR try-ons to its app to showcase some of the world's rarest shoes for sneakerheads. Gucci brought AR to its iOS app in June, letting shoppers virtually sample its line of Ace sneakers. Similarly, Nike's app lets shoppers scan their feet with a smartphone camera to get customized shoe size recommendations.
AR is mostly an experimental technology that's still quite nascent in providing strong product demonstrations, and many brands are testing it in its early days to appeal to younger consumers who are heavy smartphone users while preparing for a day when AR experiences become commonplace.
AR is the most likely technology to make consumers think a brand is innovative, a recent survey found, ahead of other cutting-edge applications like artificial intelligence, facial recognition and chatbots