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What is a Virtual Dressing Room?

Many retailers think that virtual dressing rooms will only become more commonplace with online shopping.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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The virtual dressing room is a relatively new and fun way to shop for clothing. While the exact configuration of different software packages vary, all of them allow the user to either select a body type from a menu or enter data to have the software create a virtual model that tries on any clothing the user may wish. Several major apparel companies with online stores have added this feature recently and find that the tool helps to stimulate online shopping.

These online dressing rooms are sometimes created using software that has been customized for a particular retailer or design house. Other online retailers prefer to make use of a general product such as My Virtual Model™ or KnickerPicker. All types currently in use seek to recreate the shopping experience in a virtual environment. Some examples of the virtual dressing room even allow the model to pull garments from a virtual rack and walk to the virtual dressing room. Others simply pick up the activity by having the selected garment suddenly appear on the model.

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Users of the virtual dressing room are often pleased with the results. Because it is possible to utilize a virtual model that is more or less the same body type, shoppers can get an idea how a garment will fit before making a purchase. This eliminates the need to carve out time to go to a brick and mortar location, weed through racks of clothing, and then wait for an available dressing room in order to try on the garment.

However, even shoppers who are very enthusiastic with the idea of a virtual dressing room do note that the tool is still a work in progress. Some shoppers have found it difficult to select a model from a pre-programmed list that is close to the shopper’s build. Others who have tried tools that make it possible to enter vital statistics such as height and weight that the system can use to create a personalized model also report that the model is not always as accurate as they would like.

Still, the convenience and early success of the virtual dressing room suggests that the tool will only become more commonplace with online shopping. As the demand for this feature does grow, chances are some of the current issues noted by users today will be eliminated or at least minimized.

While a virtual dressing room works more efficiently when accessed using a computer with a high speed connection, shoppers using dial-up services that routinely provide them with a 50K or better connection will find that the time lag is not too great on many of the current online dressing rooms. This has helped to make the virtual dressing room user-friendly for a larger sector of the consumer market.

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