Google says that more than 73 percent of U.S. shoppers are planning to buy online during this holiday season. Without having the ability to try products on to get a better sense of them before checking out, return rates have skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, about 15-40% of online purchases have been returned in 2020 already with most of them being apparel! Google’s newest AR filters may be the beginning of reducing those return rates. You can now virtually try on makeup with Google Search before buying it because, well, the future was yesterday.
If you’re shopping for beauty products, it’s difficult to make a decision on such personal items without trying them on. Say you want to know how sheer a lip gloss is, how much pigment is in an eyeshadow or what a product will look like on your skin tone, it can be difficult to understand these things without seeing the products up close.The Keyword
To make this possible, Google is partnering with ModiFace and Perfect Corp to help you better visualize thousands of lipstick and eyeshadow shades from favorite brands like L’Oreal, MAC Cosmetics, Black Opal, and Charlotte Tilbury. When you search for a product like this by typing in something like “L’Oreal’s Infallible Paints Metallic Eyeshadow”, you can try it on a range of skin tones and compare shades and textures on either a pre-existing static model image or by opening your camera and trying it on yourself using augmented reality!
Augmented Reality has long since stolen the spotlight from virtual reality. It’s not that the two aren’t coexisting – they are – it’s just that AR has shown more promise and real-world use than VR. Where the latter has been relegated to games and completely constructed experiences, the former has greater application as it allows you to overlay virtual elements onto real-world objects.
For many years, there’s been talk of using AR or VR to allow consumers to try on clothing and products before buying them. Many older movies even show off the user uploading their physical dimensions – height, weight, stature, etc – into the computer and then being fitted with clothes in order to determine if they are a good match before they shell out their cash. What’s interesting is that many of these innovations have snuck up on us and we’ve been less in awe of them than we should have been.
Leave it to us humans to use incredible innovations to first play cat videos or to do some other trivial thing, right? When we first received the ability to overlay AR objects onto our faces using camera filters via the Snapchat app back in 2015, we had a good laugh, snapped a few photos for the socials, and then moved on with our lives. The face tracking alone was impressive, but we really did take it for granted.
Now that we see someone like Google using it to do something crazy like superimpose makeup onto your face before you decide to tap to pay, I think it’s a bit of a wake-up call. It really goes to show you that we could be using this technology for greater purposes. Okay, okay, so I know we’ve had the ability to place Wayfair furniture in our home before buying and to try on Nikes for a while now, but making AR accessible right through the open web and via a simple Google Search nonetheless is what’s incredible here. I’m sure that they will move on to clothing and other products down the road, but starting with Makeup was a good starting point, I think. We hope to see AR continue to be used for things that matter more than just fun and games, though we enjoy it for that as well!
Google is also placing recommendations from beauty, apparel, and home and garden enthusiasts and experts into your Discover feed and Google Shopping. If you see something you like, you’ll now be able to see their personal opinions on it – appeal to popularity, I guess. Either way, it should further help reduce return rates, and I think that’s Google’s goal here.