Netcomm Forum 2024
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Beyond Pixels: Unraveling a new era of ecommerce with virtual try-ons

Beyond Pixels: Unraveling a new era of ecommerce with virtual try-ons

Immerse yourself in an alternate reality where online shopping becomes a tangible and relatable experience. Picture this: you've found the perfect, flamboyant Hawaiian shirt online, the one that encapsulates your long-dreamt tropical escape. Now, sprinkle some magic on this image. The shirt transposes itself onto a virtual 'you,' a perfect fit, embodying your vibrant persona.

At this point, your significant other glances over your shoulder, throwing an approving nod at your online avatar, saving you from the domestic fashion police! This is not a science fiction plot; it's the exciting reality of AI-driven virtual try-ons, and it's happening right now. Today, I guide you through an enchanting journey of virtual try-ons and virtual product photography, a narrative interwoven with innovation, personalization, and sustainability.

Virtual try-ons: The wizardry in ecommerce

Imagine a world where the frustration of ordering the wrong size is a thing of the past, where you no longer have to face the deflating moment of fitting into an outfit that looked just perfect on the model, but not quite on you. Welcome to the world of virtual try-ons.

Virtual try-on

Let's talk about Google. A titan in the tech industry, Google has been a significant pioneer in AI advancements, their virtual try-on feature, announced last year, being one of their countless innovations. They've mastered the art of combining AI with augmented reality (AR) to allow users to "try on" products right from the comfort of their homes. It's as if they've added a sprinkle of pixie dust to the ecommerce industry, transforming the user experience into something truly magical.

But the magic of virtual try-ons doesn't end there. The tech is such that it lets you see exactly how a flamboyant Hawaiian shirt would look on you. You can virtually try it on, stand in front of a virtual mirror, and twirl around to see it from every angle. You can even see how it sways with your movement, how the colors complement your complexion, and how the size fits you just right.

And for those of us who, despite being seasoned online shoppers, have a knack for buying fashion items that eventually end up in the back of the closet (guilty as charged!), virtual try-ons could just be the guardian angel we've all been waiting for.

STH Hawaiian shirt

As someone who wears Hawaiian shirts, I assume that virtual-try-ons can save lives. (Hi Olli BTW!)

Beyond just personal convenience, virtual try-ons are also a sustainable choice, one that could revolutionize the entire ecommerce industry by drastically reducing return rates. A significant problem for online retailers is returns due to size issues or the product looking different in person than it did online. With virtual try-ons, what you see is exactly what you get.

Try-ons are more than just a way to see how clothing items would look on us – they're a tool to help us make more informed decisions. This technology has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry by cutting down on unnecessary shipping and reducing waste from packaging materials.

At Shopware, we're incredibly inspired by these developments and are actively researching and experimenting to integrate these advancements into our platform. Our aim is to ship these benefits to our merchant base as soon as possible, helping them to offer their customers a truly personalized shopping experience. We believe virtual try-ons will become an integral part of ecommerce, a standard that customers will come to expect, and we're excited to be a part of this journey.

Virtual product photography: painting a thousand words

As we delve deeper into the realm of AI, we encounter the marvel of virtual product photography. This groundbreaking technology transcends traditional imagery, spinning it into a dynamic story that perfectly aligns with the consumer's aesthetic preferences.

Envision this: the vibrant Hawaiian shirt you were eyeing earlier is no longer confined to a bland, white background. Instead, it's now set against a backdrop of a sun-drenched beach or a bustling cityscape, all tailored to your unique taste. This is virtual product photography – the lighthouse guiding us towards the future of ecommerce.

Virtual Product Photography flairai

The disruption brought for example by in the virtual try-on space motivates us to push boundaries further. Our goal is not to generate new images from text but to harmoniously combine existing product images and shopper models to enhance the shopping journey.

Shopware: steering the ship of AI innovation

At Shopware, we’re not just spectators in the race of AI technology; we're at the helm, steering its course. Our quest is fueled by an open commerce ethos that encourages community-wide innovation. In this spirit, we strive to transform the realm of ecommerce, leading the industry towards a future only limited by our imaginations.

As a community of innovative partners and talented individuals, we are relentless in our pursuit of AI research, analysis, and innovation. We believe in challenging the status quo, and together, we're committed to creating standout digital commerce experiences.

Reimagining virtual try-ons with TryOnDiffusion

TryOnDiffusion, as the name suggests, is a diffusion-based technology that addresses some of the most significant challenges in the virtual try-on space. Specifically, the technology aims to create a realistic visualization of how a garment might look on a person, given two images – one of the person and another of the garment worn by someone else. The challenge lies in synthesizing a photo-realistic visualization that preserves the garment's details while warping the garment to match the significant body pose and shape changes between the subjects.


Previous methods have either focused on preserving garment details without effectively accommodating pose and shape variations or allowed for try-ons with the desired shape and pose but lacked garment detail preservation. That's where TryOnDiffusion comes in.

For the nerds under us, here is how it basically works:

TryOnDiffusion leverages a diffusion-based architecture that unifies two UNets, referred to as Parallel-UNet. This unique setup allows the model to preserve garment details and warp the garment to accommodate significant pose and body shape changes, all within a single network. The underlying key principles of Parallel-UNet include:

  1. The garment is warped implicitly via a cross attention mechanism. This process allows for a more seamless and realistic blending of the garment onto the model, resulting in a virtual try-on image that accurately represents the look and fit of the garment.

  2. The warping of the garment and the blending with the person happen as part of a unified process, as opposed to a sequence of two separate tasks. This unified process contributes to the improved photorealistic quality of the generated image.

These advancements mark a significant leap forward in the realm of virtual try-ons, with TryOnDiffusion achieving state-of-the-art performance both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Product images: gazing into the future

Looking ahead, we anticipate a revolution in product imagery. In the future, they will not be simple photographs or rendered images. They will be fully generated, tailor-made visualizations that adapt to the user's unique preferences. This hyper-customization, enabled by AI, promises to reinvent ecommerce, empowering merchants to offer shoppers a deeply personal shopping experience, all while reducing return rates and promoting sustainability.

Adventures in the AI landscape

As a self-professed tech nerd, it feels like every day is Christmas, with the present being the exhilarating exploration of countless AI advancements. Inspired by the strides made by great companies like Google and, we, at Shopware, are keen to continue innovating and pushing the boundaries of online shopping.

With an array of AI features already under our belt, we're excited to keep the momentum going. Our mission is to convert the vast potential of AI into tangible, effective solutions for our merchants. At Shopware, we're committed to serving our merchant base while continuously challenging and exploring the limits of AI.

Finally, as someone who's deeply immersed in the exciting universe of AI, I’m always eager to connect, research, experiment, and learn. If you share this excitement, I'd love to chat – because, in this fascinating journey into the future of ecommerce, everyone has a seat at the table. Together, let's shape the future!

Connect with me on LinkedIn or let our experts at Shopware advise you on our exciting AI solutions: Get in touch.

Image Stefan Hamann

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