Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Sunglass Hut sees virtual styling to skip in-store shopping

Not sure what sunnies would suit this summer, and aren’t keen to face the world just yet? At least one retailer intends to match your face without needing to see it in real life.

This year has sure been something, but with many of us shopping from the comfort of our own home rather than making our way into stores, it’s no wonder that retailers are getting on board and embracing new approaches to how people can find things.

You still need to wear pants, so you can buy those by gauging what would look best and what would fit you, eyeing them online, buying them, and returning them if they don’t. You can order food and other household products by using the web, delivering them to your home and never being forced to step inside a supermarket again, if you so choose. And you can do this for pretty much everything in your life, including some of the things you might want a second opinion on.

That’s certainly the case for some of us buying sunglasses, because while you might think they look good in photos, seeing the real deal on yourself might be a little more complex.

We’ve seen some interesting takes to fix this with remote shopping over 2020, including Snapchat’s virtual glasses that you can digitally wear and then buy, but it’s not the only attempt being made.

This week, Sunglass Hut has announced that it will offer a virtual styling session for select individuals across Australia, offering the expertise of a celebrity stylist to help find a pair of frames to match a specific face, rather than going in and trying them on for yourself.

It’s not something that works virtually like what Snapchat has engineered, however, as Sunglass Hut takes on a more Zoom-like experience, similar to how many of us have been working over most of the year. Rather than walk in and try on some frames, this approach will see its eyewear stylist Jess Pecoraro use a video call of sorts to match frames to people who volunteer themselves for the calls, which are happening over two days in December.

“An accessory or outfit that celebrates your personality can help you radiate confidence and make any occasion a special one,” said Pecoraro, who has written for Who magazine in the past.

“When you choose something that is uniquely personal and personalised to you, it will become a timeless piece in your style collection,” she said. “People often ask how they find their signature style and it all comes down to experimenting and trying until you fall in love.”

Doing a video call

Experimenting in the midst of a work-from-home pandemic is a little different these days than it once was, and may mean you’re not going in store to try things on the way you once did. Even if you do, the approach may also be different, with only a few people in store at the same time, social distancing, and store clerks wiping down frames for some pretty obvious reasons.

So Sunglass Hut’s attempt to provide a virtual approach is definitely something, though it’s also a something that is limited in number. Officially, the virtual sessions will run for two days next week, on both November 30 and December 1, the sessions running for 5 minutes in duration and for 35 sessions only. A representative for the company told Pickr that if it gets high demand, it will look at extending the hours and days the virtual stylist sessions will run for.

If that sounds like the sort of pandemic shopping concept you’re keen to get your head into, Sunglass Hut says that its video call approach is something people can book for, using a scheduled video call to make it happen.

And if not, there’s always turning up, trying on a pair of sunnies, and checking yourself out in the mirror, waiting for the day that every company offers a virtual experience for your face, so you don’t have to run in store to see what they look and feel like on your head.

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