augmented reality shopping

Making augmented reality shopping a reality for your ecommerce website

By Cristina Ferrandez

Incorporating augmented reality shopping into your ecommerce site is a great way to improve top-line revenue and customer satisfaction. According to Deloitte, 71% of shoppers would shop more often if they could use AR experiences while doing so, and 61% would choose stores with AR over those without it. 

With customer demand for AR growing tremendously, the benefits that AR can bring to retail shouldn’t be surprising. After implementing an AR feature into their website, saw a 25% decrease in returns and an 80% increase in conversions. Similarly, Shopify points to a 2x increase in conversions for storefronts that implement 3D and AR capability.

However, despite the clear benefits that incorporating AR into your ecommerce store can bring, getting started can be a daunting experience. To help demystify the process, here are four steps you need to take to integrate AR into your ecommerce site. 

Choose the right products for your augmented reality catalogue

Getting the best ROI from any investment means being precise about implementation. One of the most effective places to implement AR is with products that customers can try on their bodies and faces like makeup, eyewear, or hats. Of 1,000 consumers surveyed in the UK, shopping for clothes or accessories was most people’s first choice for AR use. However, AR has produced results for companies specialising in all types of merchandise.  

Another practical use for AR is to allow shoppers to visualise how interior decor will look in their own home. The home design website Houzz reported that customers who used Houzz’s integrated AR tool to place products in their own space were 11 times more likely to make a purchase. When used to create a virtual showroom, AR is convenient for customers who are contemplating big purchases like a bed or a couch and want to see a life-size impression of how it will fit in their home.

Another category of products that benefit significantly from AR tools is products with customisable designs — a trend that is fast gaining traction in the footwear world

Convert your product catalogue into 3D models

augmented reality shopping
Our 3D advertising project with MG Motor

Once you’ve decided which parts of your business will benefit most from AR, you will need to begin transforming your product catalogue into 3D models. At this stage, capturing your product in the most realistic way possible is vital. Fortunately, converting products into 3D models is not as expensive or labour-intensive a process as it might seem. Today, thanks to advancements in modelling software, 3D designers can create photorealistic product models from a relatively small collection of photographs.

You also need to consider whether you’d like to incorporate animations, which are often used to show off product features, such as a car’s convertible roof coming down as a user scrolls through a page, or a sofa bed unfolding. It’s worth noting that over 95% of customers prefer interactive or animated 3D models to videos.

Create an augmented reality shopping experience 

Our AR makeup try-on project with Charlotte Tilbury

Virtual try-on allows the customer to see the product in a 3D setting and understand how it looks on their face or body as though in a virtual fitting room. Trying on with AR mimics the in-stoe experience and lets consumers know what to expect from the product they are considering. This capability also creates a more familiar and tactile customer journey.  

On the other hand, product visualisation allows customers to place their chosen product within their own space. With product visualisation, a customer can accurately assess the dimensions, colour, and shape of the product relative to where they intend to place it. This kind of experience is great for minimising returns by reducing the customer’s risk of purchasing a product they dislike. 

Deploy your augmented reality shopping experience

augmented reality shopping
Our AR virtual try-on project with Speedo

The last thing you’ll need to consider will be the different options for incorporating your new AR experience into your ecommerce store. 

The critical question to answer here is where do you want your users to interact with the technology? For example, a virtual try-on feature is often integrated into the product page itself so that when a user clicks on a product to view more details, they are offered the option to try it for themselves using their desktop or phone camera. We recently worked with swimwear brand Speedo to allow their customers to virtually try on swim goggles using augmented reality. 

However, the advantages of AR are not just limited to the online experience. Speedo also offered their virtual try-on option in-store, a feature that anyone who has tried on a pair of swim goggles in a store before will appreciate. 

Another possibility is to incorporate 3D into display ads, as MG Motor did recently during the launch of their new SUV, the MG Hector. The user-interactive ads were extremely successful, boasting an engagement rate eight times higher than rich media. 

The next step

If augmented reality shopping looks like it’s going to be part of your ecommerce business, don’t hesitate to contact us. Poplar Studio makes it easy to embed these features into your product pages. Check out some of our past work for ideas, or reach out to us now.

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