Online shopping is BOOMING which is great for those of us who do e-commerce, but it is a real pain point for some consumers who are hesitant to buy certain products online. This is where an Augmented Reality (AR) shopping experience can be a real game-changer. Utilizing AR tools in digital stores, may help some overcome that hesitancy.
What IS Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is, as Business Insider puts it, “an interactive 3D experience that combines a view of the real world with computer-generated elements.” AR is all about what is actually there in the real world– your room, your surroundings, your body. An AR experience takes these elements and combines them with things that are not actually there, using technology (like your cell phone camera) to merge reality with images, videos, animations, or other elements that are computer-generated. One very popular example of AR is the game PokemonGo, which uses smartphone cameras to allow users to “catch” creatures that (spoiler alert) are not actually there.
But AR is useful for more than just games– AR online shopping has great potential as well.
How Can I Combine Augmented Reality and E-commerce?
It’s a short jump from the AR gaming example above to ways that AR can be used to improve in-person shopping experiences. From digital catalogs that allow shoppers to see product details, or model variations as they walk through a showroom, to virtual salespersons, AR can be a great shopping tool. But AR in e-commerce can be just as powerful, if not more so.
Business Insider explains that “perhaps the most important application of AR for most users will be in retail applications, notably ‘try before you buy.’ With more people shopping from home and less emphasis on public retail spaces, AR will allow consumers to see how products will look in their own homes before purchasing them.”
Just some of the potential uses of augmented reality shopping websites include:
- Virtual fitting rooms that allow you to “try on” clothes and see how they will look on your actual body.
- Virtual furniture staging that will digitally “place” furniture in your home or office.
- Virtual paint chips that allow you to check a paint color in real time with your existing furniture.
All without leaving your house!
How Do I Create an AR Shopping Experience?
Converting your eCommerce shop to give your customers an exciting new way to experience your brand has become more accessible. Companies like SeekXR have developed platforms that enable brands to integrate their 3D and AR experience seamlessly. To get started, a brand will convert its product into a three-dimensional digital model. You can have a model created by a freelancer or hire a company like SeekXR to have their professional design team generate the art. Once a 3D model is built, a platform like SeekXR Core makes it easy to embed your 3D assets on most websites and social media platforms. In addition, SeekXR has a Shopify plug-in for easy user management if your eCommerce shop is created with Shopify.
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