Augmented Reality in e-Commerce – Hype or … Reality?

Posted on December 19th, 2017

Where are we now?

Since the launch of Google’s ARCore (29th Aug) and Apple’s ARKit (19th Sept), e-Commerce players all over the world are investing in Augmented Reality (AR).

So, what have we learned so far?

  • More app downloads result in more customers
  • Early data show significant increase in conversion rates
  • Scalability is a huge challenge due to 3D model requirement will get back to you as soon as possible!

In order to use AR technology, retailers need to have an AR-enabled mobile application and 3D models for each of their relevant products. While the mobile application has become easier to develop than before, 3D modeling is still a daunting task. 3D models created for AR need to be of high quality to create a realistic experience for customers.To achieve this a company needs to follow specific guidelines to create realism in the mobile application, not to mention careful consideration of the file size. On average a 3D model takes ten man hours to be created and assure its quality. To stay a global e-commerce player, retailers needs vendors who are specialised in designing 3D models to make all above possible.By bringing a tangible online shopping experience to customers, AR is going to increase customer satisfaction by a lot. Did you ever have that closet that just wouldn’t fit? Not anymore. Now consumers can make informed decisions before making a purchase. Early results show higher conversion rates, vivid engagement and less returns. Benefitting the Retailer and Manufacturer. In addition, when the manufacturer has the required models developed themselves (IPR related) they position themselves stronger with multiple retailers and as a Brand.
Besides that, 3D models created for AR are also usable in Virtual Reality (VR) and Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). A 3D model of a product only has to be created once.
As the 3D models are usable for CGI retailers will save €300,- per product on showroom cost. Ok, so the returns are there. What is the investment?

Conclusion: Is AR in e-commerce here to stay? 

In our opinion yes, AR is here to stay and will transform consumer behavior.
Take the following into consideration:

  • Retailers & Manufacturers save money on showroom cost
  • 3D models build now can be used for any 3D, AR and VR application
  • Building experience with AR will help secure the position of that retailer in the VR arena when it becomes more accessible.