#augmentedreality #AR #ecommerce #shoppingexperience

How to use augmented reality as an advantage in selling your products?

  • What is AR? 

Augmented reality allows you to display 3D objects on the screen, e.g. phone/tablet. It combines digital content with a real image presented on the screen of the device. For example, you can display in your living room (using the phone screen) a digital dinosaur, an armchair, a plant, or a packet of crisps.

  • In what industry is it worth using AR?

AR technology offers great opportunities in many areas, although initially it was mainly used for entertainment. In recent years, it is used, in industries like medicine, education, training, online commerce, and tourism. It has a large contribution to the development of business around the world, not only among giants such as Google, Amazon or Meta, but also small and medium-sized companies use it. All you need is creativity, openness, and access to a tool or team that understands AR and knows how to use it in business.

In eCommerce, AR is used, among others by companies from the following industries: furniture, interior design, cosmetics, construction, FMCG, automotive. Shopify, an eCommerce sales platform, has provided customers with the functionality of displaying products in AR. This is one of the examples of the popularization of technology that so far has been unavailable to many entrepreneurs and is now at your fingertips.

  • How does AR help you sell products?

Shopify shared data showing that interactions with products containing AR have a 94% higher conversion rate than products without AR. The most direct value for the end customer is the ability to see what the product will look like in 3D at the right scale and proportion. With AR, the users do not have to guess what the product they are buying will look like. they can display it or try it on (in the case of furniture or clothes) in the comfortable space of their home, or wherever they are at the moment. This gives you more confidence in your purchase and reduces the number of returns.

Furthermore, AR engages the user more closely in getting to know the product. These are not flat visualizations or photos, but a realistic 3D models, the experience of which can only be compared to viewing the product in a store or showroom. 56% of buyers agree that AR gives them more confidence in the quality of products *.

Providing products in AR also means high-quality and distinctive marketing content. AR can also be a very helpful tool in the hands of the sales team. It allows you to display each product variant in a meeting with the customer or in the store.


  • Will your customers use the AR function?

Certainly yes. Though how many of them will do it depends on many aspects, including the age of customers, the ease of use of the AR function and the product itself. According to a Deloitte Digital study from 2021, Gen Z and Millennials are 71% more likely to use AR all the time compared to older generations. On the other hand, older users in almost 20% are more likely to display AR primarily for practical purposes.

Also, one particular circumstance that took place in 2020 and 2021 is important in this context. It was an accelerated change in consumer purchasing habits during the pandemic. Lockdown conditions forced customers to transfer most of their purchases to the Internet. At that time, the openness to technological innovations and the trust in using them in everyday life, including the use of AR, increased.

The question is also what the customer has to do to display the product in AR. The easier it is to use a given function, the better. Easier and less demanding is the web-AR option, based on the browser itself and not forcing the user to download an external application.

However, the implementation of AR is not everything. If we want our new 'novelty' to actually increase conversion, the key is to effectively inform customers what we have prepared for them. A series of dedicated mailings or a banner on the home page of the store will be a good idea.

  • How much does it cost to run the AR function for the product?

The very implementation of the AR function on a website is not a problem, there are ready-made solutions that are responsible for it. Installing AR in the form of a widget is as easy as installing e.g. livechat or callback plugins. 

The cost, on the other hand, appears when the company doesn't have 3d models for its products - and these will be needed if we want to present products in AR. The cost of preparing 3d models can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the products, but it can be assumed that it will be an amount comparable to that which you would spend on a photo session in a good studio. Once a company has the 3D assets of the products, you can use them not only for AR but also for simple content creation and a quite large library of marketing materials - static visualizations, close-ups, animations, 360 views and configurators.

If you have a 3d model, the cost of the AR solution on your website will be comparable to the license for the CRM platform.

  • Should you invest in your own mobile application or use web-AR?

Large e-commerce companies such as Wayfair and Ikea are investing heavily in their AR applications. However, in the case of smaller brands, there is a risk that downloading the application just to see the product offer will simply alienate the user. Therefore, at Ar-range, we encourage you to use the potential of web-AR, i.e. augmented reality displayed only through a smartphone browser. This solution is more user-friendly and, importantly, simply cheaper in most cases. The function is available directly on the website or in the e-store. By visiting the brand's website using a smartphone, customers can display the product in AR, at home, or in the office. The product can be rotated, adjusted, and then proceed with the purchase smoothly.

  • What phones does web-AR work on?

Web-AR works on all modern iOS devices from iPhone 6 up (ARKit function). IOS based smartphones with ARKit deliver a higher quality AR experience due to the best compatibility between software and hardware. Most consumers using popular Android-based smartphones (Google's ARCore feature) can also enjoy augmented reality, and the detailed list of ARCore devices is expanding day by day.




How AR Is Redefining Retail in the Pandemic (hbr.org)

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