Back to Top

Pakko De La Torre // Creative Director

Augmented Reality in E-Commerce

Augmented Reality in E-Commerce

Online stores neither cost rent, nor do they need cleaning staff, or attract shoplifters. Nevertheless, flat sales pages cannot completely replace the shopping experience of real stores. Well, maybe they can? Modern AR technology can greatly enhance the capabilities of online stores and encourage customers to speed up their purchasing decisions. At least to some extent, it can create an experience similar to being in real stores – sometimes even better. In the following, we give you a few insights into how 3D & Augmented Reality can positively influence customer buying behavior.

The Research Online – Purchase Offline-Effekt

Sales take place in different channels. While many vendors offer their products in brick-and-mortar stores, they also have online shops. The latter often serve mainly as information channels. For most customers, an e-commerce presence like this alone is not enough to convince them completely. In many cases, customers end up buying the selected product in a nearby physical store. Some customers even take longer trips just to buy pre-selected products in brick-and-mortar stores. This is the ROPO (research online, purchase offline) effect. A current consumer report by IDH revealed that 85 percent of respondents prepare their purchases digitally. 29 percent still prefer to be inspired directly in stores.

The right use of 3D technology significantly reduces the ROPO effect. High-quality 3D models can be presented directly in online stores or even in interactive showrooms, and provide customers with more information than classic product photography. The additional use of Augmented Reality can almost replace real product experiences in stores. So far, it is not at all common for retailers to lend out products such as furniture for customers to check whether they fit into their living rooms at home. Augmented Reality, however, can easily make that happen.

Onlineshops with AR product visualizations gain a clear advantage over their competitors. In a survey, almost 50% of prospective customers said they would be more likely to buy from a vendor that offers Mixed Reality features. One third of online retailers therefore already intend to use Augmented Reality in their stores in the future. Virtual solutions are also being used more and more frequently in the ever-expanding field of mobile commerce. Fortunately, there are now solutions on the market such as the rooom platform that make it very easy for any company to create its own 3D models and deliver them in Augmented Reality.

What does SEO have to do with 3D?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is about setting up websites in such a way that they not only offer real added value for users but are also evaluated by search engines such as google and ranked well in the search results. The focus is not only on high-quality content, but also on the users’ experiences with the website. Loading times are a significant issue here. When selecting 3D & AR solutions, site operators should focus on solutions that rely on small amounts of data and can thus display 3D content without limiting loading times. In addition, 3D Experiences increase the dwell time on the page, which has a positive effect on Google rank.

When buying furniture, more than with any other product, it is important that size, color and style of a product fit the intended destination. Many furniture stores therefore focus on detailed presentation in combination with other pieces of furniture, wall and floor coverings and decorative objects. Unfortunately, this can’t tell you whether the couch you’ve fallen in love with will look good in your own home. Augmented Reality offers significantly more possibilities here. Customers can place wing chairs, closets or side tables in their real size and color exactly where they will adorn their homes in the future. This can be particularly useful when planning kitchens.

Clothing in Augmented Reality? Why not? Of course, an AR view of a dress or suit cannot replace a fitting. However, a closer look at the color, fabric texture and appearance in combination with your favorite shoes is already possible. The same applies to jewelry, handbags, hats or sunglasses. If customers visit online stores and see the dresses in Mixed Reality in their original size, it can almost feel like trying them on. Even for bridal wear, an AR fashion ​​​​​​​projection gives you a good sense of the dimensions of a dress and the fabrics.

It doesn’t take much to provide 3D and AR views of products in online stores. Thanks to their simple integration, the 360-degree images can be used instead of or in combination with classic product images. Customers then navigate through the store pages as they normally would and have a closer look at their desired products. The online shopping experience becomes much more entertaining if the store itself offers more than just a flat website with product categories. The entrance to the store could be a 3D showroom or 360-degree tour in which product highlights can be discovered just as intuitively as in brick-and-mortar stores.

This content was originally published here.