Gartner says 46% of retailers plan to adopt AR in 2020. Will you be a part of that number?
We all expect the e-commerce revolution to be loud and grand. But what if it’s already happening, slowly whirring in the background, separating high-tech brands from their old-school competitors? It might just be the right time to jump on the immersive shopping bandwagon. We’ll explain why.
The number of people equipped with AR compatible devices increased dramatically with the releases of Apple’s ARKit in 2017 and Android’s ARCore in 2018. That was just the beginning. Now, more than 1 billion smartphones and tablets can deliver augmented experiences, and within this year, 100 million consumers are expected to shop using AR.
The key incentives
The statistics above prove that augmented shopping will soon become a normal part of our lives. And it’s going to be beneficial for both parties, for retailers and customers. Retailers will be able to deliver more detailed, intuitive product information compared to dated online stores. As for customers, they will get to witness a new world of experiences. AR will allow them to try on, try out, interact, or personalize products all on their mobile phones.
“When we think about AR shopping, it’s not just about seeing what something looks like in your space and seeing the size of it, it’s also about seeing the materials and the details of that product,” says Daniel Beauchamp, head of VR at Shopify.
Industries are already taking advantage of AR
One of the first markets to widely and successfully apply AR was furniture. The technology allows customers to visualize items in their room to see how size and color will fit the interior. Now, it is rapidly becoming the industry standard, and customers have begun to expect this feature from retailers.
Beauty brands are probably the second largest category to use AR augmented shopping. L’Oréal considers virtual makeup try-on to be “the base of any experience” because “at the end of the day the only barrier to buying [a product] is wondering what it will look like”.
“Try on” mechanics are obviously in huge demand in the apparel sector. For example, Gap developed an AR app where users could select one of five body types, and enter their height and weight to create an estimated model of themselves.
Zara tried a different way to apply AR. Thanks to their app, customers can see clothes “come to life” by pointing a camera at sensors within the store. Scanning the code reveals short videos with models wearing a specific outfit.
Is it easy to implement?
Most of the retailers are yet to find efficient and cost-effective ways to develop and use 3D content, which is the foundation for any AR experience. Until recently, getting high resolution 3D has been technically difficult and seriously expensive. Creating a suitable 3D asset pipeline for large product catalogs became a problem.
Luckily it has been elegantly addressed by Cappasity — the first scalable and easy-to-adopt solution for complex e-commerce projects that only takes 3 minutes/SKU to create a photorealistic 3D View and embed it into an online store, mobile app, and AR/VR applications. The unique 3D View format with data streaming loads in seconds on all devices, including smartphones.
We strongly recommend you explore all the vast possibilities of AR and 3D technology for your business today, so that instead of playing catch up with your competitors, you will become the leader of the pack.