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6 Basics of AR and 3D for eCommerce

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Customer expectations for online shopping have shifted as a result of visual eCommerce. It provides customers with an interactive graphical representation of products through AR and 3D images incorporated on website pages and mobile apps.

Several fun interactions are available with online product configurators. Customers can use their mobile devices’ touchscreens to browse and interact with products by touching, swiping, or dragging objects across the screen. Even some forward-thinking shops have begun integrating 3D & AR software into their actual storefronts. Several eCommerce retailers are also utilising AR/3D technologies to increase client engagement, increase sales, and outperform rivals.

There are numerous reasons why 3D/AR technology has propelled online retail. But they all focus on only one thing: the customers. Customers today desire ease and choice. Whether shopping online or in-person, they want a fun experience. Sometimes they even choose to have a solid emotional bond with the brand. All these impacts can be delivered to customers through immersive or visual eCommerce.

Engaged consumers spend 60% more for each transaction and make purchases 90% more frequently, per the SAP/eCommerce Foundation 2019 USA eCommerce Report. Because of this interaction, 3D/AR will continue to play a significant role in online retail.

So, how do you go from 2D graphics to 3D and augmented reality on your eCommerce site? Knowing the entire landscape and what you require to set the course for success before jumping to execution is helpful.

AR in eCommerce

Customers may preview products or use services in their daily lives before purchasing, thanks to augmented reality in e-commerce. Customers can preview products using augmented reality, increasing their likelihood of making the right choice the first time. 

AR commerce comprises the usage of 3D product models along the buyer’s journey, with the ability to examine a product in augmented reality to see it in real life at the correct size and scale. As a result, customers have a more engaging and informed purchasing experience, which raises their level of trust in both the product and the retailer. We’re seeing examples of AR commerce from brands and merchants of all shapes and sizes, and there are many opportunities for it, including web-based, social, search, and in-app implementations.

3D Commerce

Web pages and mobile apps with embedded 3D models for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are known as 3D commerce. The aim is to give potential clients and customers a visual, interactive 3D picture of the goods.

A few more names for 3D commerce are 3D eCommerce, 3D modelling commerce, and immersive commerce. By any name, various factors have contributed to the rise of 3D in online shopping, but they all centre on one thing: customers.

“Consumers desire ease and choice, and they frequently seek entertainment. In other circumstances, people also wish to have a strong sense of loyalty to the brand. According to Tony Parisi, Head of AR/VR Ad Innovation at Unity Technologies, all these benefits may be provided to clients through immersive eCommerce.

AR beauty ecommerce virtual try ons

AR in beauty ecommerce, virtual lipstick tryons

Essentials of AR and 3D in eCommerce

Here are the essentials for AR and 3D for eCommerce, regardless of whether your business is hosted by Shopify, SAP, Magento, Salesforce, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, or other platforms:

1. Digital roadmap

There are several distribution points for AR in eCommerce, creating the countless potential to enhance the customer shopping experience. A roadmap is crucial, whether starting with social commerce via 3D Facebook ads or utilising AR and 3D on your eCommerce website. There are several moving pieces from a strategic standpoint, including 3D execution, creativity, testing and optimisation programmes, etc. Each of these needs to be controlled either via a technology partner or internally.

Start with the objectives to decide which distribution channel is best for your company. Do you want to improve brand lift, buying intent, or engagement? Consider adding more AR and 3D product experiences to the eCommerce web pages for more conversion.

Scale is one of the main obstacles in the way of producing 3D content. From which you may design endless unique experiences that creatively respond to your customers’ needs, 3D establishes a crucial foundation. It’s critical to build processes and technologies that best present and organise 3D information given the diversity and absolute volume of the product categories and unique SKUs you provide consumers.

2. 3D Models

High-quality 3D product models are required for 3D and AR experiences. These models must be created, tailored for the web or an application, and distributed in various file formats. These models must be available for previewing and deployment and must be updated with changes to products and technologies. 

Laser scanning, photogrammetry, and 3D modelling are just a few techniques used to create 3D assets. This may be sorted out by companies with internal creative teams or already using 3D models. If not, teaming up with someone who does would be a good idea. Any 3D or AR strategy must have a robust creative pipeline. Without it, organisations may quickly become overwhelmed with an excessive workload of 3D assets.

3. Skilled 3D artists

Correct 3D product models are crucial in AR because the experience can only be as realistic as the models you use. This is crucial for eCommerce businesses since they want the quality of their physical products to be reflected in the 3D models. The 3D rendering should accurately reflect how they would appear in reality.

All companies and merchants need accurate 3D product models, primarily dependent on access to top-notch 3D artists. When investigating items, customers seek out the most authentic experience possible, and Visualisation plays a crucial role for online retailers.

Before making a purchase, consumers must consider how a product they see in a store or online will appear and fit in their environment. You must use exact, high-fidelity product photography, including 3D models, to build this experience and connect the physical and digital worlds. The best painters also produce the best models.

eCommerce companies should build a 3D artist pipeline that grows to generate top-notch 3D assets for several SKUs, optimised for various formats and channels, whether internally or through external partners.

4. Integrating a site seamlessly.

Adding some lines of JavaScript to the website could appear straightforward, including 3D models. That’s only true, though, when a platform strategy is effective and incorporates hosting and prompt delivery of requested 3D models to an iFrame.

53% of mobile website users will leave a page that takes more than three seconds to load, as per Google research. Immersive eCommerce’s effectiveness is limited by its accessibility, so a suitable, scalable integration of AR and 3D is essential to avoid slowing down a website or interfering with the user experience. It is better to choose a provider with an existing app or plug-in for that platform if you already are using an eCommerce platform.

5. Capturing Data

Any integration should involve data collecting and analysis because there are countless opportunities for data around AR and 3D interactions. Immersive commerce (such as interactive 3D) creates better opportunities for customers to grasp your products while also offering you a better understanding of how customers perceive those same products. This kind of quantified engagement is seldom feasible without utilising data connected to your 3D action.

6. Benchmarking of products

A further best practice is, to begin with, a manageable amount of items whose performance you are familiar with and can be benchmarked against. Consider implementing comprehensive A/B testing with various iterations to refine and enhance multiple users flows, CTAs, functionality, instructions, etc.

The increased income can then be used to create additional assets across the catalogue while maximising engagement.

3D AR shoes virtual try ons

3D AR shoes virtual tryons

Customers’ expectations are met by augmented reality and 3D online commerce.

The secret to sustaining sustainable development for e-commerce businesses has traditionally been to anticipate long-term trends in customer behaviour. This is particularly true in the post-pandemic environment. Allowing customers to have a personalised purchasing experience was always important, but it is now even more crucial because consumers have learned to demand these experiences.

A lack of personalisation is currently hindering most buyer journeys. Customers want to engage with your products before they buy to obtain a sense of the in-store shopping experience when it comes to e-commerce. When this isn’t possible, the shopping experience becomes more impersonal and abstract, which, according to 71 percent of consumers, is a significant source of annoyance. Customers are more likely to purchase the incorrect item and return it to you if they cannot try it on or physically check it.

By utilising augmented reality and 3D product modelling, online merchants can avoid these annoyances. Doing this may provide clients with a more tactile, immersive, and ultimately fulfilling experience that will increase the likelihood that they will make a purchase.

AR and 3D modelling, once trendy buzzwords, are now valuable tools for eCommerce firms of all sizes. How, therefore, might augmented reality and 3D modelling assist e-commerce businesses in maintaining their competitive edge?

Augmented reality lowers returns by allowing customers to try your goods on visually.

Consider that you enjoy swimming and are searching for a new set of goggles. You want to make an online purchase, but you want to be sure the pair is what you want to buy first.

Customers may use an augmented reality experience similar to the one we recently developed with Speedo. Augmented reality e-commerce experiences allow customers to see what your product appears like in their space or on their face before they buy it by utilising the capabilities of their smartphones. For instance, the Speedo augmented reality experience was used in-store and online during the checkout process.

The ability for buyers to preview how a piece of furniture will look in their space before making a purchase is another example of an augmented reality commerce experience.

Offering an augmented reality shopping experience, whether based on facial filters or world effects, has several benefits for merchants.

A try-before-you-buy option can reduce the projected £60 billion in annual returns costs for e-commerce firms. Customers desire and, increasingly, expect this experience; more than 75% of shoppers currently expect an augmented reality encounter while making an online purchase.

By simulating the in-store experience, 3D product modelling increases conversions.

Even though the difference between in-store and online sales is reducing, doing so will need to give online merchants more of the “stickiness” that in-store buying fosters. The opportunity to evaluate potential purchases from all viewpoints and compare them to alternative possibilities is ultimately what draws shoppers back to in-store stores.

You can give customers part of that feeling back by integrating 3D models into product pages and allowing them to interact with and view them from various angles while exploring. Because they will feel more confident that the product is a good fit for them, doing this can also significantly enhance their chances of closing a deal.

Bumbleride, a retailer of strollers, had a 33 percent boost in stroller conversion rate and a 21 percent increase in average visitor time on site after implementing 3D models in their online store.

Similar to Overstock, a US-based apparel shop, AR, in conjunction with 3D modelling, led to gains in conversion rates of between 10 and 200 percent.

Embracing 3D and AR e-future commerce

Due to the long-term effects of the global digital transformation, eCommerce will undoubtedly continue to grow in popularity in the post-pandemic world. Retailers must, however, change and provide customers with the assurance to make more extensive and frequent digital transactions.

By doing this, the best aspects of in-store buying can be replicated online via augmented reality and 3D e-commerce.

3D modelling and augmented reality enable firms to take on these difficulties head-on by being integrated into an eCommerce flow to provide customers with a customised “try before you buy” buying experience.

online shopping-woman


Giant corporations like IKEA and Nike were among the first to use 3D and AR technologies in their marketing campaigns a few years ago.

As a result of their examples’ success and scalability, more and more brands worldwide are prepared to follow in their footsteps to improve user experience, engagement, contentment, and sales.

Adopting the newest technological features has a variety of advantages, some of which are as follows:

  • increased conversion rates, 
  • an uptick in online sales, 
  • a decline in returns, 
  • customer interaction, 
  • more marketing options, 
  • a competitive edge,
  • a chance to highlight the product’s distinctive features;

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