Imagine shopping online from your smartphone and being able to see an actual three-dimensional representation of an item directly in the room you’re standing in. You can rotate it, look closer, and even see if it matches the décor in your home.
While this sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, the truth is that it’s a reality thanks to Shopify AR. This new option for eCommerce store owners allows shoppers to inspect items using augmented reality before making a purchase.
Here’s what you need to know about this exciting new feature for Shopify stores and how you can make it work for your business.
What is Augmented Reality (AR) Technology?
Augmented reality (AR) technology allows smartphone users to enjoy an interactive experience where the real world around them is enhanced via computer-generated images overlaid on the screen.
If that sounds incredibly technical, don’t worry. Essentially, it means that there’s a rendering of a particular item on your screen showing up in your specific room as seen from your smartphone camera.
It is becoming increasingly common in use for video games—remember Pokémon Go from a few years ago?—and apps that allow you to tour world museums, experience landmarks, and much more. Now, Apple’s AR Quick Look update allows shoppers to see objects via the Safari browser on devices running iOS 12 or higher.
Why Does AR Matter for eCommerce Stores?
The reason why AR matters for eCommerce store designs is that one of the limitations many buyers have in shopping online is that they don’t get to physically see or touch the product. With augmented reality and interactive shopping experiences, they aren’t dependent on your product descriptions or one-dimensional photos. Buyers have the ability to look at a product from all angles while deciding if it is something they want to own.
For example, think about a desk lamp that is for sale on a Shopify site. A potential customer could use AR technology to set the image on their desk, see if it fits, and determine which of the four different color choices looks the best with their current décor.
How Does Shopify AR Work?
Shopify AR is powered by a software application called 3D Warehouse. You simply sign up for the program, download a special app, and begin taking photos to create three-dimensional renderings of the products you wish to sell.
The downside is you will have to hire a Shopify expert to get the renderings done correctly and installed on your Shopify store. The process usually starts at $100 per product, which can make it too expensive for some lower price point items or newer eCommerce sites. Further information on how the process works are available here.
Who Should Consider Utilizing Shopify AR? (And Who Shouldn’t?)
While Shopify AR is a really nifty option to add to your Shopify website design, it isn’t for everyone. Those who want to integrate this functionality should have products that are on the higher end in terms of price and they should be something that shoppers really have a need to see in person. You’ll also want to ensure you have a high enough inventory that the product will be around for a while—there’s no need to go through all the trouble when you only have a few items in stock to begin with.
The Sweet Truth: AR is Likely Here to Stay!
Want to know a secret? Augmented reality is likely here to stay! As shoppers become more familiar with the technology, there is a good chance that they are going to require stores to have it in place before they’ll make a significant purchase. Now is the time to implement AR into your Shopify store to help ensure you’re ahead of the curve.
Of course, deciding to utilize Shopify AR does take some planning. Our CAKE team is here to help you incorporate augmented reality into your overall marketing mix. If you’re looking for agencies that can scale your eCommerce website, please get in touch with us today to discuss the details.