Tech companies line up to offer 3D, AR and virtual shopping services as the metaverse beckons

Shoppers want more in-store tech when shopping for fashion (Image: Shutterstock)

Shoppers want more in-store tech when shopping for fashion (Image: Shutterstock)

Tech companies and platform suppliers are queuing up to add augmented reality, 3D modelling and virtual shopping services to their stacks as more shoppers and a growing number of retailers start to investigate the metaverse.

Brands such as Boohoo Man have already started experimenting with virtual fitting rooms, while VR and AR tech companies have seen a spike in investment in the latter half of 2021.

Now products that retailers can readily leverage are hitting the market.

Adding 3D and AR to Shopify

Shopify platform users can now add AR and 3D to their offerings, following an integration with Poplar Studios. The two have created an app that will provide an alternative to the current fragmented ecosystem of tools used to create AR and 3D experiences. This will allow merchants to enjoy an end-to-end solution, from 3D modelling to AR visualisation, directly on the Shopify site.

Merchants will be able to convert their entire catalogues into 3D models and conveniently launch AR experiences on their ecommerce websites, allowing customers to visualise their products. The new app is expected to make the process faster, simpler and less expensive.

The breakthrough comes as 8 in 10 consumers already believe that AR or VR would improve their shopping experience. With the past few years disrupting in-person shopping, it’s never been more important for merchants, from small independents to larger retailers, to offer experiences that set them apart. As AR experiences become more utilised, it becomes an expectation, with 66% of people interested in using AR to influence their purchasing decisions. On Shopify alone, they’ve noticed that merchants who add 3D content to their stores see a 94% conversion lift, on average.

David Ripert, CEO and co-founder of Poplar Studio, comments: “3D modelling and augmented reality experiences such as product visualisation have already proven to be more effective at driving sales than regular 2D images of products. For some, creating these experiences may seem expensive or time consuming, but thanks to Poplar Studio’s 3D and AR product visualisation tool, we’re empowering all merchants on Shopify to take advantage of the benefits of 3D and AR. Merchants will now be able to use Shopify as a one stop shop for all ecommerce 3D and AR needs, and become more agile as they move on from outdated 2D assets such as images and videos.”

360° virtual store tours

Separately, retailers can now offer customers 360° virtual store tours using BlueFinity’s low code app platform, Evoke

This latest enhancements to the platform includes an integrated and adaptable 360° virtual tour capability. This means that if retailers develop apps through Evoke, they can offer their customers a virtual tour of their stores.

This multi-purpose feature allows for the searching, browsing and inspection of any store, venue, property or utility through an integrated part of an app, giving customers a complete virtual and immersive experience.

Late in 2020 BlueFinity announced its ecommerce package which has provided Evoke customers with the ability to incorporate a sophisticated retail environment in the apps they create. Already many apps have been created by users to extend their on-line presence, and are now in live use across their retail, consumer and wholesale customers.

This latest enhancement enables vendors to provide a full function virtual tour experience within their apps, allowing consumers to browse around a store or for a prospective house buyer or dealer in commercial property to obtain an unrestricted view of a property, from all perspectives and completely online.

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Image courtesy of Boots
Technology
26 Jul 2022

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