All too often, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications are seen as novelties. It’s not that the experiences aren’t impressive. Most companies fail to see the raw potential and big-picture applications of 3D/AR visualizations.
Today, VR and AR aren’t just a novelty act — they’re serious marketing and advertising channels that can deliver incredible ROI (if properly implemented). Brands taking part in this immersive revolution are seeing compelling increases in every engagement metric, from product click-through-rate (CTR), to average order value (AOV), to unique views.
Let’s take a deeper look at the utility 3D/AR visualizations provide and why they might be a good fit for your brand.
Boosting engagement and purchases with 3D/AR product previews
The big advantage that brick-and-mortar shops had over e-commerce was the ability to show products in person. Customers could use devices or try things on before buying them. For some time, this wasn’t the case with 3D/AR applications.
But 3D/AR product previews have now bridged that gap.
Take the sunglasses above. If you click this link on your mobile device, you can see how the sunglasses would look in real life. They’re rendered in 3D, so you can actually try them on in augmented reality. Rather than relying on human models (who have obvious limitations), customers get to see how products fit their unique features.
You can also rotate the glasses, make them bigger or smaller, and place them in your room. It’s about as immersive an experience as you can get without holding the physical product in your hands — and it’s way more convenient.
Of course, sunglasses are just one example. Everything from clothing, shoes, bags, hats, and accessories are all fair game in the AR space.
But the possibilities for AR applications extend far beyond fashion and accessories.
AR technology is already helping people consider how things like furniture, art, and decorations will fit into their homes. It’s practical not just for aesthetic considerations, but also for practical decision-making on things like size, placement, and proportionality. If you’re changing up the decor in your room or moving to a new apartment, for example, AR visualizations are a great way to plan your interior design.
If you don’t believe us, the proof is in the pudding: AR ads carry a conversion rate between 20 and 80 percent, which is heads and tails above industry standards for e-commerce products.
AR not only helps increase engagement and sales, but it also protects against buyer’s remorse and product returns. And product returns are a serious issue.
3D and AR reduce the rate of returns
One of e-commerce’s biggest issues is product returns. Product returns are an expensive endeavor, costing the industry an estimated $550 billion each year.
But if your customers are able to try things on and see how a product looks in their room before buying it, you mitigate the risk that they’re going to return your product.
This isn’t just wishful thinking. Numerous companies have reported substantial reductions in returns after implementing AR and 3D visualizations. The largest is Shopify, which recorded a 40 percent drop in returns. Other big companies like SeekXR (25 percent reduction) and Build.com (22 percent reduction) are seeing serious ROI as well.
Considering product returns are a $550 billion problem, even a 25 percent reduction would save the industry $137.5 billion annually.
For companies, getting started with AR is easy
While the idea of bringing your company into the virtual reality landscape may sound like a massive expenditure of time, money, and resources, it’s actually not as daunting as you may think.
For starters, there are multiple ways to convert product SKUs to 3Ds (i.e., putting your products into VR or AR inventories):
- 3D graphic designers
- 3D scanner apps
- AI for converting 2D photos to 3D
- 360 photography (an alternative to 3D rendering)
That’s where we come in. At Arlene, we can help you build ROI-generating VR/AR experiences for your brand. We’ll help you boost engagement and reduce your product returns. More importantly, we can help you create and manage a highly engaging, modern, and compelling new sales channel that could deliver incredible ROI.
Want to learn more? Contact us for a meeting.