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Got 3D? Upgrading to AR Can Be Easy as 1-2-3

Got 3D? Upgrading to AR Can Be Easy as 1-2-3

Heading into 2020, immersive commerce was already high on the priority list for leading brands — and now that the coronavirus has upended the industry, demand for 3D and augmented reality (AR) is accelerating. For brands that have already begun the journey toward immersive commerce using 3D assets, the transition to advanced virtual experiences with AR can be both speedy and straightforward, opening up the potential to engage consumers with product experiences in real-life context wherever they shop.

As technology has improved and social media and gaming apps have popularized the use of AR, consumers are increasingly looking for practical applications that help inform purchase decisions. A quarter of respondents in a Vertebrae study said they wanted to use virtual tools to try on new looks, and 57% said they wanted to visualize products under consideration in their own environments — with both types of usage scoring as higher priorities than augmented reality for gaming.

In response, retailers are swiftly ramping up with AR initiatives, leading the Boston Consulting Group to report that 55% of large consumer advertisers — with retailers, fashion, and beauty brands among the vanguard — have already adopted AR marketing in some form. Those early efforts are paying off: Retailers report conversion gains of more than 50% and a 25% lift in average order size when 3D and AR assets are deployed on their eCommerce sites.

As the coronavirus pandemic pushes brands to move even faster to launch AR initiatives, they should maximize potential ROI by making their assets as accessible and adaptable as possible. Sellers with 3D assets at the ready have a head start — and Vertebrae’s Axis platform can make the transition to full AR both speedy and smooth.  But sellers still face crucial decisions to ensure that their AR initiatives have the widest possible impact.

Are Your 3D Assets AR-Ready?

3D is the building block for AR, so retailers need high-quality imagery before they can begin the transition into full AR. For retailers who opt to enhance or add to their 3D library, Vertebrae offers 3D conversion services at scale.

Poor quality and the lack of content are the top barriers to wider AR adoption, according to eMarketer, so retailers must choose the right 3D capture method for their product offerings. Assets should support not just 360-degree rotation, but also flipping and tilting to see the top view and undersides of products (think the soles of footwear).

Shoppers should also be able to zoom in on details such as electronics ports or apparel fasteners for a comprehensive view of products they’re considering. And with more than half of consumers having bought a personalized product, according to research by Deloitte, images should also allow shoppers to interchange customizable components and see results in 3D in real-time.

Assuming 3D assets are high enough quality, the conversion process can be as easy as 1-2-3. Here are the steps:

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Step 1: Upload and Convert

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Vertebrae’s content platform for AR development and asset management enables drag-and-drop and batch upload capabilities that quickly sync with their product catalog. Assets can be converted into the appropriate formats for use in multiple channels — no dedicated IT resources required.  Retailers can preview 3D and AR experiences from within the Axis platform and publish with a single click.

Armed with these capabilities, multi-brand retailers can easily collect assets from multiple vendors, standardize formatting, and publish to selected touchpoints. Flexibility is especially important given the growing number of outlets for 3D and AR content. While in the past, most 3D and AR experiences were presented within custom retail apps, the future of mobile shopping is increasingly web-based, with retail revenue from the mobile web growing at double the rate of sales from mobile apps, according to Forrester.

Step 2: QA

Vertebrae’s Axis platform provides an automated QA routine that provides status updates and manual adjustments at the asset level. Retailers can modify, correct, or re-upload assets as needed, provide feedback to asset creation teams, and test changes as needed until results are ready for live deployment.

Step 3: Deploy full 3D and AR experiences across channels

Sellers using Vertebrae’s Web-based platform have the flexibility to take advantage of emerging opportunities wherever they arise. Brands can deploy 3D and AR assets easily, avoiding costly recreation of content with each new opportunity, and track performance using metrics designed to capture interaction with immersive experiences.

With high-quality 3D and AR assets at the ready, brands can deploy them through the Vertebrae platform to:
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  • The eCommerce desktop and mobile site. Adding 3D and AR commerce capabilities to product pages and at other key junctures along the eCommerce path to purchase is a proven purchase driver. CB2 promotes over 500+ AR-enabled products on its home page, and has seen an overall 7% increase in conversion, a 21% increase in revenue per visit and a 13% increase in average order value.
  • Social media. Facebook is piloting AR commerce ads, with plans to expand onto Instagram, signaling that immersive commerce will soon be a mainstay of social media.
  • Search. Google has announced its intention to integrate AR product visualizations in search results. Vertebrae’s web-based assets are visible to search engine crawlers and easily integrated within product feeds.
  • Paid media. Digital display and search advertising can incorporate 3D and AR assets for increased engagement and ROI.
  • Branded apps. Retailers can integrate 3D and AR content within the environment of existing bespoke apps, presenting brand loyalists with new experiences.  
  • Dealer websites. Brand manufacturers can share 3D and AR content with retail partners, who can then leverage assets within their own marketing and eCommerce channels.

An end-to-end immersive commerce platform also enables sellers to track and optimize performance of 3D and AR content across touchpoints. In addition, brands can tap a new class of metrics that map how shoppers interact with 3D and AR content, revealing new insights into preferences and priorities when it comes to specific product features and SKU options.

Vertebrae’s patented Axis platform is the ideal stepping-stone to engaging AR experiences for brands with existing 3D assets. To learn more and join the vanguard of immersive commerce, schedule a demo or contact us today.