7 Augmented Reality Ecommerce Examples and Tips to Inspire You

Updated 3 years ago
Paula Guevara
August 19, 2021
6 min read

With the launch of ConfigureID’s new AR capabilities, we thought it’s a good time to update you on some of the latest augmented reality examples and tips for ecommerce. The technology is coming of age, and any business can now provide a personalized and engaging experience using an augmented reality ecommerce app. 

Investment in AR technology led to a host of new use cases and applications, allowing users to merge real-world environments with virtual products. Although many retailers think that AR is state-of-the-art (and therefore complicated), the defense industry started using virtual fixtures in telepresence systems as far back as 1992. 

Fast-forward to today, and you may be surprised to learn:

  • The global AR market size nearly surpassed $9 billion in 2021
  • The number of mobile AR users is forecast to top 2 billion by 2023
  • Sales for dedicated AR glasses are expected to reach 3.9 million units by 2024

To help online retailers get up to speed with the technology, we’ll discuss some of the latest augmented reality examples for 2021 in this blog. 

What is Augmented Reality in Ecommerce (with 7 Examples)?

Online retailers use augmented reality in online shopping to let customers preview products by blending virtual items with real-world environments. For ecommerce retailers, providing an AR experience increases user engagement and takes product personalization to a completely new level. 

The possible use cases and benefits you get from AR will likely come down to the products and the imagination of your brand. To help you get the creative juices flowing, here are seven real-world examples of how AR is helping ecommerce retailers right now. 

1. Trying on a New Pair of Kicks with Converse Sampler

Converse was one of the earliest adopters of AR technology for ecommerce sales. The Converse Sampler app allows customers to try on different pairs of sneakers and comes with integrated purchasing features (which the company released more than a decade ago). 

Today, multiple brands use the same approach to sell their shoes online. Considering that shoe sales is one of the most difficult experiences to replicate digitally, the success of the Converse Sampler app was an eye-opener for other ecommerce sites. By providing personal details like your shoe size and choosing a design that you like, you can see what the product would look like from your own perspective. 

Converse’s Sampler app was one of the first “try-on” use cases of ecommerce AR technology and has provided AR inspiration for many other brands.

2. Applying Makeup Using Sephora Virtual Artist

In 2016, Sephora released their Virtual Artist tool, which allowed customers to test out a range of makeup products on their faces virtually. In the beginning, the app required customers to upload a selfie to see how different makeup options would look on their faces before making a purchase. 

However, recent updates to the Virtual Artist app now allow real-time overlays of the products using the mobile camera on a customer’s phone. Users can check out different angles, expressions, and capture the image to share with friends. Although many makeup professionals say it isn’t the best way to match makeup shades to a person’s skin tone, it does make it easier for consumers to test out shades online before they buy.  

3. Unlock Limited Sneaker Editions on Nike’s SNKRS

The rare sneakers community can be a tough place. Every year, there is a rush from avid fans to get the latest limited edition Nike sneakers, and in some cases, the enthusiasm even turns to sneaker violence. As Nike wants to curb this trend, the company opted to turn to AR to help overcome the challenges of providing limited editions while eliminating a violent rush for new models. 

The Nike SNKRS app isn’t exactly an online shop. Instead, it is a virtual reality gamified experience that allows users to unlock rare and limited sneakers in New York City by visiting specific locations and taking pictures of posters or stores. Considering the popularity of Nike’s sneakers, this means only the most diehard fans have an opportunity to get these rare pairs of kicks. 

The company also hosts an SNRKS day every year, adding to the overall shopping experience. 

4. Going Digital-Only with Gucci

With a large portion of shoppers now following the trends from online influencers, Gucci is going digital-only with some exclusive products. Gucci’s digital trainers are available to buy and wear online only and come with a host of product customization features to make them unique to the individual. 

Available from the Gucci Sneaker Garage, you can buy a pair and “wear” them on compatible apps like Roblox and VRChat. The company created the virtual shoes in collaboration with a virtual technology firm, but the designs are from their creative director, Alessandro Michele. 

The company believes that a new era of digital-only products (not unlike the latest NFT rage) will shape the future of VR and AR ecommerce. 

5. Redecorating Your Floors – Houzz’s View in My Room

Home improvement and redecorating are exciting, yet often overwhelming endeavors for many consumers. How can you make sure your floors will match everything else? And how much material do you really need? Houzz solves these problems by letting customers lay out their new floors with the View In My Room augmented reality app

Customers can pick the tiles from a list of products, point the camera at the floor, and identify the dimensions of the room. The app allows customers to change the orientation of the tiles, and once the layout is done, the app will calculate how many squares you’ll need to redo your floor. If you are using the app as part of a larger project, you can share the 3D visuals with other people, including your family members, contractors, or your customers. 

6. Setting Up a Virtual Boutique in Machine A

The pandemic forced many annual events to rethink how they can still engage with customers using only digital channels. With in-person events canceled at a moment’s notice, one company decided to step up and provide a virtual alternative for the fashion industry specifically. 

Machine A is a virtual boutique app, enabling shoppers to see all the latest collections from this year’s fashion season in a digital-only environment. Although the first version of the app didn’t include a shopping option, it’s a powerful demonstration of what’s possible and will likely become part of the planning for future events. Vogue was one of the fashion houses that opted to use the app to promote its collection from this year’s London Fashion Week. 

In the future, virtual boutiques will change how retailers choose to host fashion shows and will allow anyone to attend from their mobile device. The same use case can apply to any consumer event, like CES or motor shows – with Volkswagen already using a similar virtual approach

7. Fitting Your Furniture with Wayfair and Ikea

Both Wayfair and Ikea have AR apps available that allow users to place and fit pieces of furniture in their homes. Wayfair’s View in Room app uses LiDAR technology to stack products around a room and see how the result would look before making a purchase. Since more than half of consumers are now buying online using mobile devices, the company decided that including a virtualized AR solution would help boost sales and increase consumer confidence. 

With the View In Room app, users can even stand in front of a piece of furniture to see how it would look in their homes before making the purchase. You also get a room planner feature using full 3D product visualization to help design around your existing pieces of furniture. 

Tips for Including AR in Your Ecommerce Business

More and more consumers now expect product personalization, customization, 3D visualization, and AR when shopping online. To add these features to your online store, you’ll need a product customization platform that provides them in one streamlined package (like ConfigureID).

Using product customization, 3D modeling, and AR technology will provide a more personalized, immersive experience to your customers. This will help drive your conversions, lead to more satisfied customers, and foster brand loyalty from your shoppers. 

Consider that:

  • Spending on AR will reach more than $60 billion in the next few years
  • 61% of today’s online shoppers want AR experiences when making purchases
  • For 35% of shoppers, an AR experience would make them shop more online
  • 77% of shoppers already want AR to preview product variations when shopping online

Engage with Your Customers Using Augmented Reality from ConfigureID

ConfigureID helps online retailers deliver a product customization experience that includes full 3D visualization and AR integration for your store. Customers can co-create products, see photorealistic 3D renderings, and place items into the real world with ease. 

With universal compatibility on any ecommerce platform, you can use ConfigureID to drive engagement, increase product margins, and foster brand loyalty. 

To start delivering engaging AR experiences to your ecommerce shoppers today, schedule your free demo with one of our experts and see what’s possible. 

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