Where Spatial AR Meets Furniture and Home Décor

Introduction

Throughout the pandemic, Augmented Reality (AR) has given customers a new ray of hope in one too many ways. From fashion to eyewear and makeup, the industries that have been reveling in the advantages and benefits of this immersive technology are endless. But there’s one industry that has, against all odds, forged a unified bridge between the real-world environment and the virtual one.

Indeed, the furniture and home décor sector has followed suit and has integrated AR into its very core, making it increasingly popular among customers – all of whom have been looking for ways to minimize human contact and, more importantly, avoid making costly mistakes when buying furniture online. But what’s really AR and how is it used as a form of experiential shopping?

AR: The What and the How

When speaking about spatial AR, the technology is used to create realistic simulations of furniture and home décor items, to immerse customers in a real-life experience and help them make an informed decision before making a purchase. So how does it work? It allows customers to see how a piece of furniture would actually look in their home, all the while giving them the chance to experiment with various design ideas. 

By allowing consumers to scan their space and virtually place their desired items within it, these immersive technologies have forever changed the way individuals consume products, thus giving potential buyers a truly unique experience and enticing them to come back for more.

Post-Pandemic Rise

Until 2020, attempts to use AR were limited at best, as retailers and brands were weighing the costs against potential gains. Post-covid, everything changed. The pandemic prompted a rapid shift to the digital world, as lockdowns, travel restrictions, and social distancing drew the line on the way we interact with each other. And so, responding to this complex matter, AR rose to fame, particularly during the pandemic, but stood the test of time almost two years later. Questions such as “How will I know if this furniture fits into my space?” and “Why bother shopping outside the comfort of my own home?” were most prevalent and, much to our content, still are.

Another brand to effectively convert part of its e-commerce to VTO is L’Oréal Paris, using its built-in Beauty Genius virtual makeover tool to allow consumers to try on hair colors and makeup before purchasing them.

So, What Does it Bring to the Table?

Let’s just say that the increasing interest in AR has influenced our business interactions in this post-Covid world. But let’s also mention the fact that this immersive technology empowers online shoppers to place and visualize products in their own surroundings…through the magic of technology. The key takeaways here are that AR removes online buying hesitations and boosts purchase decisions by helping shoppers accurately scale their preferences. In numbers, this means that 71% of consumers would shop more often if they used AR, 40% would pay more for a product that they could customize in AR and 1 billion people are using AR to shop now compared to only 100 million in 2020. And it’s just the beginning….

What does the future of furniture and home décor look like?

As we slowly go back to life as we know it, the myth of AR “losing its hold” on the way we shop and consume products, has revealed itself to be wrong. The message is clear, the world has changed to the point of no return, and AR is, without a doubt, going to become an integrated component of the buying experience. Indeed, this technology has become much more accessible, with better capabilities and even greater results. And the verdict is in: brands that want to create a sustainable and long-lasting relationship with their consumers need to move to AR…sooner, better than later.
If you’re looking to shift your business to AR but don’t really know how to get started, get in touch with us now and schedule a demo. The future of your business is just a few clicks awa

Are you looking to upgrade your audience’s online shopping experience to a more engaging, interactive, and effective one? Schedule a demo now to learn more about how we can help you.

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Virtual Try-On: A Tech Makeover for the Eyewear and Cosmetics Industries

Introduction

It goes without saying that some products are very challenging to purchase online, especially without proper knowledge of the brand, correct size/fit, or color. After all, how would you know if an eyeshadow shade would look good without trying it on?

But if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that the pandemic radically changed the way we consume products. Companies and retailers have been looking for innovative ways to sell their goods – understandably so – and the market has been responding to this growing need with spectacular solutions. With that in mind, Virtual Try-On has taken the reins in elevating many sectors, particularly the eyewear and makeup industries. How have they progressed and how does VTO play a major role in their growth?

Post-Pandemic Situation

After the pandemic hit, not only did our purchasing habits change but so did the way we perceive the world. Things that were once so normal seemed so “unsanitary”, and activities that we used to do so effortlessly, seemed like such a hassle. For instance, remember going to a shopping center and trying out products or buying makeup? Well, even after Covid-19, it all still seems unsanitary, and, in the case of makeup trials, testing out a little sample on the back of your hand is just not as accurate and satisfying as really trying it on your face. The same goes for eyewear, and when you resort to online shopping, making an informed purchasing decision isn’t as evident and effective without actually trying them on.

That’s where VTO comes in…with the latest AI technology, companies and brands are now able to provide an ultra-realistic virtual experience that can vastly influence shopping patterns and decisions, just like a live experience would. Call it what you may, but this technology offers a sense of relief to brands that were once facing a few bumps in the road when selling their products online.

VTO’s increasing popularity has proven that it isn’t just a mere post-pandemic trend, it’s a full-fledged immersive experience that increases buyer confidence and builds long-term loyalty to brands and businesses.

So, What’s Happening Now?

The current state of the eyewear and cosmetics industries has witnessed a myriad of innovations and changes, allowing customers to revel in a state-of-the-art experience. In fact, studies show that 61% of buyers prefer retailers with AR experiences, and brands offering VTO see an average of 64% fewer returns.

VTO and AI tech companies and startups have partnered with fashion giants to satisfy consumers’ growing needs, and it’s been quite the success story. Take Chanel, for instance, the French luxury brand has surpassed its classic ways, rode the tech wave, and adopted VTO for its makeup section. The highly-accurate try-on experience translates the shade, texture, and intensity of the chosen product onto their customers’ faces, providing them with the confidence needed to buy make-up online, hence increasing conversion rates and reducing return rates.

Another brand to effectively convert part of its e-commerce to VTO is L’Oréal Paris, using its built-in Beauty Genius virtual makeover tool to allow consumers to try on hair colors and makeup before purchasing them.

VTO as a Game-Changer for Eyewear and Makeup?

Yes. There’s no going back to the way the retail world once was. E-commerce is now at the forefront of a brand’s strategy and adopting VTO and AR means staying one step ahead of the game. The benefits of doing so are countless, but perhaps the most important ones are related to the satisfaction of consumers. AI technology enhances the clients’ purchasing experience and increases buyer confidence, thus making customers three times more likely to buy the products. Simply put, it’s a certifiably successful way to improve marketing and sales for companies.

What’s Next?

It’s now easier than ever to buy and sell online, given all the advancements in technology. More and more businesses have created and launched their e-commerce platforms during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a huge surge in online stores. Fast forward to today, the industry is expected to grow by almost $11 trillion by 2025 and global e-commerce sales are expected to reach $6 trillion in 2024.

We’ve been witnessing for the past two years a global trend towards digitization that is far from being over. But with the growing number of online businesses, it’s now harder than ever to stand out. One way for companies to arm themselves with a competitive advantage is to counter-attack this mind-blowing growth with the implementation of AI technologies such as AR and VTO. Consumers’ needs are ever-evolving and one should always think out of the box to stay on top of the game.

Are you looking to upgrade your audience’s online shopping experience to a more engaging, interactive, and effective one? Schedule a demo now to learn more about how we can help you.

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How to Choose the Right Company for Eyewear VTO?

Introduction

The retail industry has been going through massive changes, with companies turning towards emerging technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual try-on (VTO) to maintain competitiveness and enhance customers’ experiences. One industry that has been very welcoming of AR and VTO is eyewear. Now, more than ever, eyewear brands and retailers are integrating these cutting-edge technologies into their eCommerce platforms to create an immersive experience, thereby increasing buyer confidence and boosting conversion rates.

What is VTO?

Virtual Try-On enables customers to digitally try products, utilizing any device equipped with a camera, such as a mobile device, tablet, and laptop. VTO enables buyers to virtually try on eyewear as they would in-store. So how does it work?

 

Picture this: you’re sifting through a website and you’re eyeing some models. And yes, shopping can be quite challenging when buying eyewear, especially online. Enter VTO: customers can try on their preferred models as part of a live online experience, using an accurate 3D model that gives them the confidence to evaluate their true size and fit with real-environment lights. The shopping experience is heightened with a high-quality 3D rendition of the models, instant switch between 3D and AR, and more importantly, the possibility of immediate colour and style variations enhanced by a personalized AI recommendation engine.

How can it benefit your business?

Let’s talk numbers. Implementing VTO can help you achieve more than a 58% increase in eCommerce conversions, decrease return rates by up to 50% and increase revenues per visit by more than 47%. Long story short, giving customers a live virtual try-on experience with a myriad of flexible possibilities will, without a doubt, increase buyer confidence, making them three times more likely to buy your products.

Today, most digital devices support augmented reality making virtual try-on solutions more accessible and popular among end-users with 71% of consumers saying they would shop more often if they use AR, and 61% saying they prefer retailers with AR experiences.

As a rich source of data and a paramount tool for enhancing clients’ purchasing experience, this technology is proving to be essential in radically progressing and enhancing marketing and sales for companies. 

How to choose the right AR and VTO partner?

Quality, Quality, Quality

The ideal partner will use the latest technologies to turn 2D catalogues into high-quality 3D models that accurately display the correct size and fit of eyewear items with high attention to detail, so much so that you might call them ‘True Digital Twins’. Once embedded in any e-commerce platform, these digitized, ready-to-use 3D and AR product visualizations will allow online shoppers to virtually try on any pair of glasses using their device’s camera, and hence enjoy an immersive shopping experience, wherever they are.

Immersive User Experience with Personalized Camera-Based Recommendations

It’s not only about giving online shoppers the possibility to picture the products on themselves, but it’s about delivering a high-quality live try-on experience – lest we forget, without the hassle of using a credit card. The VTO solution should instantly identify users’ faces, providing them with size-fitting glasses based on their automatically detected eye pupillary distance (PD). Furthermore, the chosen solution should offer the flexibility of seamlessly switching between products and testing different color variations. And finally, to add the cherry on top, the best solution will provide style and size suggestions powered by an AI recommendation engine, enabling companies to increase their profits through upselling and cross-selling strategies.

Easy Integration and Fully Customizable Solution

The quality is great and the experience is seamless, but what about the integration? The chosen solution provider should provide a quick and easy integration across all eCommerce platforms. 

 

Furthermore, the solution should be fully customizable depending on company needs and requirements. Having the ability to add various features, customize the UI/X of the solution is just as important as anything else. 

 

It is no question that companies spend ample resources creating their own brand identity and the chosen VTO solution should complement these efforts by enabling them to build their own tailor-made experience.

Content Management Platform

For further credibility and accurate results, the solution provider should give companies and retailers the freedom to use and surf their digitized catalogues on an online platform. Having access to a content management platform will allow companies to leverage an umbrella of data, and view their fully digitized 3D catalogue.

To top it all off, companies should have access to an easy-to-use portal that educates them on the most recent analytics and enables them to track the main KPIs they set to attain their ultimate sales goal and assess the benefits of the solution.

Conclusion

Despite the rising popularity of eyewear eCommerce, brick-and-mortar businesses retain their fundamental advantage: the ability for shoppers to try on their products before purchasing them. 

Augmented reality and virtual try-on are two new technologies that are set to change the retail and eCommerce industry. The work that is being done here is pretty transformational. Designhubz is using a customer-centric approach to fully enhance the users’ experience, allowing customers to immerse themselves in an innovative solution. At the end of the day, it’s not just about building a solution, it’s about fully transforming the way users and companies see the retail world by placing AR and VTO at the heart of it. 

Keeping up with the latest tech updates is one thing, but making sure they are well-exploited and addressing online shoppers’ concerns is one step closer to success.

Are you looking to upgrade your audience’s online shopping experience to a more engaging, interactive, and effective one? Schedule a demo now to learn more about how we can help you.

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How Can Augmented Reality and Big Data Enhance Marketing Strategies?

Introduction

The marketing industry is constantly changing and adapting to new trends and technologies. Even though there has been a decline in advertising spending, marketers are still investing heavily in creating engaging content that captures the attention of their audience. Having new marketing strategies and tactics arise by the day, marketers need to keep coming up with new ways to advertise their products so people will buy them. And, with billions of dollars being spent on advertising annually, marketers are constantly looking for fresh ways to capture the attention of potential customers. That’s why AR and big data are two marketing trends that businesses should look out for to achieve ultimate success in the future.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is the process of layering computer-generated images over real-world visuals. It is similar to virtual reality, but it allows people to stay in their own environment without having to wear special equipment. This technology is often used in marketing campaigns because it allows advertisers to create a more engaging and immersive experience for consumers.

Why Augmented Reality is Good for Marketing

Augmented Reality provides a plethora of options for a diverse range of businesses in a variety of sectors. In fact, the advantages of augmented reality in marketing are limitless, especially for innovative brands that employ this cutting-edge technology to attract and engage their consumers. These solutions may be used to quickly demonstrate to clients how to utilize a given product or service without requiring them to read lengthy instruction manuals. Because it is now feasible to experience AR with nearly any web browser, consumers do not need to purchase pricey equipment and can simply enjoy the trip with their smartphone’s camera. Augmented reality systems are simple to use, easily accessible, and promote user-brand interaction. It also provides the consumer with a sensation of ownership of an item before the purchase is completed via a try-before-you-buy option.

What is Big Data?

Big data may be classified as either unstructured or structured. Structured data is information that an organization has already controlled in databases and spreadsheets; it is typically numerical in nature. Unstructured data is uncontrolled information that does not fit into a pre-set model or format. It contains information obtained from social media sources to assist businesses in gathering information on client demands. Big data may be taken via publicly published comments on social networks and websites, as well as from voluntarily collected personal devices and applications, questionnaires, product transactions, and electronic check-ins. The inclusion of sensors and other inputs in smart devices enables data to be collected across a wide range of settings and conditions. This type of data is typically kept in computer systems and processed using software created particularly to handle huge, complicated data sets. Many software-as-a-service (SaaS) firms specialize in handling complicated data.

Why Big Data is Good for Marketing

Marketers are always collecting data, but big data is different. Big data starts when companies begin compiling massive amounts of data and then use it to identify trends and patterns in the market and their customers. It is now representing a significant growth in volume, velocity, variety, and veracity as compared to traditional data management systems. It will continue to grow as marketers use new technologies like sensors, Internet of Things devices, and artificial intelligence to collect it. Big data can also help marketers understand their customer’s shopping behavior and buying preferences and then use it to create highly targeted and personalized marketing campaigns.

How to Use Big Data for Marketing?

As mentioned, marketers can use big data to create targeted content campaigns and personalized ads. This type of marketing focuses on one thing: getting the right product to the right customer at the right time. Big data can also be used to track customer behavior and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. For example, advertisers can use sensors and trackers embedded in products to collect information about people who purchase them. Through it, they can also build more personalized and relevant experiences for people who use digital channels like social media and online stores.

Conclusion

Augmented reality and big data are two trends that will continue to grow in the marketing industry. The fast and ever-evolving information gathered educating marketers about customers’ shopping behaviors and buying preferences will allow marketers to precisely tailor and bring their ads to life. This will happen by adding augmented reality effects that create immersive experiences; thus, boosting profits and revenues, as well as gaining trust and credibility. 

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The Future of Influencer Marketing with AR and VR

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that allows us to superimpose digital material like images, sounds, or messages on top of a real-world environment. As the name implies, augmented reality seeks to supplement reality with digitally created components. It does not, unlike virtual reality, supplant reality. Instead, it combines the virtual with the real to produce a display environment based on reality. One of the fundamental aims of augmented reality is to emphasize certain characteristics of the actual environment, improve comprehension of those characteristics, and extract meaningful and accessible information that can be used in real-life applications. Big data may help organizations make better decisions and get insight into the purchase habits of their clients, among other things.

What is Virtual Reality?

The use of computer modeling and simulation to enable a human to engage with an artificial three-dimensional (3D) visual or other sensory world is known as virtual reality. VR applications immerse the user in a computer-generated world that resembles reality via interactive devices that send and receive data and are worn as goggles, headsets, gloves, or body suits. In a standard VR format, a user wears a stereoscopic screen helmet and displays animated pictures of a virtual world.

Who are Influencers?

Influencer marketing is a channel-independent approach of having someone else, usually a person with a strong social presence, convey a brand’s message. It is the formalization of informal communication into a logical procedure. Through extension, an influencer is any person who is used in this method of marketing by proxy. 

There are different types of influencers with the two most common being aspirational influencers and authoritative influencers:

–       Aspirational influencers are comparable to celebrities in that the items and services they advocate are purchased as a replacement for embracing their general celebrity lifestyle. They typically have a huge number of followers across several channels, with a diverse population represented.

–       Authoritative influencers are often niche leaders with substantial followers in their respective industries and topics.

AR, VR, and Influencer Marketing

AR and VR influencer marketing already exists to some level. Branded filters are available on platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok, and marketers may pay influencers to use these filters in their posts. This is a valuable type of Snapchat or TikTok influencer marketing, but the VR and AR influencer marketing sector have a lot of space for development.

Branded content is already a growing trend in the VR realm with Nike and Balenciaga for instance providing consumers with purchase options for their virtual avatars. Influencer marketing will have an impact anywhere there is virtual commerce. That said, VR is highly gamified, and with the growth of video game followers and streaming, talented VR gamers will quickly become huge influencers. They’ll be able to hold virtual events and wear virtual stuff among other activities as well.

In the fashion and beauty sectors, influencers’ own try-ons will reach hundreds of millions of followers, sending customers directly to the apps of their favorite companies to experiment for themselves. Influencers will send their followers in droves to play with the latest technology, putting firms that haven’t embraced AR at a disadvantage. Influencers won’t even need to have an outfit to show off how they’ll look in it, resulting in more content at a faster pace. Massive online events might be organized around the notion of a bunch of influencers wearing the same clothes to demonstrate how they would look on a variety of body types and sizes.
For lifestyle influencers, virtual reality will change the face of how these people market for brands’ products and items. Their content will come to new heights with both AR and VR, and bring an entirely new direction to the way they hold live streams as we now know it. They will allow the showcase of their 360-degree live videos with their audience as a shared experience. Doing so enables people wearing virtual reality headsets to stroll and chat with their favorite social media stars, experiencing their perspectives and vantage point in real time – all within a social network. This will be more engaging than any influencer material in the past.
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Augmented Reality in Social Media: definition, benefits, and its future

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is a digitally augmented representation of a real-world physical area created by the use of digital visual components, audio, or other sensory inputs made available by technology. It has now been an increasing trend among businesses in a variety of industries. This technology’s market size has grown at an exponential rate in recent years, as it is increasingly being used by enterprises. From $6.12 billion in 2021 to $97.76 billion in 2028, the sector is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.6%.

Augmented Reality and Social Media Platforms

As customers now seek more customised, integrated experiences, new technologies such as augmented reality have become essential and are playing a significant role in making them happen.

For instance, Snapchat has shown a strong interest in investing in augmented reality (AR). It may even be argued that it is the most AR-driven platform available, constantly reimagining what AR experiences on mobile and beyond might be. The company is also introducing augmented-reality glasses, spectacles, that will allow some content creators to place digital works in the real world. In this example, augmented reality is a combination of computer visuals, such as 3D models, layered over the real environment. These emerging spectacles are an extension of the already-established Snapchat lens concept that allows designers to reflect their works onto the environment around them.

Another social platform that has been introducing augmented reality to its operations is Instagram. Instagram AR experiences kicked off with some basic face filters that users could use for entertainment purposes. It then developed to engage overlapping images or movements over the real, physical space. More recently, creators went far ahead from just making virtual objects appear on a mobile device. They are now making use of augmented reality technologies on Instagram for storytelling purposes. With an entirely fictional world visually created, users can move around and direct their mobile devices to discover the pillars of the story being told.

Benefits of Augmented Reality Integration in Social Media

The reality is that there are several methods to use AR to boost social media marketing and develop a brand.

Face filters are popular among younger social media users. This AR technology is available on social media allowing users to morph their faces into animals or add items such as flower crowns or glasses to their photographs. However, such filters are not only for entertainment purposes, but businesses can also advertise their products and/or services by using branded filters.

Augmented Reality in brands’ online stores on social media can also satisfy users’ experience. With a try-before-you-buy option, visitors can visually try on products, providing them a clearer understanding of how this item would fit them, reducing purchasing hesitancy, and increasing sales and trust.

Additionally, a static picture or a typical video can only hold people’s attention for so long. Augmented reality, on the other hand, offers consumers a genuinely immersive experience that may keep them interested for a longer time. For example, instead of designing a billboard or a regular social media ad to promote a company, AR can be used to bring it to life. Businesses may use this technology as a vital component of their social media marketing strategy as social media platforms develop their AR features. 

Future of Augmented Reality on Social Media

With Facebook and Snapchat concentrating heavily on AR, this automation and social media are set to explode on the market soon. How marketers employ AR coupled with social media to engage customers on smartphones and mobile devices will revolutionise the brand-customer relationship. Therefore, all brands must hop on this rapidly evolving trend to keep up with the competition.

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