The latest mobile operating systems and browsers support 3D and AR without needing an app. This technology opens up a new world of immersive shopping.

Vince Cacace, CEO of Vertebrae

Immersive commerce experiences using 3D and augmented reality are the next frontier of shopping. 

When branded manufacturers develop immersive assets, they can earn a reputation for cutting-edge, engaging content. Not only that, using web-based 3D and AR means gaining access to a growing list of outlets they can use to syndicate that content, boosting visibility and return on investment.

Brand manufacturers are increasingly adding online direct-to-consumer capabilities to seize the opportunity to connect with loyalists. More than half of consumers prefer to buy directly from brands, according to research from Astound Commerce. That number will grow as scrutiny of third-party marketplaces rises over sales of counterfeit items.

According to a survey from Kantar, 76% of brand manufacturers report upping investments in ecommerce initiatives to meet the demand. They focus much of this investment on generating quality product content, which is appropriate since consumers view brand manufacturers as authoritative research sources. More than half of shoppers say branded manufacturer websites provide the most comprehensive product and category information. At the same time, 37% expect brands to offer a uniquely engaging experience around products and 35% expect interactive product comparison and buying tools.

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Given this high standard, brands must be in the vanguard when it comes to immersive commerce features that use 3D and augmented reality (AR) to help shoppers visualize products in a real-life context. The latest mobile operating systems and browsers support using 3D and AR without needing the intermediary of an app, widening access to a new world of immersive shopping that drives higher engagement and sales than traditional 2D content. Our research found that retailers report conversion gains of more than 50% and a 25% lift in average order size when they deploy 3D and AR assets on their ecommerce sites.

Web-based platforms that place management and syndication of immersive assets in the hands of marketers and merchandisers, without the need for dedicated IT staff, enable brands to maximize return on 3D and AR investment through multiple outlets while maintaining optimal control of content creation and reuse. Brands that deploy 3D and AR can:

  • Address key buying questions in a real-life context: Consumers are increasingly seeking out 3D and AR experiences that help gauge size, fit, and style. 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 in their environments—with both types of usage scoring as higher priorities than augmented reality for gaming. Branded manufacturers that incorporate 3D and AR throughout their direct-to-consumer websites and mobile properties can help boost confidence in purchase decisions and increase sales.
  • Win at social and SEO: As demand rises, the Internet’s biggest players are integrating 3D and AR into their offerings. Facebook is piloting AR commerce ads, with plans to propagate immersive opportunities across its properties. Google is on the cusp of integrating 3D and AR product visualizations in search results, with both organic and paid placements on the immediate horizon.
  • Enhance retail partners’ offerings, online and in-store: Brands using a comprehensive 3D and AR asset management platform can easily share assets with retail sellers, increasing the benefits of establishing a deep partnership. And immersive assets can be used at physical retail locations, whether in branded pop-ups or stores-within-stores, to showcase limited-edition items that are difficult to stock on the shelves. 

Branded manufacturers should be in the vanguard of sellers adopting 3D and AR commerce tools to solidify their reputations as authoritative sources of product content. Brands that opt for web-based 3D and AR will have additional opportunities to maximize their investment, through syndication across the web. 

Vertebrae Inc. provides technology that manages the process of 3D and augmented reality (AR) asset creation, management, deployment and reporting.

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