Business transformation
How to boost online sales: the 10 best augmented reality tools
Business transformation

How to boost online sales: the 10 best augmented reality tools

Written by

Rod Reynolds


June 13, 2024

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The first commercial application of augmented reality (AR) was deployed in 2008 in an advertising campaign for German auto giant BMW. Since then, the use of the technology has flourished. While it is often seen as an effective way to boost online sales, in fact it has become commonplace in commerce operations both on and offline.

One of the key appeals of AR is its ability to bridge the physical and digital worlds, providing a way for companies to provide a unified and seamless customer journey across different touchpoints. Leading ecommerce platform Shopify reports a 40% spike in conversion rates for merchants offering customers 3D and AR experiences, while more than half of consumers say they want to use AR to trial products before buying.  

With these benefits in mind and given the increasing consumer reliance on 3D and AR as a tool for use in their everyday lives, here are the 10 best augmented reality tools businesses can use to boost online sales:

1. Enhance XR

The software developed by Enhance XR enables manufacturers to offer the key capabilities of live 3D product personalization and visualization, both onscreen and in augmented reality. Designed to offer a powerful yet versatile and intuitive solution, the web-based, no-code nature of Enhance’s tool means manufacturers and brands can get started with 3D and AR quickly and with minimal disruption. Seamless integration with existing hardware and online properties provides for a straightforward onboarding process, while the fact that customers can access its 3D and AR product experiences via web browser – without the need for additional hardware or app downloads – ensures the broadest possible customer reach. Optimized for fast loading times and consistent rendering across 3D and AR, Enhance’s solution combines agility, versatility, and ease of campaign distribution in a single package.

Enhance's 3D and AR solution. Try product personalization and visualization now

2. Shopify

Shopify AR provides a toolkit for businesses to create their own AR experiences, enabling its merchants to add AR visualizations to their stores to help boost online sales. Its web-based tool is designed to make 3D and AR accessible to small businesses on the platform and provide easy access to customers directly through mobile browsers. Shopify says, “this can significantly enhance the shopping experience by providing a more accurate sense of size, scale, and detail, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and reduced return rates.”  

3. Blippar  

Blippar is an AR creation platform that allows businesses to develop AR content and experiences for distribution across the web and social media. Offering an in-house library of 3D models for designers to work with, Blippar enables companies to augment their marketing campaigns and advertisements with interactive and engaging AR content that aims to capture audience attention and deliver more memorable brand interactions.  

4. Roar

With an array of uses that include eye-catching NFT art, interactive marketing campaigns, and hands-on training and learning materials, ROAR is an AR content management platform that aims to make immersive and metaverse-based experiences accessible to everyone: creators, educators, and businesses. Roar can be used to make presentations, schedule demos, run innovation labs, launch products, and boost online sales by custom-creating AR-friendly content and letting users consume it at home or via mobile.

5. Snap AR

Snap AR, the development tool offered by Snapchat’s parent company, enables businesses to build custom AR experiences for use on the platform. Leveraging Snap's AR capabilities, creators can develop bespoke and branded AR lenses, filters, and effects that engage users in novel ways, enhancing marketing and promotional activities. Snap AR's technology includes features like real-time 3D object tracking, facial recognition, and environmental understanding, which allow for highly personalized and context-aware experiences. In addition, brands and recruiters can connect with agencies and individual creators and developers for custom assignments and projects.

Product visualization in 3D and augmented reality helps boost online sales.

6. YouCam  

This suite of apps allows users to makeover their selfies with animated effects and backgrounds and book beauty consultations with virtual stylists, and is used by over 200 beauty brands (including L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, Cosmopolitan, and Target) to boost online sales by enabling AI and AR-powered online try-on experiences for makeup, accessories, and even hairstyles. Recent additions to the suite include AI skin analysis that can provide personalized skincare recommendations and a virtual beauty assistant powered by a natural GPT conversation function.

7. Augment

Augment provides services to help businesses turn 2D images into 3D models for use with AR, while their app is designed to enable field sales reps to visualize products in customers’ spaces. The platform also enables reps to scan customers’ spaces for use in mockups and other customized sales materials. Optimized for use with consumer packaged goods and fast-moving consumer goods point of sale material, industrial machinery, and similar B2B products, Augment lets sales reps close deals more effectively by letting potential customers see products life-size in their own environments, gaining a clear understanding of how they will look and fit, spatial implications, and optimal placement sites.

8. Google Lens

Visual search tool Google Lens can identify, describe, translate, or provide more information on an object just by the user pointing their phone camera at it. Powered by AR and AI, Google Lens can help users in a range of ways, such as easily exploring landmarks, translating menus, or finding the nearest store stocking a specific product. For brands, it has emerged as a powerful tool to help consumers discover their products, enabling users to quickly identify and purchase items of clothing, furniture pieces, or anything else that catches their eye, whether that’s while out with friends, commuting to work, or even watching TV. Just by pointing their phone at the desired product, users can access detailed information, reviews, retailer availability and more, helping to boost online sales and drive visits to physical stores.

3D and AR experiences help elevate product discovery and research

9. Houzz

Houzz is a home décor app that brings together design ideas, renovation advice, and home improvement resources on a platform that connects homeowners with home professionals. The Houzz app incorporates an AR-preview feature that allows users to visualize furniture, lighting, accessories, and other products in their own spaces, and even to preview how a floor will look with a new tile covering. Also offering Visual Match recognition technology to enable users to buy products and materials directly from images featured on Houzz, the app aims to provide a one-stop destination from project inspiration to completion.

10. Giphy World

Giphy World enables creators to utilize Giphy’s extensive library to create sharable and engaging content filled with animated GIFs and stickers that appear in AR. This enables businesses to develop unique and memorable materials for marketing and social media campaigns, enhancing user interaction. Giphy World allows brands to add a playful and creative dimension to their content, particularly popular with younger audiences, encouraging users to share their branded AR experiences on social media, thereby increasing visibility and reach.

To discuss bringing enhanced product visuals to your  business, talk to an expert today.

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