Augmented Reality in Ecommcere – Weekly Loop #17


Weekly Loop #17

How Independent Sellers Can Use Augmented Reality in Ecommcere


Not long ago, augmented reality seemed like a technology completely out of the grasp of most businesses. With relatively complicated and costly technological requirements, most experiments using augmented reality in ecommerce were done by big brands like Overstock, Timberland, Converse, and others. Last month, Apple and Shopify each released new features putting augmented reality entirely in the grasp of essentially any ecommerce retailer.

In the Weekly Loop #13, we included a link to the news that Shopify had introduced augmented reality, though didn’t spend much time discussing the news. With the recent introduction of iOS 12 from Apple,  anyone with an iPhone can see how it works on live Shopify sites like HORNE and Pure Cycles – and it’s certainly grabbed our attention.

For Shopify merchants, here’s the basic process for getting setup to use augmented reality in ecommerce:

  1. Create 3D models of your products
  2. Download the Shopify AR app & upload the 3d design file
  3. Add some code to the product pages

For most merchants, step one will be the biggest hurdle. On the Shopify guide page, pricing for creating 3d models is said to start at $100, though that requires exact photos from multiple angles. We’ve yet to try out any of the services that create models and can’t vouch for any of them yet.

It’s amazing how quickly this technology has become available to so many businesses. With the recent introduction, it’s quite early in the usage of augmented reality in ecommerce and there are sure to be new developments coming. We’re just beginning work on a new Shopify development project incorporating AR and excited to see where it goes.

What are some of the best uses of augmented reality in ecommerce you’ve seen? Where do you think it will go in the future?



Recommended Links


Each week, we read and watch articles, blog posts, videos, infographics, books and more related to ecommerce. We share some of our favorites links on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

In our weekly updates, we pare the links down to our favorite seven links from the past week.

Have a suggestion of something to include? Get in touch.



This is amazing enough to mention again: All @Shopify merchants can now use #AugmentedReality to showcase products

Augmented Reality Shopping for Your Store
Shopify’s Ecommerce Blog – Ecommerce News, Online Store Tips & More

“With Apple’s recent announcement of AR Quick Look, we can now enable these 3D models to be viewable in AR directly through the Safari browser on iOS 12 devices—without the need for a separate mobile app or a clunky headset.
Web-powered augmented reality represents an exciting leap toward making AR experiences readily available to the everyday shopper through mobile browsers.
A small group of Shopify merchants have already modeled their products through Shopify AR in anticipation of AR Quick Look. HORNE and Pure Cycles, two businesses in this group, shared their visions with us for the new Shopify AR service and the process of developing detailed 3D models of their products.”1

#AugmentedReality is here for ecommerce retailers of all sizes. Learn how it’s being used and how your business can use #AR

Augmented Reality for Ecommerce: It’s Time to Start Using It | Ecomdash

“For starters, AR tech is mostly for mobile devices, and mobile ecommerce is growing in leaps and bounds. According to eMarketer, mobile ecommerce sales grew 24.8% between 2016 and 2017, making up 58.9% of all ecommerce sales for that year. The numbers for mobile ecommerce are projected to keep growing as well, which means the more conversion-oriented tools like AR you have, the better.
Moreover, the customers themselves are saying they want it. The ThinkMobiles blog reports that:

63% of customers say AR would improve their shopping experience
35% say AR would make them shop online more often
22% say they’d patronize brick-and-mortar stores less if AR were available on more ecommerce sites
In a controlled experiment, AR ads interested more viewers than 2D ads (74% against 45%), and that the viewers of the AR ad were even willing to pay more for the product.”2

Check out how these big retailers have used #AugmentedReality. Now, AR is available to any merchant on @Shopify

How These Retailers Use Augmented Reality to Enhance the Customer Experience
Retail Marketing Blog – Retail News, Trends, Store Tips, and More by Shopify

“Home goods aren’t the only try-at-home AR experiences. Gap also plans to bring the fitting rooms home with its DressingRoom by Gap app. And Converse has already done so with its Sampler mobile app, which lets shoppers virtually try shoes on at home, easily sharing the pictures to get purchase validation from friends.”3

Following up on our recent #AugmentedReality article links, here’s a look at how AR is being used in ecommerce from @techgenix

Augmented reality (AR) is Revolutionizing E-commerce – Here’s How

“Augmented reality is changing the way humans interact with their surroundings. A world of digital imagery and content superimposed on the immediate physical surroundings — that’s huge. Pioneers from the world of e-commerce realize the tremendous potential that the industry has in transforming how shoppers search for and understand products, before purchasing them.”4


“Los Angeles is ideal place to debut a physical storefront showing off a new line of hardware products and array of business services”

Shopify opens its first brick-and-mortar space in Los Angeles
Jonathan Shieber eCommerce – TechCrunch

“Like Apple, Shopify is staffing its store with experts on the platform who can walk new customers or would-be customers through whatever troubleshooting they may need, while also serving as a space to promote large and small vendors using its payment and supply management solution.
“Our new space in downtown LA is a physical manifestation of our dedication and commitment to making commerce better for everyone. We’re thrilled to be able to take our proven educational, support, and community initiatives and put them to work in an always-on capacity,” said Satish Kanwar, VP of Product at Shopify, in a statement. “We know that making more resources available to entrepreneurs, especially early on, makes them far more likely to succeed, and we’re happy to now be offering that through a brick-and-mortar experience in LA.””5



Seth Godin simplifies marketing: “Can you create something for 10 people that will help them with a specific problem they have?

The Seth Godin Approach To Content Marketing – The Story Engine
The Story Engine

“Can you create something for 10 people that will help them with a specific problem they have? Make a piece of content, and reach out to 10 people who you think would find it useful and see how they react. Maybe they’ll respond to you, maybe they’ll share it, maybe it will spread. If it spreads, it grows, and if it grows, you get to do it again.”6

Pinterest has experimented with new features to increase clicks on Pins by 40 percent #marketing

Pinterest is turning more of its window shoppers into buyers with newest features
Kate Clark eCommerce – TechCrunch

“The company says since it began testing the new features in the previous quarter, clicks on products to retail sites increased by 40 percent. That’s a big win for Pinterest, whose business model relies greatly on advertising revenue.
The three new features include up-to-date pricing and stock information on all product pins, with links that take pinners to the retailer’s website, plus a new “Products like this” category under each fashion and home decor pin, which includes stylistically similar products that Pinterest thinks that user will like. It’s also added a new shopping shortcut within the app that connects users to similar products to a given pin.”7

Here’s a guide to using emotional triggers to enhance #marketing campaigns from @quicksprout @neilpatel

How to Generate Sales by Triggering an Emotional Response from Your Customers
Neil Patel Quick Sprout

“In fact, 43% of emotional advertisements had positive effects on businesses for three or more years.
Ads that trigger stronger than average emotions create a 23% increase in sales volume.
That’s right. If you can elicit an emotional response from your customers with an advertisement, you will increase your sales volume today and potentially for years down the road.
But where do you start? Which emotions work best?”8


One writer examines the many “tricks” Amazon uses when making a simple purchase, though this example sounds like a good time to shop in store.

Newco Shift | This Is How Amazon Loses
John Battelle Newco Shift

“As you can see, the most eye catching suggestions – the four featured panels with large images – are all Amazon brands. Big red flag. But Amazon knows sophisticated shoppers like me are suspicious of those in house suggestions, so it’s included a similar product in the space below its own brands (we’ll get to that in a minute).
Above the featured items are ads: sponsored listings that are not Amazon brands, which means the advertiser (a small player named “Blubonic Industries”) is paying Amazon to get ahead of the company’s own promotional power. Either way, Amazon makes money. Second red flag.”9


Walmart has added yet another retail brand by adding @BareNecessities after buying @bonobos @moosejaw and others

Walmart continues M&A spree with acquisition of lingerie retailer Bare Necessities
Kate Clark eCommerce – TechCrunch

“The lingerie company, founded in 1998, will operate independently of Walmart. Over time, the e-commerce giant says it will make Bare Necessities’ products available on, as well as on, which Walmart acquired for more than $3 billion in 2016 to bolster its e-commerce business.”10


How do the smart home strategies from Apple, Amazon, Google & Facebook stack up? And will it be a paradigm shift like mobile?

The Battle for the Home
Ben Thompson Stratechery by Ben Thompson

“There is one final question that overshadows all-of-this: while the home may be the current battleground in consumer technology, is it actually a distinct product area — a new epoch, if you will? When it came to mobile, it didn’t matter who had won in PCs; Microsoft ended up being an also-ran.
The fortunes of Apple, in particular, depend on whether or not this is the case. If it is a truly new paradigm, then it is hard to see Apple succeeding. It has a very nice speaker, but everything else about its product is worse. On the other hand, the HomePod’s close connection to the iPhone and Apple’s overall ecosystem may be its saving grace: perhaps the smartphone is still what matters.”11


Andrew @ EcomLoop
Are you looking to start or grow a standalone ecommerce shop? I help independent businesses achieve success on the Shopify and WooCommerce platforms. As the owner of multiple ecommerce businesses, I've had the opportunity to get experience with nearly every aspect of the ecommerce industry. I started EcomLoop to help other quality independent businesses using my knowledge and experience. To stay on top of new ecommerce developments, I publish The EcomLoop Weekly Loop, a blog and email newsletter with original thoughts and curated links to help independent businesses improve their businesses.