Augmented reality: it’s likeable, shareable and according to Santa Monica-based ad tech company, Vertebrae — it’s also shoppable.
Today, Vertebrae announces the availability of its augmented reality commerce platform, Axis, with the vision of scaling “immersive” AR experiences in the retail environment with no app required.
AR is not a new technology, but the growth momentum is recently bolstered by product innovations from Google, Facebook, Apple and Snap Inc.’s popular “face filters,” which gives AR a “fun factor” for consumers. Backing this consumer momentum, estimates by Goldman Sachs reveal the AR and VR retail software market globally will reach $500 million in 2020 and $1.6 billion in 2025.
In a separate survey by Vertebrae, 78 percent of respondents said they prefer to interact with an AR experience over a 30-second video, but as a recent survey from eMarketer stated, “poor user experience” and a “lack of quality 3-D content” are two of the biggest obstacles preventing the adoption of AR at scale in the retail environment.
Operating in the space between other AR innovations, Axis hopes to provide quality content creation at scale through in-house photogrammetry technology, which captures a product in totality, stitching together hundreds of images to build a 3-D asset. From there, retailers can seamlessly incorporate 3-D assets into their existing product catalog and provide a more immersive customer experience while reducing excessive promotional incentives or flat product imagery.
According to Vince Cacace, founder and chief executive officer of Vertebrae, Axis provides a “democratized AR” permitting any shopper, on any device to shop with the assistance of 3-D assets, which aim to solve both of these challenges in retail adoption.
Since 2015, Vertebrae has been “captivating and engaging” consumers by way of virtual reality, augmented reality and 3-D tech — servicing clients such as Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and Crate and Barrel while making a push for direct-to-consumer brands with a strong brand story to “augment” their product catalog with Axis.
Echoing these AR findings from Goldman Sachs with their own results is Tenth Street Hats — a designer hat company established in 1921, bearing Northern California roots and a founder’s heritage to Jack Dorfman.
For consumers, the value of AR solutions like Axis lies in trying before buying and getting a to-scale image of what a new product may look like in their lives, whether on their person or in their homes.
“We’re now able to provide our customers with the ability to virtually try on hats on our site — up close, at any angle, on their very own head,” said Carson Finkle, chief executive officer of Tenth Street Hats.
On hats implementing Axis technology, Tenth Street saw a 33 percent conversion increase and 74.3 percent engagement increase.
Retailers seeking “differentiated and unique customer experiences” blending the digital and physical storefront may see similar results in driving conversion and sales.
As Cacace told WWD, and as mirrored in the continued relevancy of seamless, differentiated omnichannel experiences in retail, AR is no longer a “novelty or one-off experiment,” but instead a “more native experience to shop.”