As the holiday shopping season gets underway, Google has added augmented reality features to make e-commerce even easier.
“There’s something special about shopping in a store: the lights, the scents, the music,” wrote Danielle Buckley, Google’s product director, consumer shopping, in a blog post. “Although we can’t deal with all those small details when shopping online, we’re making great strides in shopping with AR on Google to bring to life the most important part of the store – the product –.”
The online search giant already allows buyers to view furniture in their space using the AR home furnishings feature. But this week, Google expanded the feature to include sneakers. Online shoppers can walk around the sneakers, zoom in and see them being taken out of their homes to decide if the shoes, from the laces to the soles, fit their personal style. Brands like Saucony, Vans and Merrell have been enabled for AR viewing on Google, and the company says any brand with 3D sneakers or home furnishings is allowed to participate in the program. “We are investing in new ways to create 3D spins of shoes, a process that is often time-consuming and expensive for brands,” Buckley wrote. “We will start using this technology in the coming months.”
According to Marketing Dive: “The company is training machine learning to be able to gather actionable assets from a few images versus relying on hundreds of images.” Google research shows that customers engage with a 3D image 50% more than taking still images.
Ie-commerce is increasingly turning to AR to improve the shopping experience, both in stores and in the world of promotional products. Pinterest, for example, has a shopping feature that allows people to try on different pieces of furniture using their smartphones. Earlier this year, Montreal-based Spector & Co. (asi/88660) introduced what it calls “Spector Vision,” which allows people to place a 3D-rendered version of selected beverages in their homes with a smartphone, as a cutting edge. down on the need for physical samples. DataHawk’s Raphael Menesclou noted in a Q&A this spring that more companies are using AR “because this immersive technology is, in fact, increasing product sales.”