WebAR And VCommerce Poised For Big Retail Impact

Impressive as it sounds, retail brands have come a long way from distributing pamphlets about their products. Over time, WebAR, AR, VR and Mixed reality have sneaked in innovative ways to leverage the omnipresent smartphones and deliver a satisfying customer experience. As AR becomes a stable arsenal in their retail marketing strategies, they recognize the need to go beyond presenting 2D images or product videos. WebAR is reinventing the customer journey and poised to make a vCommerce impact on retail.

WebAR journey

The road so far for AR in the retail industry is filled with a slow adoption rate and the perceived budgetary constraints, combined with a lack of skillsets required for its implementation. But, having the digital touch points being inexplicably integrated in the customer’s everyday activities gives them a fighting chance to provide better and broader customer experience.

AR is an incredible versatile technology that merges the real with the virtual reality by overlaying content over users’ field of vision. Some version of the current wearable AR headsets like HoloLens and Meta 2 are bulky, expensive and aesthetically unacceptable.

A more accessible alternative is the mobile AR where brands are generating a lot of curiosity. Brands like Ikea engage audiences through AR apps that allow them to virtually visualize and place the products in their home settings. But, not many will bother to download an app to try this AR experience. That’s where WebAR steps in. Its only time before innovative AR content is available for users that balances newness with familiarity.

What’s WebAR?

WebAR is a new emerging area of web development that uses mobile devices to provide an augmented reality experience. True to its name, WebAR uses the same underlying technology that any other website uses to create AR experiences that are just as dynamic as a typical website or web app.

WebAR blends the digital with the show-rooms retailers to provide a real-time communication experience and better engagement with their customers. A user’s smartphone or desktop camera can bring your WebAR content to life, by simply clicking a web link or scanning a QR code.

Orientation of the scene is done through a marker. A 3D object is rendered on top of the location where the mobile’s camera is pointed, using existing JavaScript 3D rendering libraries. Thus, creating an immersive but simple AR experience for anyone using a smartphone.

Until now, the user had to download a standalone app or use a ‘marker’ to launch AR content. WebAR eliminates this need to download a separate app in order to deliver a vCommerce experience to customers. The potential reach for a brand grows significantly with this new form of advertising.

WebAR and vCommerce are intertwined together

Consumers want to be surprised and pampered and the best way to do this is to attract them with innovation. They value their time and any retail establishment acknowledging this fact will try to make their shopping experience as smooth and convenient as possible. Presenting a new and bold venture, vCommerce will be the next retail revolution for the brick and mortar stores or the online websites.

WebAR is the answer to the above concern. It supports a variety of web browsers for both mobile and desktop versions like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge. Retail and any other industry interested in WebAR including education, advertising, automotive and entertainment can benefit from this path breaking technology. All they need is a scalable, interactive and contextually relevant AR content integrated into their websites through a web link (URL) or QR codes.

WebAR provides access to web-based augmented reality via the web browser using a combination of technologies including JavaScript, WebRTC, WebGL, WebVR, and the modern sensor APIs.

WebAR opens up new prospects for brands and businesses.

►  Go viral online: Helps brands reach out to potential new users

►  Less memory/storage: No more downloading the apps or AR content

►  Effective tracking: Better feedback on the marketing initiatives

►  Fast deployment: Uses API’s for AR content development and deployment

WebAR helps to create interactive experiences for users through their websites. It provides a platform for brands to forge a vcommerce environment. By allowing them to explore the products in-depth in the physical setting of their choice. This helps them in various ways, like introducing new ways to engage customers by enhancing their interaction with your product which provides an opportunity to stand out from your competitors.

Concluding with our final thoughts, WebAR has to overcome many challenges, part of it being skilled expertise in Javascript and mobile webapps development. While it’s fun, more accessible, uses less storage, there’s still one more competitive edge for retail brands. It’s never been used on a grand scale yet. The novelty factor is their marketing edge that makes WebAR a must bet technology. Be one of the early adopters and beat your competitions’ marketing strategies by adopting WebAR.

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