To be honest, we see this a lot:
An online store ready to take the next step—primed for AR and about to pounce. Ready, set… wait.
Where do you go?
How exactly does this work again?
Sure, you can start running in any random direction. DIY until it works, tell everyone not to touch it so it doesn’t fall apart, and hope you don’t scale soon.
That’s no way to do business.
As a serious eCommerce company, you need systems to function like a well-oiled machine over the long run if you hope to compete in today’s market.
This is a marathon—not a sprint.
You already know how valuable AR can be. The results compound over time when deployed correctly. And that’s the key part, isn’t it?
Because if you don’t set it up in a sustainable way, your returns will be overshadowed by the cost of maintaining your AR solution.
Thankfully, people with exactly the right skillset are waiting to handle it for you.
We call them AR experts.
And below are the most important reasons why you should contact an AR specialist if you’re interested in AR for eCommerce.
Seven reasons you should consult with AR experts
We’ve highlighted the most important reasons for your attention. Let’s get started.
1. Outsourcing the right experience
Any AR strategy worth trying requires a very specific skill set to be properly executed, not to mention the investment and time you need to put into it.
Want to go there alone? Here’s why you shouldn’t:
- You won’t be able to acquire the depth of knowledge required within your timelines
- Your company has unique needs that must be met if you expect to see any results
- You won’t know which questions to ask until you inevitably discover the answers the hard way.
But AR experts can spare you the headache.
They know what is required as they’ve done it many times over, and their experience will allow them to create bespoke solutions for your company.
Especially if you opt for buying instead of building your AR from scratch.
2. Navigating in a rapidly evolving tech space
AR is not a one-and-done deal. The market is changing, technology is constantly evolving, and hopefully, if you’re doing everything right, so is your company.
- You need to be prepared to scale
- Your AR solution needs to grow with you
By working with AR specialists, you can future-proof your AR solution to maintain returns on your investment and don’t stifle your progress.
Buying an AR solution doesn’t mean you’re automatically ‘cutting-edge’ or that you’ll retain that title for long.
But more important than mere aesthetics, you want to ensure your online store offers the best possible user experience and can compete in the market.
Today and tomorrow and the day after.
If you don’t have a partner who can continue optimising your AR experience, you’re leaving money on the table.
3. Nuanced process to getting 3D products live
You may notice a pattern here.
SaaS nerds like to use umbrella terms like ‘3D products’ or ‘content creation’ to keep it brief while referring to a number of processes, but the reality is always more complex than that.
And then we get frustrated when people don’t understand these things are nuanced and not exactly ‘just content.’
Take 3D products, for example. There are many subcategories to consider regarding just ‘3D products.’ For example:
- Different operating systems
- Device generation
- File formats
- Complexity in the end-to-end process
From building to deploying 3D/AR experiences and doing it well, the road is long.
A lot can go wrong if you’re hoping to simply learn as you go unless someone guides you through 3D content production from start to finish.
An expert whose primary priority is ensuring you get what you need, even if it takes looking you in the eye and telling you that you’re making a mistake. And here’s how you could fix it.
4. Outside view on total cost involved
It is easier for an outsider to tell it to you like it is.
One of the most important instances when you want real, honest feedback is when it’s time to talk about money.
Like, how much does AR actually cost?
How much should you invest in it to ensure tangible results? And can you really hit all your marks the way you planned to approach it?
Because it’s not just about how much you pay to get started.
AR costs include:
- Project scope
- Content creation
- Team skillset
- Fixes and upgrades, etc.
And just like with 3D modelling, each one of these items is also the title of a smaller list or process.
It can be overwhelming to keep track of – we understand.
An AR specialist can objectively explain the full cost breakdown so you know what to expect before you’re knee-deep in your AR project and regret not reaching out sooner.
5. Combination of (3D) content, technology, and UI/UX
This is rarely a combination of skill and expertise companies have in their own ranks.
You might have one out of three. And maybe you’re thinking you can just outsource the others, so no big deal.
But context matters.
Instead of a patchwork solution, you could get a sophisticated, unified solution and not worry about your AR design.
After all, you must focus on the recipe, not just the individual ingredients.
You need to know:
- How to combine them
- What the right amounts are
- Which bits are essential
- And what’s the best order of steps
Let’s just say you shouldn’t confidently and voluntarily serve anything to your unwitting customers if you don’t know what goes into the finished product.
AR specialists have all the tools you could need and they’ve used them in precisely the right context to consult on best practice.
6. AR experts need to stay on the cutting edge to compete
Your inside team (if available) may be biased, not at the forefront, and/or have competing priorities.
On the other hand, with an external AR specialist, you have a dedicated, experienced partner that needs to stay on the cutting edge to compete.
They know the ins and outs of this technology and they’ll keep up with the latest tech trends because it’s in their best interest, which means it’s in your best interest to trust them with your AR design and implementation.
In this case, your in-house team has other, equally important things to do and won’t be focused on this, whereas for AR experts, AR consulting is one of the core parts of their jobs.
Of course, they’ll go the extra mile.
7. Faster deployment
Getting started can legitimately feel like an eternity.
All the hidden steps you can’t avoid, making sure it all works end-to-end, getting rid of glitches, and wrapping up the tech details.
Without proper support, it is most likely overwhelming.
With an AR expert, you could easily integrate AR with your existing systems and have full technical and operational support to get you to the finish line faster.
That means starting to see the returns much sooner, too.
Not to mention not having to know much about tech because there’s an AR specialist to rush to your aid whenever you need it.
Top eCommerce AR experts and their specialities
Let’s give some faces to the name – these are the top augmented reality experts to look into:
|AR Experts||Best for||Pricing|
|Plattar||Full, end-to-end 3D+AR production||Starting at $149/month|
|Sayduck||FMCG companies who need specialised 3D modelling services||Starting at $89/month|
|ViewAR||Complete AR app design with HTML templates||Starting at $220/month|
|Augment||Individual 3D product creation for field sales, FMCG POS, and other B2B products||Starting at $9/month per active device|
|Roomle||3D+AR configuration and full enterprise integration with systems like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.||Starting at $120/month|
|Marxent||Quick and affordable AR+3D end-to-end production||Not published|
|Cylindo||App-free AR room scenes for eCommerce product visualisation||Not published|
|Inhaabit||Art and furniture retailers who need a complete AR+3D solution||Not published|
Key considerations when researching eCommerce AR experts
Right. So we’re on the same page about why you should work with AR experts. If you don’t remember, here’s a quick recap: they get stuff done.
But you also don’t want to waste your valuable resources on just anyone who claims they’re an expert.
The question remains: how do you know which AR experts to call?
We’ve listed our favourite options. But below are other key considerations that you should know.
Underpinning technology (platform)
Some AR development platforms only support specific devices like smart glasses or headsets. Others only work for specific operating systems (IOS, Android, Windows, Linux, or Mac).
A few of them support more than one system.
And for eCommerce, having the right options should be a prerequisite otherwise, you could alienate some of your consumers just because they use the wrong phone.
For starters, you need software that works on both Android and iOS. So you need to be picky about your provider based on their platform.
Ensure they offer what you need.
Proven use cases, live implementations, and references
You need to see the company walk their talk. Client case studies are an excellent means of gaining insight into a live implementation of a 3D AR Provider.
For example, this client testimonial shows you exactly what you can expect from Plattar for your virtual store:
Why is this so effective?
It gives you empirical evidence to demonstrate what Plattar could do for you, and it carries more weight because it comes from a client who knows a thing or two about your position.
Companies understand how important this is.
And there’s no better way to convince you the solution works than showing how it solves someone’s problem. Build trust by assessing your provider’s past results.
Skillset/Specialisation – backed by long-standing experience
When assessing a provider, check their offering to ensure they have the right tools to help you execute your strategy.
Technically, a paleontologist is a doctor. But if you were having a heart attack, a palaeontologist couldn’t do much for you other than tell you how long until your bones disintegrate if you die.
A high level of skill is wasted if it’s irrelevant to your needs.
You don’t need just any expert. You need a specialist in your problem.
Do they have:
- Long-standing experience with eCommerce AR specifically?
- The skills and expertise that you don’t already have in-house?
- Project planning and demonstration experience?
Real AR specialists are aware this isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation and will be prepared like the obnoxious 6th grader who swore she didn’t study either and then nailed the test.
Don’t be afraid to ask industry-specific questions and request to see relevant case studies.
Service offering and service model
What does the provider actually offer?
Three main service models differ in three aspects:
- Platform support (activation and/or ongoing support)
- Technology support (integration, customization, developer tools, and documentation)
- 3D content services (end-to-end or partial production and management of high-quality 3d assets)
|Service models||Service offering||What it includes|
|1. Full-service||Full-service is all-inclusive and covers every aspect of the journey end-to-end.||SaaS subscription includes activation and ongoing supportEvery aspect of tech supportHigh-quality 3D content and its implementation on the software solution|
|2. A la carte||Offers a specific set of features you can pick and choose from.||Has a basic skeletonIndividual/partial production and management|
|3. Specialised service||Offers everything a certain industry or client type needs.||Typically full platform supportTech supportLimited/specialised 3D content services|
Experienced AR experts will be able to answer all your questions and guide you toward the model that suits your needs best.
As we said before, anyone can claim they’re the top choice online.
But does the company’s work back up their claims? Have they been recognized for their work in the past?
The top AR experts have serious experience under their belts and the appropriate accolades to confirm it.
Developer resources and product roadmap
Companies should be interested in knowing what the partner has planned and that it aims to continue to innovate.
Testing is important.
Continuous innovation is one of the biggest points of working with an AR specialist in the first place.
So how can you check this?
If they looked good until now, it means they’ve got great use cases, client reviews, and maybe an award or two.
But if you’re unsure, jump on a call and assess the following:
- How are they ensuring to stay on top of the latest AR trends and tech?
- What resources do they use, and how much do they invest in training and specialisation?
- What are some measures they take to future-proof their clients’ websites?
- How do they plan to grow and improve going forward?
All of these things impact your company if you choose them as your trusted AR experts.
Business success stories with AR experts
AR is a fantastic tool. However, without the proper skill and expertise, it can fail to serve its purpose. ti
Here are some reasons brands fail with AR:
- Their AR is gimmicky and clearly made for marketing instead of focusing on creating an immersive user experience
- They have 3D design interface challenges but lack the right skills to overcome them
- They have limited content and functionality
- The timing and product positioning is off
- The addition disrupts the purchase experience and confuses customers
- Poorly executed solutions decrease their page loading speed and conversion rates
All of these scenarios are clearly failed DIYs, and the disaster could have been easily prevented with the help of AR experts.
Let’s investigate companies that avoided the common pitfalls and created engaging augmented reality experiences for their customers.
Example 1: Snooze
Snooze sells large products you can’t easily visualise or try out, like beds, mattresses, and other bedroom furniture.
Things that, as a customer, you’d be reluctant to buy unless you’re totally convinced you won’t need to return it.
Luckily, Snooze didn’t lose time playing AR guessing games.
Snooze knew from the beginning that a serious eCommerce company needs to offer a 3D experience with all the product details and variations for customers to test in their bedrooms.
Here are some results:
- 20% increase in users viewing a product detail page if the product has a 3D viewer
- 40% increase in add to cart if the product has a 3D viewer
- 30% increase in conversions if the product has a 3D viewer
61% of online shoppers prefer eCommerce companies that offer AR. If you’re gonna be on that list, do it like Snooze.
Example 2: SAAB
As an industry-leading systems provider for defense, civil, and security projects worldwide, SAAB is no stranger to utilising the latest technology to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.
One of the main hurdles in their sales process was showcasing equipment to a boardroom. Explaining the complexities of large equipment like fighter systems, ground combat weapons, and submarines is difficult without effective visuals. By using AR, SAAB is able to showcase these complex products during the sales process without having to deal with the logistics of transporting these machines to different locations.
By digitising their sales process, SAAB is able to:
- Showcase a product to clients with their specifications in place
- Embed a 3D product viewer on their website
- Make interactive 3D presentations showcasing technical details
- Use webAR touchpoints at tradeshows for increased engagement
Example 3: Nike’s House of Innovation
As one of Nike’s premier flagship stores, the House of Innovation in New York City is no stranger to showcasing the latest trends in retail experiences. In 2021, to fit with guidelines on social distancing, they released an AR experience that coincided with the launch of their All Conditions Gear (ACG) HO20 collection.
By using AR codes and markers, customers in the store navigated through a “base camp” wilderness experience, where they learned more about the collection and local wildlife. In exchange for participating in the experience, they could get free merchandise.
Today, the Nike House of Innovation store still provides AR experiences in everyday shopping such as scanning items to get more information, like seeing colour options or available sizing, through their Nike App.
Get an AR expert in your corner
Nothing like a reliable partner to help you carry out your strategy.
You know how important it is to stay ahead of the game in an industry as fast-paced as eCommerce.
Need dependable augmented reality experts to support your end-to-end journey?
You have seven reasons to say yes so book a demo with Plattar to see what professionally executed AR can do for you.