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You probably have been hearing a lot about augmented reality or AR in the jewelry business lately. What is it? And how can you leverage this technology to future-proof your jewelry stores?
Similar to the way AI has taken retail by storm, AR is also one of the hottest pandemic-driven tech innovations, but it’s not new. In fact, it dates back to the 1960s when computer scientist and Harvard professor Ivan Sutherland developed the first head-mounted AR display. Over the years, AR has reshaped the way we do things until the fast-paced era of technology happened and it started rolling out to every consumer.
With its growing popularity, especially since the pandemic began, AR has become common in our daily lives. Everyday consumers are using it, they just don’t know it. Let’s take a look at the figures below.
66% of consumers say they are interested in using AR for help when shopping
6 in 10 people say they want to be able to visualize where and how a product could fit into their lives.
Interactions with products having AR/3D content record a 94% higher conversion rate than those products without.
Despite its many benefits, you can’t deny that AR in the jewelry business is sparse, so what gives?
If you’re still unsure of what AR could do to your business or you feel like it’s too high-tech for you, read on as we let you in on different ways you can integrate augmented reality into your jewelry business.
First, let’s steer clear of confusion.
What is Augmented Reality?
AR is an experience that enhances elements of users’ physical world with computer-generated input. To do this, the designer or developer creates a technology that allows users to superimpose content— images, texts, videos— over a real-world environment. The digital content responds to real-time movement to affect the users’ real-world environment.
What are the Advantages of AR?
Incorporating AR into your day-to-day operation has many advantages. Among these are the following.
- AR creates unique digital shopping experiences
- It prevents information overload
- AR tech increases and enhances user engagement
- Sets you apart from competition
- It increases the quality of content and opportunities for personalization
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How to Integrate AR into Your Jewelry Business
1. Virtual Jewelry Try-On
Jewelry virtual try-on (JVTO) is one of the common AR-powered tools in the jewelry business. Undeniably, the adoption of AR has increased since the pandemic started, and it made sense. With physical restrictions, jewelers must be able to push beyond the boundaries and try to replicate their in-store shopping service online.
Virtual Try-On Beyond the Pandemic
But don’t be too relaxed. Just because the world is slowly opening again, it doesn’t mean that these technologies will disappear back to where they were pre-pandemic. If you must, expect the adoption to increase further. Snapchat reports that by 2025, 75% of the global population will be frequent AR users. Hence, incorporating it as early as now would not only make you resilient to unforeseen events but will also future-proof your business.
JVTO may or may not work seamlessly depending on the software you’re using. Pay attention to this because the perceived ease of use of your JVTO directly influences your customers’ attitude towards online shopping. The Jewelry Virtual Try-On tool by the Jewelry Hub makes users’ and jewelers’ experience effortless by simplifying the integration process.
The Jewelry Hub’s JVTO works in a few simple straightforward steps:
- Upload your jewelry photo and click the “Create a Try-On Link”
- Adjust the jewelry as necessary
- Click “Finish” to generate the link and share it to your customers or embed the code to your product page for buyers to try on your jewelry before purchasing.
If you get it right, JVTO can enrich your customers’ shopping experience by providing them with information about your jewelry’s physical attributes. As you can remember, a buyer’s purchase decision process involves the evaluation stage.
The JVTO plays a critical role in the evaluation stage as it helps them visualize the size, shape, color, and how the piece would look on them when worn. Unlike the traditional or passive product display, JVTO enables buyers to engage with the product, which strengthens their purchase intention, makes online shopping enjoyable, and assists them in making an informed buying decision; thereby, reducing product returns.
2. 3D Models
If you’re a jeweler and a jewelry designer at the same time, AR technologies can elevate not just your design but also your buyer’s experience.
Making a unique design for specific customers is complex but with AR apps, you can present a completed 3D design to potential shoppers and enable them to evaluate the piece as they would in-store. 3D models work like perfect representations of physical jewelry pieces. These models allow potential buyers to view the piece from up-close and from all angles to see the intricacy of your work.
Unique designs usually carry intricate elements that are often your selling point. By allowing buyers to examine every element of your piece virtually—gem clarity, the play of colors, light effects, etc.— and also wear it in virtual mode, you make the visual experience exciting and productive.
3. Branded AR filters
If you’re an Instagram user, you’re already familiar with filters. However, unlike simple photo overlays, AR filters can make your brand more engaging and fun as it’s interactive.
AR filters are computer-generated effects that are superimposed on real-life images that your camera displays. I’m pretty sure you’ve used it one way or another since Instagram Stories have used it since 2017.
Now AR filters are not for all businesses but if you sell jewelry for younger consumers, then hop on because it will only make your brand more relatable and engaging. Missoma Jewellery has an excellent example of branded AR filters. The Kaleidoscope Summer is an entertaining AR filter that you can try on. It turns everything around the user kaleidoscopic, which makes it entertaining.
AR filters also give the brand a shareable promotional tool with virality potential as users can save the AR filter try-on result and share it with their friends on their social media accounts.
How Would You Use AR in Jewelry Business?
Overall, times are changing and so are your consumers. Jewelry retail must adapt and evolve as a response. AR can bring enormous value to the consumers’ shopping journey. Embrace it to future-proof your business as merely surviving in the digital age is not acceptable. You must thrive.
How would you use AR in your jewelry store? Let us know in the comment section!