3D Shopping Via Google Search

Later this month, Google will be rolling out 3D Augmented Reality (AR) in its search results, a change which could allow retailers to show their products online in a way that enables customers to a virtually ‘try’ those products and see them in situ before buying them.

Shown At Phone Launch

Google showed how 3D AR could work in search results to attendees of the launch of its Pixel 3 smartphone at its annual developer’s conference. At the phone launch, Google’s Vice President, Aparna Chennapragada, used a superimposed animation of a shark and a 3D exploration of a pair of New Balance running shoes to illustrate how potential customers could superimpose a 3D AR image of a product on their own chosen backdrop (‘you space’).  This would allow customers to see just how a product would look in situ if they were to purchase it.

Brands

Examples of the brands that Google is reported to have been working with in order to develop optimised links to 3D AR versions of their products in Google’s search results include New Balance, Samsung and Volvo.

Other Uses of AR

Google users may already be used to seeing AR in action as part of Google Maps, where users can switch from map to an AR representation with directional arrows by clicking on the ‘satellite’ link and then by clicking on the route. This feature allows users to follow arrows along a drivers-eye route, change direction, and zoom in and out.

AR and VR

Back in October 2017 Ordinance survey introduced AR to its mobile app so that users could point their smartphone at the world around and see labels about places of interest and get a reading of how far away they are.

In February this year, breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg's announced that it had been working with third-party VR companies to help it determine the best way to display its new products in stores. The pilot scheme used VR to give test subjects an immersive and 360-degree experience of a simulated store environment in which they were able to ‘virtually’ pick products, place items in shopping trolleys and make purchases.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Using AR to show 3D AR versions of products in the search results will enable companies to get their product instantly in front of consumers in a way that allows them to engage with those products on-demand, have a good look around the products, and virtually try them out and see how they could fit in with their lives.  This may be particularly important for products linked to self-image and lifestyle perceptions.  This could prove to be a valuable sales tool with considerable potential for all manner of products.