The argument that people won’t buy jewelry online because they want to touch and feel it before they buy has been debunked long ago. But some do persist.
The continued emergence of augmented reality (AR) will end the argument forever. AR, according to Wikipedia, is the “live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.”
For those who deal in the creation of 3D jewelry designs, augmented reality is the next logical step to showcase finished work. It allows potential buyers the chance to view a full 3D image of a jewel they may want to buy and to virtually “try it on.” It gets as close to a brick-and-mortar experience as one could possibly have in terms of showing product. And the convenience of being able to do this at anytime nearly anywhere in the world is unmatched.
It certainly isn’t a new application. Augmented reality has been used sparingly in the jewelry and watch industry as early as 2010. But it was a bit slow and complicated in actual application. However, recent advancements in the technology along with the explosion in the number of firms jumping onto this platform have resulted in a near-seamless experience for consumers, while making more affordable and easier to use for creators.
The best part is the smart phone and tablet is the perfect tool to showcase this technology. Augmented reality apps are easily available and the images can literally pop out of the mobile device. All of these advancements have turned AR from a “gee whiz” kind of sideshow to a practical application to sell anything, including jewels.
Finally, through eCommerce the customer once “trying a jewel on,” can make an instant purchase. It has the potential to turn the buying of fine jewelry from an agonizing decision for many consumers to an impulse buy.
Augmented reality, as advanced as it may seem, is still in its early stages. Technological improvements will continue to multiply, making it even easier and more affordable for jewelry designers and consumers.
The traditional jewelry industry has always been slow to adapt to new technology. In addition, the retail environment isn’t necessarily the best way to showcase augmented reality. The technology is ideal for mobile applications.
Bringing augmented reality to your business has the potential to open a new, engaged customer base that’s looking for a new way to shop for jewelry.