Web-based AR (WebAR) allows users to view and interact with augmented reality experiences from within a standard web browser on a smart device or, depending on the use case, even a desktop computer. This means that users never have to download an app to use your experience, making WebAR perfect for interactions at home or in-person at the shelf. 

Using WebAR to enhance your retail offerings can take the form of fun experiences that introduce your product through digital versions of your product or informative overlays on packaging. Linking an e-commerce page to your WebAR experience can also allow customers to purchase your products in the experience. You can even collect email info or provide discounts.

WebAR has been shown to increase brand and product recall, making it a great entry point for consumers. WebAR can also assist consumers in purchasing decisions by allowing them to customize, inspect, or try on products. Notably, 61% of users say they prefer retailers with AR experiences and 40% say they would pay more for items they can see and customize in AR.

Notable Examples of WebAR for Retail

The rest of this article will explore nine notable examples of WebAR in retail, including some that were designed or launched in partnership with ROSE Digital. If these use cases Interest you in implementing AR for your product or store, get in touch with the ROSE team today to learn more.

The Khaite Runway Experience

As the fashion world had to adapt and move to a purely digital landscape due to COVID-19, brands had to move quickly to break through all of the noise. ROSE brought Khaite’s latest collections into the homes of its customers using augmented reality. 

Users could tap to place 10 looks, captured using green screen video, in the environment they chose as the models moved to demonstrate the physical properties of each item. Users could scale the model to see each garment’s details. On average, users viewed 16 looks meaning that they viewed looks multiple times, fully engaging with the experience.

Joy Is a State of Drive

Image via FWA

Focusing on product and brand awareness, Volkswagen created an augmented reality experience featuring the all-new VW Taos. Triggering off of a custom Amazon Prime box, The Joy is a State of Drive campaign brings to life a series of musical moods that capture the joy of driving through human moments of connection, emotion and fun.

Users can select a vehicle color and drive-style and watch their custom 3D Taos drive around a 3D world. Launched during the 2021 holiday season, the experience gave users other festive options like different scenery packages and festive soundtracks.

Samsung’s Virtual Phones

Samsung is utilizing WebAR to allow consumers to compare devices from home. The experience features the ability to see how different Samsung devices fit in your hand, both left and right, directly comparing the size of different Samsung devices in addition to comparing their devices against competitor’s devices. 

This kind of “virtual try on” for a device is nice, but those statistics above do mention that users like the ability to customize potential purchase items through AR. That’s why Samsung allows users to view the devices in different colors.

Dermalogica’s Double-Edged Approach

Image via Dermalogica

Personal care company Dermalogica uses WebAR to educate consumers on their new product range. The experience is activated via QR code on the packaging and displays the product information when users point at the packaging or product bottle. Users can tap to learn more about product ingredients, product instructions, and product launch dates.

Dermalogica doesn’t stop there. After all, as great as that experience is, it requires you to have a product in-hand – not likely when you’re shopping from home. The Dermalogica website also has a page dedicated to “Face Mapping” which uses machine learning to analyze a provided selfie of a potential customer, which it then uses to suggest products and care routines.

The Society6 Wall Art Viewer

Image via 8th Wall

The artist-driven online marketplace Society6 partnered with Sherwin Williams, who also use AR for home decor previews, to allow customers to see artwork from Society6 in their own homes before adding items to their carts. Users can even take photos within the experience and share them to social media to get feedback from friends and family before buying. 

The WebAR experience also gives customers the opportunity to pair complementary wall colors with the piece of art. Alternatively, the experience can also recommend paint colors based off of the artwork. 

BON V!V’s Virtual Vending Machines

As part of an Out-of-Home campaign, BON V!V created a WebAR retail experience that presented customers with a 3D vending machine of BON V!V Spiked Seltzer that animated to dispense the customer’s favorite flavor. 

The QR code that launched the experience needed to be discovered in the physical world but, after the initial activation, could be revisited through a user’s browser history to summon a virtual vending machine anywhere. The experience, in addition to being a fun way to keep the product top-of-mind, provided users with nearby retail locations and the ability to purchase online. 

Nike’s AR-Enabled Stores

Nike has powered select stores with a multi-part WebAR experience. The experience, which is part of Nike’s PLAY NEW initiative, consists of five mini WebAR games including a flower game, football, putt putt, soccer, and basketball. 

Store visitors must scan special stickers around the store to activate the experience. After completing each game, the user receives a virtual medallion. After collecting all five medallions, players receive a “gift with experience” which includes a Nike sticker pack. 

Virtual Cosmetics Try-Ons from e.l.f Cosmetics

Image via e.l.f cosmetics

e.l.f. Cosmetics has empowered users to be able to try before they buy in their e-commerce store. Visitors to the site can try on over 320 makeup products.

This virtual try-on opportunity provides users increased confidence in their purchase and introduces users to products they might not have had the confidence to purchase before. It also solves the cringeworthy hygiene problem of cosmetics samples at physical stores.

AR Shoe Debut From Adidas

Adidas used WebAR to debut sustainable Stan Smith shoes. The experience showcases the sustainable materials that make up the sneakers. The experience was triggered by QR codes on The Athlete’s Foot retail location’s windows at locations across Europe. Users can click to purchase the product directly in the experience.

This experience also scratches the surface of other related topics in AR fashion like virtual clothing which allows fashionable photo shoots without the expense and waste of buying a physical clothing item to be worn on one special occasion. But, that’s a conversation for another day.

Exploring WebAR for Retail

Every WebAR activation above worked because it was tailored to the company that launched it. Think about which of these cases relate to your business model and how you can make it your own.