For Vancouver-based shoe company Vessi, technological innovation is in their DNA. To design their line of all-weather sneakers they created a completely new material that can withstand the elements—come rain, snow or sunshine—without compromising on style or comfort.
So it should come as no surprise that to solve their next e-commerce challenge the Vessi team again turned to technology. This time augmented reality (AR/3D) with the help of Shape Immersive.
As a direct-to-consumer brand, Vessi is always on the lookout for new opportunities to connect with their customers. Using AR/3D to showcase their shoes had been on the company’s mind for a while, but it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic dashed their plans to host in-person experiences that they decided to go all-in on AR/3D.
“We had to put our experience centres all on-hold,” says Vessi’s Head of Digital and Growth Gabriel Dias. “AR/3D came up as a new initiative to give our puddle hunters [customers] a chance to experience our shoes from the comfort of their phone.”
That’s where Shape Immersive stepped in. Using 3D renderings of Vessi’s new Weekend Sneaker, the team created a virtual try-on experience via Snapchat. In the same way that someone selects a filter for their face, Vessi customers could now select a filter for their feet and virtually experience what wearing a pair of Weekend Sneakers would look like.
The try-on application was an instant hit. It started trending on Snapchat and reached more than 50K uses organically in less than a month. The AR experience was not only fun for customers, but it also educated them about the shoes new features and initiated their purchase decision.
“Providing creative ways for customers to interact with the product is not only a competitive advantage but it’s also in the essence of everything we do,” says Dias. “Shape Immersive enabled us to make our idea a reality and expand our e-commerce strategy to reach new customers using AR/3D.”
Vessi’s exploration of AR and 3D doesn’t end with Snapchat. Shape Immersive has also begun testing an AR e-commerce experience on Vessi’s website where customers can interact with the Weekend Sneakers in 3D. The strategy has already begun increasing conversion from visit to sale.
The success of these 3D projects is just the beginning for Vessi who see AR as a key player in their mission to reimagine the traditional retail experience.
“The possibilities are endless,” says Dias. “From simply adding other collections, to creating scenarios where customers can interact with water (and other liquids), or even more robust web applications that involve sizing and so on. We look forward to working with Shape Immersive in many other initiatives in this field.”
AR/3D is a powerful tool to bridge the gap between the physical and digital shopping experience for e-commerce brands like Vessi and will soon be the norm on web and mobile among online retailers of all kinds.