How AR & 3D Can Be A Universal Selling Tool

April 7, 2022


By 2024, it is projected that there will be 1.7 billion mobile Augmented Reality (AR) users – that is 21% of the world’s population!

The AR market is projected to grow to $140 billion in the next few years and will no doubt be part of the e-commerce mainstream very soon. 

This growth and gradual mainstream adoption is a clear signal for brands and retailers to harness the power of AR and 3D modelling for their marketing and sales activations. As consumers get more used to the idea of AR, they will start to demand more. That’s where brands can stand out amongst their competitors by being early adopters of this technology. 

Augmented Reality and 3D are two of the most flexible and engaging future technologies at our disposal. The fact that they can function in almost any arena makes them the perfect universal selling tool for brands and retailers wanting to boost conversions and build brand loyalty.

In-Person Selling

Selling in person can be a very difficult task. You’ve got key points to nail and a relationship to build whilst showing off your product. In this context, AR can create new efficiencies for a sales team, especially those often out on the road. 

For brands that produce and sell large items, transportation is always a problem. It’s not very easy to pick up a fridge or medical unit and transport it across a country. This is where 3D modelling can help by creating an exact replica of a product that sits on your phone. You are able to see all angles of it and to manipulate as needed.

Moreover, using AR to bring a 3D model to life allows sales teams to show the product in situ for clients thus shortening the buying decision process by consumers no longer having to worry about spacing. 

AR also allows for deployment absolutely anywhere. Whether you are on a train, at an exhibition or in the office, you are able to pick up your mobile device and bring a product to life at the touch of a button. 

AR helps sales teams stay efficient and aids them in showing off your products, convincing consumers to purchase – and in a fun, engaging way!


As we begin to return to some normality in-store, it is likely that consumers will move to a hybrid model of shopping that includes physical retail spaces and e-commerce. Augmented Reality plays a really pivotal role in this transition as it helps us build a bridge between the online and offline worlds. 

Similar to in-person selling, AR does allow for efficiencies of space, which frees up existing retail space to create immersive experiences for customers. 

The e-commerce fashion portal, Farfetch, understood this and created an engaging experience for shoppers that intertwined the offline and digital worlds together. They have been building the ‘store of the future’ over the last few years.

Farfetch’s concept store

Farfetch provides connected clothing racks, touch-screen-enhanced mirrors and sign-in stations which pull data collected online to use in-store.


We can see from the above image that the store isn’t crowded with clothes racks or sale displays but instead the retail space is designed to give consumers a smooth experience with integrated touch-screen features. Current technological advances in due course could enable customers to try on various colours of a particular product virtually or even measure certain measurements to get the perfect fit. 

All of these efforts help consumers to visualise a product that they will be taking home before purchasing thus shortening the consideration period in the buying cycle, and boosting conversions.

For more complicated or bespoke products, brands can include 3D configurators (similar to NikeID) so that customers can design, tweak and customise their purchase all at the touch of a button with the support of staff in a store. This could change how we buy furniture, electrical goods, and even clothing!


Using 3D renders for e-commerce product shots is not a new idea, yet many brands have still not taken this step. IKEA, for example, has been using 3D renders across its catalogue and online store since 2006. Not only does this allow IKEA to be flexible in all of its images, but according to its IT Manager, Martin Enthed, it is also cost effective and better for the environment. In an interview Enthed said, “From both an environmental and time point of view, we don’t want to have to ship in all those white goods from everywhere, shoot them and then ship them all back again” – genius!

This being said, both AR and 3D offer much more when it comes to selling online. Tools such as Flix AR give brands and retailers the power to add a ‘Place In Your Space’ feature on their websites, using a 3D model of a product they are browsing (such as a fridge in their kitchen) to truly visualise their purchase in a natural setting. Technologies such as Flix AR help to boost conversions and reduce costly returns by giving consumers more information at the time of purchasing. 

Research undertaken by IKEA found that almost 3/4 of consumers do not know how big their homes are and so being able to test the size of furniture before purchasing made the buying cycle smoother and more efficient.

Social Media

AR and e-commerce have already found a beautiful synergy and we expect this to continue and develop further. Similarly, social media has also harnessed the power of AR on a number of different platforms. This technology gives brands a channel on which to experiment and explore new ways of engaging customers, and eventually lead them back for a purchase. 

A common example of this is the use of AR filters during product launches. Adidas teamed up with Snapchat in 2019 for the launch of a running shoe. The brand used AR filters and 3D modelling to allow users to preview and try on its new product (the Ultraboost 2019 running shoe), giving a personalised, in-app experience that mimicked what it would be like in an Adidas store. 

Similar examples include MAC’s eyelash filter, which allowed consumers to try on different products and encouraged them to swipe up and purchase their favourite. 

One step further, some brands have looked to build brand loyalty through gamification. A great example is Men In Black’s alien shooting game. As the producers were gearing up for the film launch, they released a game that encouraged users to shoot aliens within their surroundings. They were able to build interest in the film and also encourage users to swipe up to find out more, and book a ticket.

Engaging Experiences

OnePlus created an Instagram filter using AR which gave consumers the experience of unboxing their OnePlus8 smartphone. This ingenious activity helped give customers a better idea of what was inside the box, including a close-up of the mobile phone, charger and accessories, whilst creating that exciting feeling of unboxing a new purchase. (The filter is still live on Instagram so you can also experience unboxing the OnePlus8 in the comfort of your own home!)

This experience caught the attention of brand fans and techies alike, and put OnePlus in a new light, helping it sell its new flagship phone.

Augmented Reality and 3D modelling are supposedly ‘futuristic technologies’. However we can see that use of them is already widespread amongst a number of big brands across the world, and their move into the mainstream is happening, as it were, right before our eyes.

Augmented Reality is very much a technology in the present, and one that is a universal selling tool – no matter your sector or size. 

If you would like to learn more about FlixAR and how we can help your brand come to life, drop us an email at

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