• AR
  • Augmented Reality
  • Retail

3D Galleries for Jewelry Retail: Leveraging Online Shopping Potential

Vahan Zakaryan
2 Aug 2021
4 min
3D Galleries for Jewelry Retail: Leveraging Online Shopping Potential

The year 2020 was a game changer for many industries, and jewelry retail was no exception. As more and more retailers closed their stores and shifted to e-commerce, consumers adapted to online shopping experiences. 

Although a year into the COVID-19 pandemic people’s worries about coronavirus have faded, their pandemic shopping behaviors persisted. A recent study by the First Insight cloud-based predictive analytics platform has revealed that around 50% of US shoppers still feel unsafe trying on clothes in dressing rooms and 69% of shoppers feel unsafe trying beauty cosmetics in-store. 

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    High-end retail products like jewelry require a unique approach to create a safe and immersive experience that meets the needs of demanding customers. To solve this, businesses turned to augmented reality (AR), which elevated the shopping experience by allowing shoppers to visualize products in 3D.

    Role of AR in Jewelry Retail

    AR is no longer something associated only with Pokemon Go and other online games. World-renowned brands, including Porsche, Sephora, Gucci, Foot Locker, Toyota and many more already leverage the power of AR to offer their customers experiences like virtual fitting rooms and try-on apps.

    According to Statista, there will be an estimated 2.4bn mobile AR users around the globe by 2023. By 2027, the global market for retail uses of AR is expected to reach $12.2bn dollars, representing a healthy growth rate of 46.6%. 

    3D Galleries for Jewelry Retail: Leveraging Online Shopping Potential - photo 1

    According to McKinsey’s data, online retail fine jewelry sales are expected to approach 21% of global jewelry sales by 2025, thanks in part to advances in try-on solutions and customized 3D galleries, two technologies that continue to grow. The former is well-known and has been eagerly adopted by jewelry brands. 

    For instance, Tiffany & Co offers brides-to-be the ability to select an engagement ring from online pictures and try it on via AR. The US jewelry retailer James Allen also offers a try-on feature. Customers can use their smartphone to upload a picture of their hand and select a ring from a 2D gallery. The app, developed by the independent jewelry marketplace Diamond Hedge, then allows users to pick a diamond, add it to the ring, and try it on virtually.

    Despite looking promising, all these solutions share similar problems — the rendering of jewelry pieces and gemstones is far from perfect and doesn’t allow customers to see what the piece will look like in real life. In addition, virtual rings rarely fit perfectly,  and it often takes too long for retailers to adjust rings to the clients’ fingers’ actual size.

    For this reason, jewelry retailers need meticulously designed 3D galleries showcasing their pieces to give their clients as close to a real-life shopping experience as possible on their smartphones or laptops.

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      Benefits of 3D Galleries 

      So what’s so special about these 3D galleries and why should retailers care?

      The technology enables customers to point their smartphones at a picture of the desired jewelry piece and get a rendering in 3D on their phone. Customers can rotate rings and other pieces and see how the light plays on the gemstones and the metal.

      3D Galleries for Jewelry Retail: Leveraging Online Shopping Potential - photo 2

      Here are some of the benefits that integrating 3D galleries into e-commerce offer jewelry brands:

      • Top-notch rendering of gemstones and rings offer as close to a real-life experience as possible, thanks to well-crafted complex ray-tracing algorithms. The algorithms can render any kind of material, including translucent materials like diamonds, rubies and sapphires, satisfying even the most demanding customers.
      • Ring size can be adjusted from photos so that they fit customers’ fingers perfectly, thanks to properly trained algorithms. 
      • User engagement measures are enhanced with the help of 3D galleries. Jewelry retailers can get more insight into customer behavior patterns. For instance, they can track which products customers interact with; which aspects of rings, earrings and necklaces customers focus on; and which pieces are more or less popular. These data are much more challenging to collect in showrooms.
      • Customer satisfaction increases and customers return more often, thanks to a more engaging and immersive experience than the typical, mundane online shopping. 
      • Online and in-store sales grow, driven by an enhanced customer experience that creates favorable perception of the brand and optimizes sales.
      • Outreach capacity to potential customers is expanded with AR galleries and AR jewelry apps.

      These benefits convincingly show that it’s time to explore adopting 3D technology.

      Conclusion

      The AR trend in jewelry retail will continue to grow in the coming years. Businesses must embrace the change if they want to retain market share. Although the technology hasn’t taken over the market yet, it’s at the forefront of e-commerce and the potential gains from offering 3D galleries are huge. As pioneers of this trend, Postindustria’s tech experts can develop a 3D gallery tailored to your needs and give your business a competitive edge.

      To get to know more about AR, download our eBook or email us at hello@postindustria.com.

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