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September 28, 2023

| 5 mins read

Integrating Web AR into eCommerce

Integrating Web AR into eCommerce

Imagine this: an immersive world where customers interact with digital objects while shopping online as they would in real life. Plus, they can unlock these virtual experiences directly via a web browser without the friction of downloading memory-heavy apps – all these in a single click.

Welcome to web augmented reality (AR) in eCommerce.

While AR has been making headways for almost a decade, advancements in web-based AR have made the technology even more beneficial, accessible, and in demand across several industries.

Augmented reality in eCommerce lets shoppers interact with virtual elements without the annoying intermediate steps involved in app downloads. Plus, activating web-based AR experiences is as simple as clicking a URL or scanning a QR code.

All of this means better customer engagement, less cart abandonment, and the ability to shine in the minefield of hungry competitors.

Suggested Read:Top AR Commerce Trends in 2024

Benefits of Integrating Web AR in eCommerce

A report reveals there will be around 1.7 billion mobile AR user devices in 2024, up from 1.5 billion in 2023. Let’s see the benefits driving the adoption of AR in e-commerce.

Universal Accessibility

Augmented reality on web works with the browsers that customers already have and use. You can run web-based AR experiences on Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox. This makes it much more accessible than downloaded apps.

Unlike its app-based counterpart, web-based AR plays nicely with multiple devices, including smartphones, PCs, and tablets, with operating systems (OS) platforms like iOS and Android.

This cross-platform compatibility helps you reach a broader customer base and improve user engagement, as shoppers can access virtual experiences no matter the device.

Easy to Build and Launch

Developing web-based AR takes less time than the app-based version. Augmented reality on web uses current web development languages, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Hence, your developers can utilise their existing expertise instead of potentially learning new skills.

Case in point, you can use AJAX to update your eCommerce webpage in real-time and social media APIs to log customers in and enable sharing.

Besides, web-based AR eliminates the need for application store submission and approval. Unlike apps, which demand frequent updates, you can launch and update AR experiences directly on a website or URL, reducing the deployment process.

Hassle-free Shopping Experience

People do not want to download software, especially for one-off apps that will choke their web-browsing devices. Web-based AR is super easy to access. Instead of downloading a mobile app, shoppers need to click on the URL, allow camera access, and enjoy immersive experiences in no time.

Customers no longer have to wait for a large download file before enjoying their AR experience. Instead, they can tap on the link and kick-start their virtual shopping journey.

Understand Usage Analytics Better

Augmented reality on web extracts data from Google Analytics, including the number of visits, unique visitors, and users who allow camera access. These insights help draw an in-depth picture of your shoppers.

Since web-based AR experiences require a device camera, the metric that tracks the number of visitors allowing camera access accurately reveals the solution’s acceptance rate to play.

Types of Web-based AR for eCommerce

Here are the primary types of web AR in eCommerce, each serving specific use cases.


This web-based AR banks on a visual marker, such as product packaging, QR code, or object with recognisable features, to activate the AR shopping experience.

Also called image recognition AR, shoppers scan the marker imprinted on, for instance, a couch, from their mobile cameras to view the digital elements in their own living rooms. The 3D image or virtual content moves along with the unique marker as shoppers rotate or zoom in/out.


Markerless web-based AR does not use a physical marker but recognition algorithms. Also called location-based AR, shoppers open the web page and scan their real environment from their smartphones.

The technology uses GPS, accelerometers, and other sensors in the device to understand the orientation of surfaces and objects in users’ surroundings. It then superimposes the 3D model of, for instance, a coffee table, into shoppers’ study rooms based on the data.


Projection-based web AR relies on fixed projectors and cameras to project 3D imagery or virtual elements onto a flat two-dimensional surface, such as a floor, wall, or table. While the above two web-based AR immersively monitor and predict shoppers’ movements and analyse their current location in real-time, projection-based AR only applies to a specific location.

Its deployment has been strongest in the manufacturing industry. Buyers can choose the component required for their machinery after identifying its make and model through augmented reality on the web.

Suggested Read: How 3D and WebAR Supercharge Shopify Experience

How to Select the Right AR Tools and Technologies?

Define your Objectives

Start by clearly defining your eCommerce objectives.

  • What do you want to achieve with AR?
  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • What are the current eCommerce challenges you face?
  • How will web-based AR add value to your existing processes and tools?

Asking these questions to yourself will help you narrow down your options and consider the features that matter to you the most.

Platform and Device Compatibility

Decide on the platform or platforms where you want to deploy your AR content, for instance, iOS, Android, and web browsers. Ensure that the AR tools you choose support the devices/platforms you and your customers mostly use.


Look for AR tools with a simple and intuitive user interface (UI), that support natural and multimodal interactions, and adjust to various customer contexts and preferences. Also, test the AR tools yourself and get feedback from your in-house developers to ensure that they are easy and engaging to use.

Content Creation and Management

Ensure that the AR tools you pick support the content formats and sources you need for collaboration and communication. Consider how easy it is to create, update, and manage AR content using the tools. Look for features that streamline content creation and editing.

How to Implement Web AR in Your eCommerce Store?

  • Identify relevant use cases: Determine which products or use cases within your eCommerce store are the best fit for web-based AR. Not all products may benefit equally from AR, so focus on those that offer a compelling AR experience, including jewellery, furniture, fashion, or accessories.
  • Pick the right tools: Choose suitable AR development tools, platforms, and technology providers based on your specific requirements. Ensure that your selected tools are compatible with web browsers and mobile devices.
  • Build a plan: Develop a detailed plan for integrating web-based AR into your eCommerce store. This plan should outline the technical requirements, design considerations, and user experience (UX) aspects of the implementation.
  • Create 3D models: Develop or source 3D models, animations, or other AR content that aligns with your selected products or use cases. Ensure that the content is optimized for fast loading and smooth interactions.
  • Integrate into your website: Use AR plugins or software development kits (SDK) designed specifically for eCommerce. Thoroughly test the AR experiences across various devices, web browsers, and operating systems to ensure compatibility and performance. Fix any issues that might come up during testing.
  • Promote your Web AR: Promote your augmented reality in eCommerce through marketing channels. Highlight the AR experiences in your product descriptions, email campaigns, and social media posts to generate interest and drive traffic. Link all resources back to your website’s landing page with your call-to-action (CTA) and advertisements.

How to Measure the Success of Web AR Integration?

Here are key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of web-based AR integration:

  • Load time and performance: Assess your Web AR content's loading time and overall performance. Slow loading times irritate users, so optimising performance is critical for a positive user experience.
  • A/B Testing: Conduct A/B tests to compare the performance of different web AR experiences or variations. This approach helps you identify the most effective AR content and design elements.
  • User feedback: Collect user feedback through surveys, reviews, or direct feedback forms to assess user satisfaction with the Web AR experience. Positive feedback and high satisfaction scores indicate successful integration.
  • Conversion rate: Measure the conversion rate of shoppers who engage with Web AR content and subsequently make a purchase. Compare this conversion rate to that of those who do not engage with AR to check the impact on sales.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): Calculate the ROI of your web AR integration by comparing the costs associated with the development, maintenance, and marketing of AR content to the revenue generated owing to AR-driven sales.

Future Trends in Web AR for eCommerce

So, what does the future hold for augmented reality in eCommerce? Here are some key upcoming trends:

AR Avatars

With the rising popularity of virtual celebrities such as Lil Miquela and Kizuna AI, AR avatars are witnessing increasing usage. These digital avatars can function as virtual shopping assistants. They guide customers through the e-commerce website, answer questions, offer recommendations based on user preferences, and provide a personalized shopping experience.

AI to Complement Further

While both artificial intelligence (AI) and web-based AR have their strengths, combining them can create magical shopping experiences.

When integrated with web-based AR, AI can detect a shopper’s interest in a particular clothing style, for instance. It then suggests virtual items or experiences similar to the shoppers’ tastes, increasing the odds of conversion.

Additionally, AI-generated lighting, textures, and physics simulations help brands create AR models that closely mimic the look and feel of physical items. This level of realism boosts user confidence and reduces the gap between online and in-store shopping experiences.

Blockchain for Checking Product Authenticity

Blockchain can integrate blockchain into augmented reality solutions to build a decentralized ledger of product information, including details about its origin, manufacturing process, and ownership history.

When customers scan a product using web-based AR, they can instantly access this blockchain-based ledger to verify the item’s authenticity. This is particularly valuable for luxury goods and collectibles where counterfeiting is a concern.

Web-based AR: The New Retail Standard

Once a radical-sounding technology popular among social media users and gamers, AR has quickly become critical to online shopping. Web-based AR, the easiest version of AR, has transformed eCommerce by empowering customers to enable easy-to-understand virtual content right through web browsers.

Frictionless, convenient virtual shopping is here.

With its faster development time, user-friendliness, and time and cost efficiency, web AR in eCommerce will remain the preferred choice among retailers and customers.

As devices evolve, the Internet speeds up, and shoppers demand more, the appetite for web AR experiences will likely grow in the coming years.

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