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Augmented Reality for Ecommerce

Use Cases, Success Stories, Challenges, and Costs

ScienceSoft has been providing augmented reality development services since 2006.

Augmented Reality for Ecommerce - ScienceSoft
Augmented Reality for Ecommerce - ScienceSoft

The Essence of AR in Ecommerce

The use of augmented reality in retail is aimed at creating more engaging shopping experiences. AR retail solutions help drive sales, boost client loyalty and brand awareness, minimize returns and staffing expenses, as well as increase the revenue of both offline and online shopping.

The Market of Augmented Reality for Ecommerce

The global market of virtual and augmented reality for retail was estimated at $3.8 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $17.86 billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 24.8%. The growth of the AR retail market is linked to the increasing availability of AR-compatible devices and COVID pandemic restrictions that affected brick-and-mortar retail businesses.

ScienceSoft’s 4 Key AR Ecommerce Use Cases

3D model catalogs

All products take the shape of realistic 1:1 3D models that users can visually explore via an AR-supporting devices.

AR benefits: Increased purchase confidence by ensuring that customers’ expectations match product descriptions.


Retention driven by gamification (e.g., a hunt for virtual coupons) that encourages clients to actively earn discounts and bonuses.

AR benefits: Increases customer engagement and ensures high LTV through effective retention.


Product try-on/try-out

A stand-alone feature or an extension of AR catalogs; allows users to virtually place products either in custom interior settings (applicable for household appliances, furniture, décor items, etc.) or on themselves (applicable for jewelry, clothes, cosmetics, etc.).

AR benefits: Facilitates product choice, drives conversions, and decreases shopping fatigue by offering quick and easy custom try-on.


Visual navigation tips (arrows, a step/distance counter, store specialty icons, etc.) superimposed on the camera view to guide visitors of large shopping centers to various isles, partner stores, or stores with sales. Can be combined with in-app advertising to help visitors learn about other stores.

AR benefits: Improves customer engagement and boosts brand awareness.

Architecture of Augmented Reality Solution for Ecommerce

The key elements of the AR shopping solutions designed by ScienceSoft are the client application and the back end. All major features (see below) run on the client side, yet the algorithms powering these features as well as all heavy data are stored on the back end and loaded into the client app on demand. By dividing the functionality this way, we make sure that the client AR app remains lightweight and fast-functioning.

Architecture of Augmented Reality Solution for Ecommerce - ScienceSoft

Key Features of Augmented Reality Ecommerce Apps

Data load

Loading relevant 3D models, audio commentaries, product videos, and other digital assets from the server into the client app.

Image recognition

Recognizing specific QR codes and or pictograms (e.g., in AR catalogs) to trigger AR data load.

Object/scene recognition

Recognizing any fitting setting that virtual items can be superimposed on (e.g., a human body/face, surfaces).

3D model adjustments

Pre-defined visual tweaks to the 3D models of products (e.g., change of model size, color, material, etc.).

Motion tracking

Automatically adjusting AR content (its scale, angle of rotation, location, etc.) depending on a customer’s or device movements.

Our Featured Success Stories of AR Ecommerce

ScienceSoft took part in the continuous development of an AR store that is similar to IKEA Place. During 1.5 years of cooperation, our designers delivered over 1,000 highly realistic 3D models of different types of furniture and décor elements. Thanks to the AR catalog giving the end customers a vivid idea of the products, our client managed to reduce their returns rate and increased conversions in just a couple of months after the AR store launch.

ScienceSoft used augmented reality to build an AR shopping center navigation app for a chain of large Australian malls. The app shows guests around the mall with the help of an AR map, which dynamically displays all the stores and their virtual advertising messages on the screen. The app can also serve as a direct navigator, guiding visitors to specific stores on demand and displaying a distance counter.

AR Ecommerce: Consulting and Development by ScienceSoft

With 17 years in augmented reality development, ScienceSoft is ready to provide expert consulting and development services for your AR ecommerce project.

AR ecommerce consulting

  • AR ecommerce app feasibility study and conceptualization.
  • Assistance with the choice of target devices.
  • Solution architecture design.
  • AR ecommerce technology stack definition.
  • UX research and design.
  • Planning an integration strategy with other software (CMS, ERP, PIM, etc.).
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AR ecommerce development

  • AR ecommerce app conceptualization.
  • Device-specific UX and UI design.
  • AR ecommerce app development and QA.
  • Design of 3D models.
  • Integration with the ecommerce ecosystem.
  • Continuous support and evolution.
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Technologies ScienceSoft Uses to Build AR Ecommerce Apps

Challenges of Augmented Reality for Ecommerce: Solved by ScienceSoft

1. For precise try-ons, 3D models have to be realistically superimposed on intended surfaces.


Solution: Thanks to today’s HD mobile device cameras, AR algorithms can efficiently detect object points, analyze the angles of surfaces, and construct depth maps. ScienceSoft’s developers leverage these smart algorithms to let AR apps perceive the image in the camera feed as a complex 3D coordinate plane and position any 3D model on it with realistic occlusion.


2. The navigation AR app should augment the view with all the necessary information yet not make it overwhelming.


Solution: Rigorous, case-by-case approach to UX and UI design can help achieve balanced use of the available space on the screen of an AR-compatible device. ScienceSoft also employs multi-step user testing to ensure intuitive navigation in such AR ecommerce apps.


Costs of Implementing an AR Application for Online Shopping

The cost of an AR ecommerce app starts at $25,000–$40,000 and climbs up for more complicated ideas and a larger number of 3D models. To provide a cost estimation and calculate the ROI of an AR ecommerce software development project, ScienceSoft’s business consultants rely on the following cost factors:

General cost factors:

  • The type and complexity of an AR ecommerce use case (with ‘Product try-on/try-outs being the most complex and ‘Navigation’ – the least complex to implement).
  • The scale of the solution (the size of your store, product catalog, shopping center, etc.)
  • The type of targeted devices (a tablet/a smartphone, AR glasses, AR mirrors).

Additional costs:

  • 3D model development (the costs depend on the necessary level of model detail and type of base material).
  • Integration with the ecommerce ecosystem.

Operational costs:

  • Cloud services.

Need the Estimates for AR Ecommerce App Development?

ScienceSoft’s business analysts are eager to put their 20-year ecommerce experience to work and help you calculate the costs of your AR ecommerce app.

About ScienceSoft

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company established in 1989 and headquartered in McKinney, TX. We develop AR ecommerce software that can power large online stores and marketplaces as well as support smaller ecommerce businesses. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, we guarantee professional approach to quality and data security management in all our AR projects.