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3 ways to create budget friendly AR for your small business


Whether you are an e-commerce store selling products where the aesthetic and dimensions of the item are important, or a brand looking to launch an exciting campaign to better engage with your users, the idea of offering augmented reality to create winning customer experiences is something worth discussing. If you’re not adapting, or better yet, anticipating this change in digital marketing, you may soon find some of your competitors hitting their stride with immersive media.

So how do we get started if the term “Augmented Reality” or “Immersive Shopping” alone send shivers down a marketer’s spine, especially if they are the ones managing the quarterly digital budget. With all the the existing complexities of creating content, adding AR can seem expensive and time consuming, but is this true? Or are we ignoring a completely new segment of technologies designed to make your transition from 2D to 3D AR seamless and exciting?

With early AR, brands had to develop and maintain their own applications to deliver an immersive customer experience. However, convincing a prospect to download an application or to do anything requiring multiple steps during their buying process can be costly, and difficult to accomplish. Enter AR 2.0 with the ability to offer a browser-based experiences. A customer can now visit your webpage, click on your item which has an embedded Iframe, and launch an AR experience directly on their mobile browser. No friction, maximum engagement, and a much more cost-effective entry point then developing an AR application. You can check out an example from your iOS device here.

So, where and how do we get started? And how much does it cost? Below are the 3 best options for creating such content.

Digital Agency

With any form of content, there is always the agency route. As such, there are "3D AR/VR" agencies which require signing an agreement with a firm specializing in AR and Digital content creation to virtualize your entire catalogue. A benefit of this is you don’t have to hire the expertise in house, and you have a skilled partner to help you with this project. While the benefits are clear, it is important to understand this is the most expensive and time-consuming option, as you need to agree to a contract, allocate a member of your team to manage the engagement, and be willing to virtualize your entire catalogue. What about changes, variations, and new additions to the product listing? When negotiating an agreement, all these considerations need to be made. A typical budget for this type of engagement is roughly 15-20k depending on the scope of the project.

Freelancer Marketplace

What if you’re a small business with limited time, budget, and resources? And what if you just want to get your feet wet with AR and experiment to see which experiences hold the highest conversion rates and overall ROI? You could find designers and modellers specializing in PBR, Texturizing, Animation, and AR conversion at an affordable cost under $500 an item. This option does provides you with the flexibility of working at our own pace and testing specific products to see what works best. However, you could still carry a relatively high modelling cost, not to mention sourcing reliable designers which can be can get complicated. A YouTuber by the name of Jazza, recently did an experiment spending $2,300 in total for several animation projects on the site Fiverr and you can check out his experience below.

Collaborative AR Creation App

A third option is to use a dedicated collaborative mobile application optimized to create such experiences. This hybrid approach offers a low price point without any agency type contracts or commitments and can take very little time on your part outside of conversationally sharing your input directly on the application. The best part is you don’t have to turn this into a full blown project, and can create and enhance experiences casually over time. One such app is Vew, which specifically encourages you to start small, evaluate the results and as your needs grow, create more content!

If this sounds interesting to you, download the application here to create an experience, ready to be shared on your website in 2-5 days.

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