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Herschel Fetes Back-to-School Season With Augmented Reality in E-Commerce

The e-commerce evolution seems to be about making online shopping into more of an experience than simply a transaction, and brands are finding that 3-D and augmented reality can be useful solutions to accomplish this goal.

Herschel Supply is a Vancouver-based lifestyle brand perhaps best known for the stylishly utilitarian knapsacks adorning hipsters eagerly participating in the resurgence of the backpack. It’s among the latest brands to enhance the experience of shopping for bags, travel accessories and clothing online by enhancing product imagery with 3-D and AR.

Working with tech startup Vertebrae, Herschel now lets consumers better visualize products in three dimensions and see every angle, leveraging AR so shoppers can see how items look in their surroundings. E-commerce product pages provide a wealth of information, from materials to size or dimensional data, but there’s nothing quite like being able to virtually bring a product into your own home. It’s an immersive tool that can convert a cagey consumer from a browser into a buyer.

Like other players in the emerging space, Vertebrae touts its ability to bring AR and 3-D imaging into web-based e-commerce without confining these features to apps, which consumers aren’t downloading or using with the same gusto as they were a decade ago.

Vertebrae CEO Vince Cacace said AR-enabled 3-D imagery is the best way to showcase the “effortlessly cool nature” of Herschel’s products, which are “thoughtfully designed with details that demonstrate a commitment to functionality and style.”

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Allowing shoppers to consider products in something akin to a real-life context removes much of the guesswork from their purchasing process, Cacae added. “We are thrilled Herschel selected us as their exclusive technology partner to enable 3D and AR shopping just in time for their critical back-to-school season.”

To get started, people browsing Herschel click on the “view in AR” button on each product page to launch the immersive viewing experience. Interactive tools let consumers drag, rotate and zoom in on 3-D images, providing detailed views from virtually every angle and “giving them an accurate understanding of product dimensions and a true sense of what owning the accessory would feel like,” Vertebrae said in a statement.

Herschel takes pride in maintaining “a fine regard for detail combined with modern functionality,” said Herschel Supply SVP of direct to consumer Justin Bones. “With Vertebrae, we’re able to showcase our products through the highest quality AR and 3-D assets that we’re proudly featuring front and center on product pages.”