CFN Media Group, the leading agency and financial media network dedicated to the North American cannabis industry, announces publication of an article discussing ecommerce and how NexTech AR Solutions Inc. aims to be on the precipice of these trends as a leading provider of AR solutions to independent merchants. With the recent launch of three plugins, the company is rapidly transitioning from a beta stage to a commercial stage—an event that investors may want to watch, especially given CEO Evan Gappelberg’s recent purchase of 500,000 common shares totaling about $250,000.
“I have always been a big believer in management being aligned with shareholders and this follow on investment does just that,” said Mr. Gappelberg.
The ecommerce industry has experienced rapid growth since the early 2000s, both from giants like Amazon.com Inc. and independent merchants on platforms like Shopify Inc. While payments and logistics have been the most prominent features of ecommerce’s rise, next generation technologies, like Augmented Reality, could become the most important features moving forward.
Augmented Reality in Ecommerce
Ecommerce spending is projected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021, according to Statista, as consumers shift from brick-and-mortar to online stores. While online shopping is certainly more convenient, there are still many instances where consumers prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar stores. For example, it’s easier to visualize what furniture would look like in a room or try on clothing to see exactly how it fits before making a purchase.
Augmented reality, or AR, is helping to address these concerns. For instance, IKEA’s app lets users see how furniture looks in their own house by overlaying a digital twin of the object in a given room. Many clothing retailers are also experimenting with AR as a way to enable users to see how clothes look on them or determine the right sizes without having to physically try on clothing at a brick-and-mortar store.
Early evidence suggests that AR can tangibly improve revenue for ecommerce merchants. For instance, Houzz reported that it gets 11X its sales conversion rate when users use the mobile AR app versus its standard mobile app. In other words, consumers are 11X more likely to purchase a couch, or other high-end piece of furniture, if they can see how the product will look within their house before making a purchase.
In addition to increasing revenue via a wider reach, AR solutions could help retailers reduce their costs and improve profitability. Online customers can make more informed decisions and accurate purchases, which can reduce costly returns and make inventory planning more efficient. These trends could help online merchants boost their profit margins or pass on savings to consumers to better compete against brick-and-mortar shops.
Targeting the Biggest Platforms
NexTech AR launched a beta version of its web-enabled augmented reality ecommerce solution earlier this month. The plug-and-play solution enables ecommerce merchants to provide their customers with an opportunity to interact with digital twins of their favorite products in the comfort of their own home. The solution is a real breakthrough and puts the company in a class of its own as it requires no app download but works over the web on every website and browser with no special programming or development required.
In addition to visualizing objects in 3D, the company is developing an AI-powered guide that can learn a shopper’s style, size, and preferences to curate products for them, as well as an AR hologram that can act as a personal shopping assistant. These technologies could help ecommerce merchants set themselves apart in an industry that’s becoming increasingly crowded and competitive over time.
The company also recently announced the launch of plugins for Shopify, WordPress, and Magento—three of the largest ecommerce platforms in the world that comprise about 90 percent of the market. The integrations enable for single-click buying from the AR experience itself, providing a valuable way for ecommerce merchants to easily incorporate AR features that can immediately impact revenue and profitability.
“With this full integration of our web enabled AR, NexTech has created an elegant, seamless and game changing AR shopping solution setting the stage for the rapid adoption of AR into the eCommerce landscape,” says Evan Gappelberg CEO of NexTech. “Integration with Shopify, WordPress and Magento was a big step forward, moving us rapidly out of beta and closer to the global launch of our web enabled AR eCommerce platform.”
NexTech AR Solutions Inc. represents a compelling opportunity in the fast growing augmented reality space. With the launch of three plugins, the company is effectively reaching about 90 percent of the addressable ecommerce market with a plug-and-play solution to enable AR features. The company’s team of experienced entrepreneurs and developers are committed to leveraging AR in ecommerce, education and training, and live streaming businesses—including the nascent cannabis industry.
With NexTech’s first mover advantage investors may want to keep an eye on the stock as it rolls out these solutions with its partners and opens the door to new revenue potential over the coming quarters. CEO Evan Gappelberg’s recent share purchase provides further validation at this critical juncture as the company expands into ecommerce.