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Shopify’s iOS 12 update adds AR shopping support for 600,000 stores

Shopify’s iOS 12 update adds AR shopping support for 600,000 stores


Augmented reality without leaving your browser

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E-commerce platform Shopify now offers support for AR Quick Look, an iOS 12 feature that builds augmented reality support directly into the Safari browser.

TechCrunch notes that the move means that the roughly 600,000 online stores that run on Shopify’s platform can now build in the ability for customers to view products in augmented reality without having to download any additional apps.

A trailer released by Shopify shows off this functionality to view PureCycles’ bicycles before purchase to get an idea of the size and shape of the product before it arrives.

The usefulness of the functionality is likely to vary between different retailers. PureCycles reports that 50 to 60 percent of visitors to its site are on mobile, while 70 percent of those mobile visitors come via Safari. Other shops with a higher proportion of desktop or Chrome visitors may not see the same benefit since these browsers don’t currently support AR Quick Look. Meanwhile, Google has been working to add AR shopping support via Instant Apps, which is powered by Tapcart, a service that turns Shopify stores into mobile shopping apps.

Shopify owns a large platform, and its support is a big step forward for Apple’s AR efforts. The big question now is whether the process of making 3D models is simple enough for shop owners to integrate the functionality.