Retailers reeling shoppers in with augmented reality

Posted at 7:39 AM, Dec 29, 2020

The way we shop has changed. It has retailers getting creative, enticing shoppers to purchase outside of physical stores, by offering online "try-on" sessions through 3D and augmented reality.

From eyeglasses to shoes, satchels and even wedding dresses, a seemingly futuristic way of shopping has become commonplace.

“Any type of furniture, fashion, electronic, automotive companies typically want this technology,” said 30-year-old Vince Cacace.

He describes himself as "an analytics nerd" , with "a finance and accounting degree and a computer science minor.” Cacace is the founder and CEO of Vertebrae.

“Vertebrae is a technology company that makes it easy for brands and retailers to have their products available on their website for consumers to both try on, see in their space as if they’re in a physical store," Cacace said.

His company is only 5 years old. But in the last 3 years, it has exploded in growth.

“It's really fun, what we get to do to work with really cool people that sell cool products and help enable these visualization experiences that consumers really like.”

They work with trendy companies like Goodr, which sells products with names like the "Nine Dollar Pour Over" and "I pickled these myself."

“Swedish meatball hangover is a popular one, ice by yeti and the one we just named is Amelia Earhart ghosted me," CEO and founder Stephen Lease said.

Lease says they are obviously committed to fun.

“When we have a launch, we put out a deck of all the colors and the entire company gets to put out their ideas and we sit around the table and we read them and the funniest name is the one we go with.”

The company that wants to make affordable sunglasses for runners jumped in to the virtual space head, or should we say eye, first.

“It's impossible to duplicate trying on digitally there’s no way to do it," Lease said.

With a quick click, users get access to Vertebrae's technology. In seconds, you can see yourself with that "Nine Dollar Pour Over." During a pandemic, shopping from your couch is key.

“Consumers are buying products online for the first time, they’re used to only buying in store and they want to make sure they get them right and they don’t want to go to the post office if they get them wrong,” said Cacace.

More than 50 brands and retailers use Vertebrae's tech, and Cacace says, the wave of the future has only just begun.

“It's just going to continue to evolve where this is going to become an entirely common place experience over the next 2 or 3 years.”