Online travel bags and accessories retailer eBags has had its finger on the pulse of technology for the last 22 years, a trait that has proven especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1998 the company has grown from a scrappy startup into a top online retailer, which was acquired by Samsonite International in 2017.
Seahorn says eBags ended up attracting a new audience during COVID that either couldn’t go into a store or didn’t feel comfortable going into a store, but also wasn’t at ease buying backpacks and luggage online.
“If we could bridge that gap in order for them to do so, they would be more comfortable,” he notes. “Being in the travel space during COVID, we did see decreases, but we didn't see them as much on these core products that had this [technology] as we did throughout other categories on our site.”
In fact, eBags found that conversion rates have increased 112% on mobile devices and 81% on desktop browsers for shoppers interacting with 3D and AR assets, compared with those who do not. In addition, the revenue per visit (RPV) increases by 87% for those shoppers engaging with 3D and AR.
“And a lot of it, I think, is that we tried to attract new customers and tell new stories, and we were able to bridge that gap around not being able to go into a store but still have the ability to really interact with the product and see it in a real environment,” he continues.
Not only has eBags’ rollout of 3D and AR with Vertebrae boosted sales; it’s also proven consumers’ willingness to try immersive shopping. Thanks to the seamless integration and easy-to-use design, eBags’ highest engaged shoppers are 35% more likely to convert when supplementing traditional photography with 3D and AR.
“You never know what's going to happen, so it’s important to have your finger on the pulse of what technologies might be resonating with customers,” Seahorn advises retailers.
“AR and VR are going to be technologies that a lot of these ad platforms [Google and Facebook for example] are going to embrace. And I think the people that are ahead of it now are going to have an early adopter advantage.”