You might have heard of Shopify – a leading provider of essential internet infrastructure for commerce, offering trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size. With the current version of Shopify’s online platform, since December 2021, merchants now have an easy-to-use and fully automated way of getting large 3D assets ready for online presentation and AR, thanks to Shopify’s native RapidCompact integration.
Most notably, setting up a Shopify storefront is a simple, intuitive and fast process, which allows merchants to focus on their business – without needing to worry about how to create an online store from scratch, Shopify simply does it for them within just a few clicks. Users can also upload media, such as images or videos, with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, allowing them to provide shoppers with beautiful visuals of the products on sale.
In the same spirit, in late 2021, Shopify started to partner with DGG, creators of RapidCompact, in order to facilitate the creation of 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) experiences for merchants, which have been proven to help driving engagement.
Until recently, merchants would have to partner with specialized 3D studios to not only create their 3D models, but also to get them ready for online presentation. This has been a tedious process, where artists would often lose half a day, just to optimize a particular 3D model of a product for efficient online presentation and AR.
Therefore, simplifying the creation of real-time-ready 3D assets for the Web and for XR has been a key factor to drive the adoption of a “3D workflow for all” – with the ultimate aim to make working with 3D assets a process that is as straightforward and smooth for Shopify users as it already is for images or videos.
RapidCompact by DGG is the leading 3D data optimization API, enabling artists to focus on the essential work of creating assets. By completely automating the optimization of 3D models for different kind of target platforms, including mobile and desktop, Web-based and XR experiences, the RapidCompact API can help artists, and therefore merchants, to achieve significant savings in time and costs, ultimately making the 3D content creation process much more efficient and hence scalable.
Merchants can simply upload and use 3D models with nothing but their browser, including pretty large ones of up to 500 MB size, by dragging them onto a media card in the interactive Shopify backend. For assets that are larger, RapidCompact will then run in the background in order to reduce those for efficient presentation on the Web and in AR.
In addition to the substantial time and cost savings through automated optimization, the creation of the source 3D models themselves can potentially be drastically simplified through a recent advance in technology, namely high-quality photogrammetry on mobile phones. Apple’s ObjectCapture technology has proven to be very promising in this regard: merchants can simply use their phones to capture a high-resolution version of a product. Currently, this works especially well for products with non-reflective surfaces and not too many obstructed parts. Once a high-quality base asset has been created through ObjectCapture, it can be uploaded to Shopify and automatically optimized with the help of RapidCompact. In order to obtain a high-quality version for the Web and AR that is, however, low in data volume. Therefore it is well-suited for fast transmission, as well as fast to render on different end user devices.
With the advent of Shopify’s new features for supporting 3D content and the native integration of RapidCompact, a new era has begun for shoppers and merchants alike. Shoppers get a better impression of the products and their spatial dimensions, with the help of interactive 3D and AR viewing. Merchants benefit from reduced return rates and higher conversion rates, thanks to the increased engagement with the products. In order to make this possible, DGG and Shopify have partnered up to make 3D content workflows for merchants as smooth and intuitive as possible. Naturally, there are still things on the roadmap, which will help to drive the adoption of this feature even more.
“We are excited about this development, and much looking forward to experiencing the 3D future of online shopping, together with Shopify! They have been an amazing partner with an incredible team and deep know-how in this space. It has been an honor and pleasure to work with them.“, said Max Limper, CEO at DGG.