JD.com and ARCore by Google launch augmented reality contest


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: JD.com and ARCore by Google launch augmented reality contest.

JD.com, China’s largest retailer, is hosting the JD-AR & ARCore by Google Innovative Consumer Application Competition in China. 

The competition will invite AR software developers from around the world to compete to create innovative augmented reality (AR) applications for the retail industry. ARCore by Google is the exclusive technology partner for the competition. 

Developers will solve real-life problems put forth by the competition’s partner brands, including Walmart, Mead Johnson, and JD.com’s retail experience shops, among others. The goal is to explore how AR can be used to attract and retain both online and offline customers, and to optimize omnichannel targeted marketing in different retail scenarios.

Top teams are eligible for investments in their projects by VCs, as well as membership in the JD-AR Alliance, which provides unified resources and standards to advance the development of AR technology for the retail sector, official certification from ARCore by Google, exposure to investors and brands, and the opportunity to have their solutions implemented into JD’s primary apps. 

“JD is pleased to partner with ARCore by Google to connect the world’s most talented AR developers with leading retail brands to develop new innovative solutions,” said Tony Tan, head of AR/VR at JD.com. “We look forward to seeing how the solutions resulting from this contest will be rolled out in actual retail scenarios to further enhance the customer experience.” 

“Partnering with JD.com is an exciting opportunity for ARCore to expand our presence in this dynamic market,” said Carrie Shiung, Google AR/VR China Country Lead. “China is increasingly becoming a world leader in advanced fields such as AR, and this competition will allow us to discover new talent in the growing AR industry. This will add to the diverse offerings available on ARCore and help revolutionize the businesses of our partner brands.” 

JD.com has led the way in China by deploying AR in both offline and online retail environments, through services including JD’s AR Shopping and AR Marketing, which leverage ARCore by Google, as well as JD’s AR Fitting Room, AR Styling Station. AR is key to JD’s Boundaryless Retail strategy – enabling consumers to buy whatever they want, wherever and whenever they want it. Through AR, customers are able to better understand how products will look before having purchased them. For example, using JD’s AR Styling Station function, customers can virtually test makeup and other beauty-related items. 70% of people who purchased colored contact lenses on JD during the company’s June 18 anniversary sales period last year used the AR Styling Station function prior to making their purchases. 

JD also works with its partner brands to offer unique AR games and other experiences, which help increase engagement and improve understanding of the brands’ stories, thus helping brands reach more customers. For example, Chinese spirit brand, Jiangxiaobai, partnered with JD to create an AR marketing campaign where consumers scan specially labeled bottles of Jiangxiaobai on the JD app in order access a game where they test their bartending skills and have a chance to win coupons. JD’s AR products have already been utilized in sales and marketing campaigns by more than 200 brands on the JD platform, helping drive customer traffic, with conversion rates increasing 9.6% and product return rates decreasing 7.5% on average.

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