A critically important figure in countless stories from Greek and Roman mythology, the god Apollo has been depicted as the heavenly representative of music, honesty, fortune-telling, medicine, the sun, poetry, and more. It’s hard not to think that it must be nice to be looked upon with so much faith that it’s assumed you can be an authority on all of these complex and diverse areas; all just a day in the life for the God of This, That and the Other (and Ooh, Also That), Apollo.
It’s with all of this in mind that I praise the name chosen by ecommerce platform Apollo Box, even though its inspiration, in fact, taken from Project Apollo, the American space mission responsible for the first steps taken by humankind on the Moon in 1969. This, admittedly, is also appropriate, since through implementing augmented reality into the world of online shopping for every kind of fun, creative product imaginable, Apollo Box is taking one small step for its users, one giant leap for customer service as we know it.
Partnering with small businesses and vendors on a worldwide scale, Apollo Box runs on a self-proclaimed mission to “celebrate the act of discovery” by tapping into unseen treasures and untold stories, making new and exciting products available for purchase on their website. An Apollo Box membership opens up access to what is, in essence, a personal shopper. The platform quickly determines what its users like and dislike, completely free of charge, and saves them time and effort by showing them only products they’re guaranteed to go gaga for. Already-curated onsite lists include apparel, toys, home decoration, and tech, as well as carefully-selected catalogues of gift ideas for even the pickiest of loved ones. With free shipping and simple, no fuss returns, even without bringing AR into the mix, it’s little wonder why Apollo Box’s popularity has skyrocketed in the two years since its launch, raking in over one million devotees.
But what about that AR? To put the excitement back into online shopping, the team behind Apollo Box gifted all of us retail therapy addicts with their incredible augmented reality shopping platform, through which technology Apollo Box customers can interact and play with a detailed 3D virtual model of any product up for purchase, testing out how it looks and feels in their chosen environment before committing to buying it. This creates a foolproof system to prevent wasted hopes, money, and time when a product doesn’t live up to a customer’s expectations once delivered, and minimizes the likelihood of return process pains.
Developed by the small but brilliant Apollo Box technical team (which includes both alumni of MIT and – wait for it – Dreamworks animation studio) the AR feature is targeted at both iOS and Android, meaning an in-depth interaction with prospective purchases is a mere swipe away for many of us already. And for businesses interested in peddling their precious wares with Apollo Box, the AR is no doubt the icing on the cake: according to statistics, augmented reality users are 25 percent more likely to make a purchase if they can view a product in their real environment, as well as 20 percent more likely to return and make another purchase due to higher rates of customer satisfaction.
With the Apollo Box AR system, what you see really is what you get. With that kind of honesty at work, it’s safe to say that at least one iteration of the identically-named deity would be proud – and with the sheer array of unique products available for viewing and purchasing, it’s safe to say that every other Apollo would be catered for, too.