Diving into the world of AR (Augmented Reality) with Allen Wixted gives us a glimpse into the future of online shopping. Through Plop, he has created a b2b business model that enables brands and businesses to showcase their product at the touch of a button in the homes of the consumer, taking the worry away from making big purchases, by allowing them to test the size, fit and colour against their own environment.
Allen explains that AR is the ability to view a 2d image in your world a bit like Snapchat filters or Pokemon not to be confused with VR which is fully immersive and takes you into a different environment altogether.
As coding increasingly encroached in Allen's university curriculum, he started to become more interested and after winning a Hackathon briefed by Ireland's electricity supplier, the penny dropped that coding and business were a no brainer.
Realising he could do his own thing after the Hackathon, Allen began to pursue his interest in AR, looking at where the technology could make a difference. He spotted an opportunity in furniture and interiors in helping to alleviate the anxiety around making a big purchase, by enabling consumers to see what their chosen items could look like in their space, before deciding to buy. Something that has come into its own during lockdown with bricks and mortar stores unable to open.
Allen has added another dimension by being the first to bring AR to Facebook and Instagram, as well as customer's own websites, such as Swyft Home, where they have experienced at least a three to four-fold increase in sales, as well as a 25% conversion on abandon carts by offering AR.
Allen has a broad wish list of niche and established businesses he'd love to show Plop's technology to including Made.com and Dfs. Meanwhile, he is focused on helping as many retailers as possible to achieve sales during lockdown.