With the advent of Augmented Reality (AR), the e-commerce sector has widened its horizons and enhanced customer experience. AR has helped empowered the e-commerce applications to create a real-life experience for the users which has resulted in creating an opportunity for the brands and businesses alike to drive a lot of sales. According to Statista, the market for AR technology is growing, with projections for 2023 valuing it at over $18 billion US dollars. It also predicts that consumer spending on standalone and embedded augmented reality mobile applications worldwide will reach $15.49 million by 2022.
With a steep rise of AR, it is quickly finding application in most, if not all, product-driven industries. This includes the world of e-commerce. However, many e-commerce owners are still hesitant of adopting Augment reality, mainly because many still don't know what AR exactly is and how it can help them to boost their sales and change their online selling game.In this article, we will discuss in detail what augmented reality is and how can e-commerce business leverage it to expand their business, boost customer experience and increases sales.
What is Augment reality?
AR is the technology that expands our physical world by adding layers of digital information on top of it. Viewed via a screen, it offers a view of the physical real-life environment with superimposed computer-generated images, therefore changing the perception of what you see in front of you.The superimposed sensory information can be constructive or destructive, but the intent is to seamlessly combine the digital and physical worlds.
What is the role of AR in e-commerce? Why is it important for e-commerce development?
New technologies are adopted by brands and businesses to feed customer expectation. Customers expect their favourite brands to use the latest technologies to make every interaction comfortable and pleasant. AR is the perfect and interesting tool to create new interaction dimensions for the customers. It brings a unique added value, namely better item presentation against the background of the customer’s individual environment. Thanks to AR, the customer gets to know a product better before making a purchase. Later, they may be less willing to return it. The US department store Macy’s is a good example of this; customers who tried home furnishings virtually using AR or VR prior to purchase showed a threefold decrease in product returns.
E-commerce companies are always on their toes to create a smooth and convenient channel for their customers so as to provide them with a platform where they can hassle-free choose a product from the plethora of option. Initiating an augmented reality experience is very simple and can be done directly from the product page. this provides the brands with an upper hand to present their products with 3D representation to their customers. In addition, customers tend to remember products experienced with AR. This is thanks to its interactivity, which positively affects the brand image and customer loyalty. Customer satisfaction and commitment are also enhanced by the context given by the user’s environment, which makes the experience much more personalized.
Think about it: What’s more engaging? Scrolling down a product description of a dress or virtually trying it on with different accessories?
While AR has bridged a common trust gap, it has boosted many other aspects of the eCommerce industry like:
- Offering memorable customer experience
- Breaking down language barriers
- Keeping customers focused
- Giving personalized experience
How big is this trend expected to be? Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality revenue are projected at 120 billion by 2020, which will be a real eCommerce opportunity.
Recommendation for the companies that are considering using AR in e-commerce?
The brands that are already active in e-commerce should consider expanding their current customer path with experiences related to AR. The basic condition is to create digital content, i.e. 3D models or 3D animations that can be displayed in AR. It should have a relatively short download time on mobile devices, too. For many applications, appropriate extensions to a PWA-type website can provide such content. Interestingly, these extensions offer attractive results even when the page is not opened on devices supporting AR; for example, laptop users can use them to “view” an object from all sides.
E-commerce companies should first think about their target customers. The implementation of AR may be more important for brands that target customers who are more likely to have AR-supporting devices.
Future of Augment reality
It estimates that in 2020 as many as 100 million customers will shop using AR. Therefore it will increase the number of simple yet effective AR implementations on websites. with “AR-first” e-commerce implementations, AR will no longer be an add-on but a basic stage in the customer journey.
Augmented Reality implementation can be the most powerful thing in deciding the future of e-commerce. Leverage it before you get too late in heading the race. In the age of social distancing, AR is a powerful tool for merchants. It makes it possible for consumers to engage with products almost as they would in physical stores, and that higher engagement translates to higher sales. However, the pathway to AR victory can be perplexing if you don’t know what you’re doing.
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