Augmented Reality (AR) is no longer a debated emerging technology. It has gained widespread acceptance as a technology that cohesively brings together elements of the virtual world in mainstream interactions, redefining buying behavior and consumer-seller dynamics. This trend of experiencing a real-world environment immersively enhances the way consumers view, experience, create opinions and make decisions.
AR uses pre-existing, well-defined and standardized environments, and overlays them with virtual information. This ensures that AR interfaces are more perceptive and more humanized.
In other words, users get a chance to experience new and improved interactions with virtual information assisting them in an unobtrusive manner.
The technology is making its presence felt in every way. It comes in easy-to-use, easy-to-adapt forms. Applications of AR technology can be as simple as a prompt notification to a first-time product user, or as complicated as recreating instructions for surgeons handling a sudden life-threatening surgery without proper preparations.
This article does not dig deep into what defines AR but chooses to highlight its current uses in the ECommerce sector and the probable advancements with some credible examples.
Augmented Reality in Ecommerce Ecosystem – How it Benefits Buyers & Sellers?
ECommerce is an incredibly exciting yet very challenging space. With advancements in technology, this industry is witnessing a paradigm shift from simple portals to those that provide more creatively engaging intuitive interfaces. Such portals are experiencing success by blending great product options with better buyer relationships. By inculcating AR, they are slowly gaining the upper hand in the market.
Several retailers are discovering the importance of providing a consumer-personalized shopping experience — services that give buyers the confidence to make purchasing decisions through AR. There are a number of benefits to implementing such technology for digital retail. A few of them are listed below:
- It comes without the burden of employing expensive IT teams. With limited investment and abundance of AR creators, e-commerce managers can feel assured about the ROI.
- It motivates shoppers’ purchasing decisions by offering them more guidance and assistance. For curious and serious buyers, AR can behave like a knowledgeable curator who is aware of their purchasing patterns and buying preferences.
- It provides users a better, more customized in-store shopping experience, from the comfort of their homes. Superimposing 3D objects in the personal or office space, creating brilliant visuals.
- It allows digitally enriched interactions with retailers, resolving buyer queries, driving more additions to the check-out cart.
- The platform enables retailers to provide incredible value to confused shoppers or those who are more likely to be led to product categories with more relevant products, discounts, or even bigger profit margins.
Integrating Augmented Reality in Ecommerce can help optimize buyer behavior and even induce sales or boost brand recall. However, smart retailers nowadays are not blindly following the trend and adopting AR. They are taking more measured steps to incorporate this trend, after being certain that the technology actually serves their customers’ needs, or helps them access improved customer tracking or data creation.
Augmented Reality can be employed either as marketing or an engagement tool depending on the goals defined by a business.
Nonetheless, what matters most is its implementation. While some organizations create their own unique version of AR technology, others outsource the task to professionals.
Some Noteworthy AR Success Stories
Users have been embracing AR since the success of Pokémon Go. However, the use of this technology goes beyond being just a feature in gaming apps. One can say that the innovative use of AR can enhance one’s shopping experience online. To further understand the scope of AR in E-commerce, we have summarized a few success stories:
1. Amazon AR View
The AR View feature provides shoppers an opportunity to experience how a product will look in their residential or commercial space; before adding it to their shopping cart. The feature is easily accessible through the camera icon in the Amazon App. This feature is widely used for products such as home décor, furniture, kitchenware, etc.
2. IKEA Place
IKEA is well-known for some of the best home décor objects. With the advent of IKEA Place, users get the virtual feel of placing IKEA furnishing in their spaces. This app provides 3D and true-to-scale representations of every possible decorative furniture. As a result, potential buyers can virtually demo any product around their house, and ascertain its perfect size, design, and function.
3. Unlimited Yihaodian
China’s largest virtual grocery superstore goes beyond the idea of simply enhancing customers’ shopping experience. It has been expanding to new locations without investing in real estate — eliminating the physicality of assets. With AR in the picture, Yihaodian stores stock more than 1,000 items virtually.
Customers just enter the store and using their smartphones, browse and shop for whatever they need. Once done with selection and purchase, this AR supermarket gets the order delivered to their homes. This reduces the tedium process of carrying the stuff and queuing at the checkout lines.
The advent of Augmented Reality in Ecommerce offers customers the opportunity to virtually interact with a product or place as if they would have physically. It, therefore, speeds up the decision-making capability as well as motivates the purchasing choices of customers.
To sum it up, Augmented Reality has broadened the scope for customer satisfaction, increased sales, and a larger business footprint. Seeing the benefits and scope of AR in the Ecommerce sector, businesses should start associating themselves with this technology for higher customer satisfaction, long-term profits, and returns.
In this regard, Clavis Technologies holds expertise in developing efficacious AR-based software solutions. As a service provider, we strive to improve the reach of your products and services by employing customized platforms or modules that address consistent and emerging online selling dynamics.