eCommerce-based businesses always look for fresh ideas to improve customer satisfaction, brand recognition, and sales process effectiveness. As technology continues to make strides worldwide, retailers aim to improve the intuitiveness and friendliness of their customers’ buying experiences by merging their platforms with immersive Augmented Reality (AR). In this article, we explore how this technology will revolutionize eCommerce in the next few years.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality is technology that is used primarily to improve one’s experience, it involves superimposing visual, auditory, or other sensory information onto the real world. Retailers all over the world are already utilizing augmented reality to improve the shopping experiences of their customers, so it is not a trend that is just emerging.
According to PwC’s Global Consumer Insights survey, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in consumers adapting how they shop and relying on eCommerce for their purchases with the accounting firm concluding that “global disruption has forced the acceleration of a more digital way of life.”
As reported by Statista, the augmented reality market is valued at $30.7 billion with around 810 million active mobile users. There’s no doubt about it: whereas eCommerce retailers once frantically adopted video as a new method of engaging customers and improving conversion rates, augmented reality is now poised to fundamentally impact how products are sold online.
Everyone Wants Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality is a fascinating revolution for many retailers within eCommerce and apparently, it is going to be around well into the future. Why?
Augmented Reality enhances the physical world - A popular example is Pokemon Go where users engage in gameplay while they make their way home (or to other destinations). They catch a virtual character in specified locations surrounding an actual location.
Augmented Reality is easily transferable - Users can access AR applications from smartphones, tablets, and more. Additionally, the hardware that powers AR will be on your wrist, wallet, and ears.
Augmented Reality empowers the user - Once implemented this technology gives power to the hands of your customer. They will be in charge of their presence and how they interact with a blend of the physical and digital worlds.
Augmented Reality Is The Future of eCommerce
Given that more consumers are choosing to browse and make purchases online, it is clear that the future of retail will likely focus on improving the online shopping experience for these customers by utilizing new marketing strategies.
Let's explore how augmented reality (AR) will alter consumer behavior and how businesses may use this technology to increase sales.
The pandemic propelled usage of both technologies: Virtual reality (VR) offered the ability to remotely gather in virtual spaces when in-person events were canceled; and augmented reality (AR) offered the means to sample household or personal products virtually from home. “As a result of time, the technology is becoming more accessible and, partially as a result of Covid, there has been a big uptick in people becoming more reliant on AR in their daily digital life,” said Fred Gerantabee, chief experience officer at FGX International, an eyewear company owned by EssilorLuxottica. - Modern Retail
Enhancing Online Shopping Experiences
The goal of augmented reality is to give users an immersive experience by superimposing the virtual world in a real-world setting. This amazing technology will be crucial in creating a brand-new, exciting purchasing environment for online customers. AR will also alter the whole definition of brick-and-mortar retailers at the same time.
Imagine that your consumers can view a product's hologram at a real store, place an online order for it, or view the product holograms from the comfort of their sofa, make the purchase, and pick up the item from your nearest outlet. The role of physical establishments will be radically altered by this new form of engagement. For the pick-up option, inventories in the front of the store will be less important than those in the back.
Reducing Product Returns
eCommerce platforms will be able to replicate the experience of trying out products as in the case of a physical store with the incorporation of AR. Verifying the size is no longer a problem because products may be scaled, interacted with, and seen in their correct settings.
This strategy gives your clients more confidence to make wiser decisions and complete the transaction. Since customers are convinced that the goods will fit properly, it also improves satisfaction and lowers the likelihood of returns. Additionally, it matches customer expectations and prevents unpleasant situations like a color mismatch when the product is delivered.
New Marketing Strategies
Retail marketing methods will undergo a big transformation as a result of AR content. Consider adding QR codes to billboards, advertising flyers, and other marketing materials to beam holograms that offer additional information and deliver distinctive brand experiences while pushing the try-before-you-buy strategy as one of the strategies to draw clients.
Imagine someone using a smartphone app while strolling through a park to see a simulated grocery shop with many aisles. The person will be able to choose the things, put them in the shopping basket, and finish the checkout. The ordered items will then be instantly delivered to the customer's home, or they can be picked up from the store.
By providing new interactions and ad styles to stand-out on congested landing pages, augmented reality will also bring about a significant change in online advertising. Brands and marketers can execute 3D social, 3D programmatic display, and 3D remarketing campaigns in place of 2D images or videos. Directly from the landing pages, interested clients may explore the product in 3D, scale, and imagine it in a real-world setting.
Additionally, AR creates brand-new sales chances in the form of virtual events, where merchants and brands may put up digital advertisem
ents and product demos to excite customers and invite them to specialized holographic sales events.
The terms Augmented Reality and the Metaverse are often used together to represent the cutting edge of technology, which is why these ideas are catching on like wildfire all over the world. The industry is expanding, but we are still in the early stages of a protracted journey involving augmented reality, virtual reality, and the metaverse. One can foresee the promising future of new-age technologies given the increasing involvement of key companies in the sector and ongoing innovation within the field.
From improved customer interaction to higher conversion rates, augmented reality has a lot to offer. The best time to adopt new, developing technologies is now if you want to acquire a competitive edge. Online retailers and their customers can benefit from the integration of augmented reality into eCommerce.