Significant Impact of Augmented Reality on E-Commerce, We will learn how customers buy products online? Augmented Reality will impact online retail.
According to the stats given by Global Stats Statcounter, in June 2018, the total market share of mobiles (52.52%) has been more than that of a desktop (43.63%) and tablet (3.85%) combined. The time spent by people on mobile devices has also increased steadily in the past few years, and the bounce rate has decreased significantly as indicated by the statistics. Also, the worldwide e-commerce sales have stepped up significantly from 52.4% in 2016 to 58.9% in 2017. They are further estimated to rise to 63.5% in 2018 and 72.9% by 2021. These statistics clearly indicate that online shopping has become the trend now and people are purchasing through the internet and more so through their mobiles rather than desktops, laptops, or tablets. But we need to understand the real cause behind this upsurge in the use of mobiles for ecommerce shopping.
Augmented Reality on E-Commerce | Technology is greatly enhancing ecommerce
One benefit that is provided by e-commerce is the elimination of the need to walk into the brick and mortar retail outlets. This saves both time and money and has been possible because of the introduction of technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). These technologies have enabled e-commerce vendors to display their products in immersive detail. The experiences provided by them are comparable to real life experience. While earlier the focus of technology had been on making the shopping experience easy for the buyer, now technology is taking the seller also into consideration. Remote orchestration of sustainable e-commerce platforms has been possible due to instantaneous communication, fast processing of logistics, and wide online networks. Thus, augmented reality mobile app developers are focusing on building e-commerce apps which have AR integrated within to provide the best value to the sellers and buyers in the present competitive market.
AR has greatly revolutionized the online shopping experience
AR augments your real world with computer-generated sensory inputs as in the famous game Pokemon Go. This helps the sellers provide a more interactive and personal experience to the customers and change the process of shopping considerably. However, customer expectations have also evolved as e-commerce has evolved. So, customers are just not satisfied by the augmented descriptions of products provided and the 360-degree photographs. They still expect the ability to test products at home before finalizing the purchase using AR.
Meanwhile, AR brings for the customers the ability to enhance the real physical world around by overlaying information in the form of text, image, or video. Virtual objects and digital packaging can also form the basis of AR functioning. These displays may be seen through Google Glass, HoloLens, and more commonly through the camera view in the mobiles.
The basic purpose of introducing AR is to provide the customers with the ability to know the details about the products and try them before purchasing so that they in a better position to avoid guesswork and returns of the products while making the purchase. Many barriers and frictions in online shopping have been removed with the introduction of AR in e-commerce. This has greatly empowered the e-commerce industry.
Engaging and interactive buying experience
Maximum customers prefer to buy from stores that offer AR as it helps keep away imagination and interpretation about the item and provides the look and feel of it. This helps in keeping the customers engaged, and they become more interactive in their selection process.
Easy and personalized modification of selections
Customers can also explore their options clearly with AR and make customized modifications as per the need. This personalized shopping experience allows them to check different colours, sizes, styles, etc. as per their requirement and what suits them.
Visualization of products and features
While shoppers want to know all about the product before making the purchase, sellers also want to explain their products to them in the way they explain to their in-store customers. AR helps in achieving this by explaining the features and working of the products through animations.
Information can be overlaid to facilitate the customers
Information can be overlaid on the products exhibited by the store using the AR app so that the visitors get all information about the objects around them while traversing the store. Retailers can display and highlight the information about their products that they want.
Objects can be placed virtually in real scenarios
Virtual objects can be placed in a real location to check their fit. Users can purchase furniture and other decorative items for their home without actually bringing them home to check. IKEA’s AR app allows customers to check out the look of specific furniture in their home and resize the furniture to judge its fit and look in reality in their home.
Trial options offered by the fashion industry using AR mobile apps
With AR being incorporated in many fashion mobile apps, it is possible for the customers to use AR headsets and check out if the outfits fit the customers before even reaching out to hold them. Similarly, many e-commerce apps are now allowing the trial of new makeup using AR based apps to give the customers a customizable, personalized judgment of the product they want.
Digital packaging used to keep the customers inquisitive and engaged
Checking out the functioning of new, complex products is possible with the digital packaging provided by AR. For example, Starbucks allowed customers to download their AR app and point it at their coffee cup to see the cool animation.
Retailers also benefit greatly from AR mobile apps
The sellers also get great insights into the shopping habits of the customers. For example, they can track the type and number of products are being tried on, the trend followed by the customers in trying them, whether the customers shared them on social media or not, and the popularity they gained if they were shared across social media by the customers. All this information can then be used by these e-commerce retailers to improve the performance of the entire online store.
The future holds great potential for AR in the e-commerce industry. AR is already bringing more in-store traffic to the stores and engaging more customers on mobile platforms. Though still a long way to go for satisfying the evolving expectations of the customers, AR has advanced greatly in mobile apps.