Augmented Reality in eCommerce is just starting to hit its stride and there is a large scope for its growth in the near future.The world has gone through several momentous changes over the last few years, be it in terms of the rate of technological developments, the democratization of information, and the increased focus on online platforms for selling products. Yet nothing has marked a change in the way consumers approach shopping and their buying trends as the covid-19 pandemic that has transformed the entire globe, and changed the way in which we think, shop and associate with products.
With the need to socially distance, and the increased fear of touching objects in new places, a large amount of shopping is now done online. The only issue with online shopping in the past has been the fact that one cannot touch, feel, or understand what the object is like in reality. Enter Augmented Reality (AR). Now becoming increasingly widespread, AR allows users to get a sense of how an object they want to buy translates to their reality. As an industry, AR has seen exponential growth and is expected to grow by $120 billion in revenue in 2020!
Read on to find out how it can help you boost your own marketplace or business, and how AR in Ecommerce is soon going to be the new norm., and why you must explore it!
So why should you try Augmented Reality in your business?
If you have kept your eye on the trends, you would notice how Pokémon Go, a game app that can be downloaded on your phone became a huge trend a few years back. What the game did was allow you to use your phone to see imaginary Pokémon characters in your immediate surroundings and catch them! For instance, if you are sitting in your room or walking around your neighbourhood park while on the app, chances are you would spot a character to catch! Similarly, beauty eCommerce sites have introduced features in their apps and sites to allow you to check how their products look on an image of your face, instead of you having to go into a physical store and try them out. These are all examples of the use of AR in eCommerce, a feature that has drawn the attention of many consumers. In a time when people don’t want to physically try products or visit brick and mortar stores, this will allow you to drive your sales in the digital space.
What are the benefits of AR in eCommerce?
Customers love the personalization that Augmented Reality in eCommerce allows, making the whole experience much more special for them, and making them more likely to repeat purchases. Another benefit is people are more likely to pay higher rates if you use AR in eCommerce as they associate it with being more luxe. Further, today’s users have extremely short attention spans and a feature like AR is a good way to capture their attention and is more impactful when it comes to marketing your products, as users can connect to them deeply. Since many companies are yet to make use of Augmented Reality in eCommerce, you can also be one of the first, easily capturing new customers. The novelty of it will be enough to grab their attention at this moment in time.
Now that you understand its benefits, how do you start using Augmented Reality in eCommerce?
A little research is required if you choose to incorporate AR in eCommerce. There are several small start ups who are skilled at this technology, and who can help guide you on the same. The first thing that you need to do, once you find the right company for this, is start documenting your products. This means taking images of your catalogue at different angles, or 3D imaging. This allows you to capture each product to its full scale, so it can be seen by users in its full dimensions. A good AR company will not only provide 3D modelling, but they will use experts who can provide the human angle to what you do, to ensure a consistent experience for the end user.
How is Augmented Reality in eCommerce transforming customer experience?
Now that AR technology is readily available, it makes sense for many companies to gravitate towards using it. For customers, it has allowed for an ease of access and understanding a product in a whole new way. For instance, Ikea allows for customers to try out a product they like by fitting it into their existing surroundings. If you want to buy a coffee table, you can just see how it fits within your living room as the product has gone through rigorous 3D modelling, and can be moved, twisted and turned as if it were right in front of you.
So, what are the ways to use AR in eCommerce ?
There are some easy ways to start making use of AR in eCommerce. One of the most popular thus far has been virtually trying on products. As mentioned before, you can see how a shade of lipstick will look on your face on some makeup sites, or even try on shoes on Nike’s app. Preview Placement is another way that AR is being used- to see how a product would look in your living space, as Ikea has been doing. Another useful way to use AR in Ecommerce is to measure your body size. Acustom Apparel is an ecommerce brand that makes use of body measuring where you walk into the store and they scan your body to take in the measurements. Then later you can shop on their app, trying on clothes that fit your body perfectly- how cool is that? While some people enjoy browsing physical aisles at a supermarket, AR also allows you to mimic that process in the comfort of your own home. These shelves can even be projected on your living room walls! Lastly, some brands like Taco Bell have used AR to even market their products, making use of geolocations to really get up close and personal with people.
Some Trends and Statistics for 2020
The Invespro team compiled some analytics related to AR in eCommerce for 2020, and there were a number of highlights. Some of these include the fact that spending on AR is estimated to reach $60 billion by 2020, while 61% of shoppers prefer to make online purchases on sites using AR. 33% of people even said that the use of AR in Ecommerce would make them shop more often! 77% of people said they prefer AR that offers them the ability to check out colour and style differences. If you use AR, get ready to charge more for your products as 40% of users said they would pay more for products that they could preview using AR. Lastly, a whopping 70% of people said they would be more loyal to brands making use of Augmented Reality in eCommerce.
To sum up, Augmented Reality is not future but the present of eCommerce, and especially in these times, business would be remiss if they did not explore it as a way of not only marketing but selling their products.