Any technology which gains positive feedback from the users gets immediately adopted by the E-commerce industry. The E-commerce industry has seen a huge growth in recent years, however, still, there are many such scenarios where the customers want to touch and feel the product before buying. This is a luxury that they can get only at the brick and mortar stores. To everyone’s surprise, there were the days of the past. With the continuous advancement in its technology, now e-commerce can provide your human experience by using Augmented reality. Augmented reality or AR can superimpose digital information onto the physical environment. This can alter the core human experience.
You would be surprised to know that nearly 40% of the customers are ready to spend more on e-commerce if they are offered an augmented reality experience. AR-based e-commerce can be a de facto path for online retailers if they want to secure a much-needed competitive edge.
Before delving the use-cases of AR-based e-commerce, let’s know about what psychological aspect can be augmented reality creates.
1. Connection with the Product:
When users interact with a product whose digital information is superimposed on a physical object then they get a high-level of solace. They get a sense of ease by which a connection gets naturally developed for the AR-projected product.
2. Immersive Experience:
The core strength of augmented reality is immersiveness in which every customer feels that he is actively having the feel of the product. This is completely different from the traditional buying experience of an e-commerce store.
Humans are wired to get excited by the new and never seen kind of experiences. A perfect fusion of the real and virtual can give them a thrill which can become a massive engagement puller.
Shaping of AR-based E-commerce:
Well, e-commerce has gained a good reputation and worldwide applaud for their services, the innovators of this industry are still struggling to overcome the obstacle of the biggest psychological barrier that an e-commerce customer faces. The e-commerce store owners are losing millions of dollars of sales as the buyers are not able to evaluate and envision the sense and feel of using the product. Integration of augmented reality in e-commerce can be a silver bullet here. When the online customers would be able to visualize the product they are considering that too in the same context of the physical space they’re going to use it, it can do wonders.
Benefits of Augmented Reality in E-commerce:
Let’s dig deeper into the actual benefits of AR-based e-commerce:
1. Experience of Pre-Buying Visualization of the product:
If you are helping your customer to give them a visualization of the product they are considering in the context of the physical space they will occupy, then it would be a great help for them. It can help in eliminating the detrimental ambiguity in e-commerce buying. The best epitome of this is home furnishing company IKEA. The app helps the buyers how the furniture item will look in their homes. The buyers can easily go through a massive range of products, alter the attributes of the product such as colour or size, and see how furniture items and the room décor will look. Apart from the visualization, it also helps in speeding up the product search for high-value and bulky products.
2. High level of personalization:
There are a lot of companies that are focusing on providing the maximum level of personalization to their users. Personalization can improve the user experience of a customer to a great extent which will result in maximum customer retention, high conversion rate, and high lifetime value of the customer. Here are some stats related to personalization:
- 81% of customers want brands to get to know them and understand when to approach them and when not to.
- 77% of customers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.
- 94% of customer insights and marketing professionals across multiple industries said personalization is “important”, “very important”, or “extremely important” for meeting their current marketing objectives.
AR-based e-commerce can give a long rope to struggling retailers by providing the whole-buying experience extra personal. As the shopper can virtually try the products, it will help the AR to collect, save, and analyze the information of the customer. For e.g. in the fashion industry, they can get the size, and preferences of the customer. Later on, they would be able to give suggestions on this.
3. Store-like experience:
A very attractive thing about the brick-and-mortar stores is that the products are neatly arranged in shelves and aisles which becomes a motivating factor for the customers. AR-based e-commerce can also replicate this “retail aisle” experience on digital avenues.
The online retailers can create a virtual shelf with a huge range of products, protecting it on the walls of the customer’s living room.
4. Products are more comprehensible:
More than 90% of the online buyers check online reviews before buying a product and 72% don’t take any further step without checking reviews. It simply reflects the cautiousness that the buyer is taking before buying a product. They don’t want to buy until they are assured about the quality or usability of the product.
AR helps in this by creating a product manual in an interactive way with a step by step virtual guide. A user who is using smart devices can go through the details of the product. Owing to the immersive 3D experience integrated with AR Technology, AR manual increases the chances of comprehensibility.
Types of Augmented Reality Applications:
There are 4 different types of AR apps:
1. Market-based Augmented Reality:
This type of augmented reality makes use of predefined markers such as QR code or a picture for superimposing images into the physical world.
2. Markerless Augmented Reality:
Opposite to the marker-based augmented reality, the markerless augmented reality can identify colours, patterns, or other properties within a frame. This markerless AR has been used by Harley Davidson for identifying the colour or related stuff for the right buying decision.
3. Location-based Augmented Reality:
It is also a type of markerless augmented reality but uses the GPS location for producing visual elements.
4. Projection-based Augmented Reality:
Projection-based AR employs advanced projection technology which can simplify the highly complex manual tasks which include in the company’s manufacturing, assembly, and processing.
Epitomes of Companies which are using Augmented Reality :
As we mentioned above, this furniture giant is one of the best examples who have leveraged augmented reality for driving up sales. The buyers just have to use their cellphones to check how the furnishing items will look in their home. The company has integrated augmented reality in its app Ikea Place, one of the first apps to use Apple’s ARKit tech, to place the company’s furniture wherever they envision it in their homes. It is having 3D rendering of more than 2,000 products at many different angles. The user can check the product before buying and then he would be redirected to the Ikea site for completing the order. Currently, only large home furnishing items such as sofas, chairs, storage units, beds, etc. are available for the visualization.
Ebay is one of the most popular and amongst the oldest e-commerce stores. The popularity got increased when it introduced AR for helping sellers find the proper size box for their product. When the customer makes an order, the items which he had ordered would be packed in a box. Finding the right box is really a hassling task. But the augmented reality solution is helping millions of sellers in finding the best USPS flat rate box for items they need to deliver. In this feature, the user can select a box size, place the virtual box over the item, and move the box around the item to see a complete view of the product inside the box. If all goes well, he will select this box for packaging the item.
Amazon is another one of the biggest e-commerce marketplace popular across the world. You must have heard the adage “Don’t trust everything you see online”. There is a huge portion of customers who still don’t prefer to buy things online in the fear that they will not get the items as it was shown on the web. Amazon understood this fear and came up with the solution of developing AR for its customers. The AR view lets the users generate images of products in their living space through augmented reality. Henceforth, the shoppers can easily make buying decisions by visualizing how the items will look in real-life and fit. The buyers can also rotate these images on the device to test the placement at different angles.
4. Banana Flame:
It is not very likely that you would have heard about this company. It is an online fashion retail company who have recently introduced AR in their mobile application to improve the user experience for their customers. There is a button named “See how it looks” on every clothing piece in their fashion store. The augmented reality feature creates a virtual changing room so that the shopper can check how the garment will look upon them.
In this technology, the camera of the buyers will turn into mirrors and they can virtually hold the garment to check if it suits them. There is also a sharing feature in the app by which you can take snaps and share the looks with your friends and family on different social media platforms.
5. Wannaby’s Wannakicks:
Do you know that you can try 10 pairs of shoes within just 10 seconds on the Wannaby’s Wannakicks app? The iOS app of Wannakicks can help you in getting a perfect pair of shoes using AR. Just choose a pair of shoes from the 3D models’ list, point the camera on the feet and within seconds you would be virtually wearing that chosen pair. You can also rotate your feet or change the angle of the camera to check on different angles. You would be surprised to know that you can even try walking a few steps.
6. Gap’s Dressing Room:
Gap is another not so popular but highly reputed clothing company which comes with a DressingRoom in which the users can try clothes virtually using your smartphone. They will have a shopping experience just like a brick & mortar store. They can try different outfits in various sizes which are superimposed over the avatar shape and presented in the shopper’s current environment.
7. L’Oreal Makeup Genius:
L’Oreal Paris is one of the most popular companies in the segment of beauty products. The company has introduced augmented reality to give a feature of trying products before purchase. You must be wondering how it is possible? The customers can try different colours and cosmetics on your face or hair before buying them. They will get a realistic idea of whether the considered product suits him/her. You just require a webcam (for desktop or laptop), a cell phone camera, or even a selfie for virtual try-on. You can start by Makeup Virtual Try On hub and can choose which option will make you look better.
In this article, we know about different aspects of augmented reality, what are its benefits, its types, and how some companies are leveraging it for improving the customer experience. AR is having a bright future. You shouldn’t lag in the race of it. If you also wish to integrate augmented reality technology in your e-commerce store or need any other type of help you can definitely consult us. We, at Ceymox technologies, are having vast experience in every aspect of e-commerce.