Most people believe augmented reality (AR) is only limited to video games — keeping the surreal Pokemon Go experience in mind!
But these games are not the only manifestation of augmented reality. eCommerce, among all other industries, is making huge profits by employing AR to its benefit.
Owing to the opportunities AR has opened for them, online businesses are actively developing AR eCommerce solutions to take their business to the next level.
Here’s how AR technology penetrates eCommerce and what benefits it offers to businesses in the industry.
AR In eCommerce: Statistics
Here’s what the numbers say.
Stat #1: Product Quality
Consumers have started relating AR with product quality. In a survey, 56% of consumers reportedly said they had more confidence about the quality of AR-enabled products listed on eCommerce platforms.
People who have already used augmented reality for shopping now prefer AR to preview product qualities like size, color, style, etc. AR marketing teams are now leveraging the benefits of this idea to build trust among prospective buyers.
Stat #2: AR eCommerce valuation
With a startling projection of reaching a valuation of USD 3,205.00 million by the end of 2022, AR is going from strength to strength in the retail sector.
Securing a solid CAGR projection of 30.25%, the expected valuation by the end of 2027 will be USD 12,032.92 million.
Stat #3: AR in retail market share
A research report by Statista suggested the retail sector will soon account for a five percent market share of AR software. This percentage is steadily rising and may even go beyond the predictions.
Stat #4: Customer engagement with AR in eCommerce
A Harvard Business review on the effects of AR marketing for a sample lipstick product gave highly encouraging conclusions.
The review concluded — people who sampled the lipsticks with an AR-based interface spent 50% more time on the eCommerce platform. This suggests AR as a transformative inclusion to improve the chances of customer engagement and conversions.
AR In eCommerce: Benefits
Here’s what AR has in store for online businesses and shoppers.
Benefit #1: “Try before you buy.”
The top reason many customers have still not developed trust in eCommerce shopping is that they doubt the quality of products.
It all comes down to the lack of tangible support to ascertain the quality and feel of a product before finalizing it. AR solves this problem by allowing customers to virtually “Try On” the product before they make a purchase.
It is an excellent way for eCommerce platforms to consolidate customer relationships.
Benefit #2: Reduce the burden of returns and replacements
For any eCommerce business, returns and replacements are a huge logistical burden.
An eCommerce platform cannot maximize profits if it keeps bearing the overheads on return and replacement processing.
But, with AR in place, customers can assess and review products as carefully as possible. Then, they can place orders once they are delighted with the feel of the product.
Thus, the chances of disliking the product received on delivery are less, mitigating the chances of a return.
Benefit #3: Personalized shopping
Interactive technologies like AR connect online shoppers more with the brand and product. This creates a personalized shopping experience that helps customers derive more value from their spending.
It presents a unique experience where you can place orders from the comfort of your drawing rooms yet be guided so convincingly as if a salesperson is standing in front of you.
Benefit #4: Reduces physical contact
People are apprehensive about touching objects and products in public places in the post-pandemic world.
AR tools on eCommerce apps of famous brand stores, like the ‘Try On’ feature, allow users to get the same trial experience without worrying about cross-contamination.
So, while eCommerce helps them place orders remotely, the AR facilities enable them to avoid hygiene issues.
Benefit #5: A boost for marketing campaigns
Marketing and advertising your products need out-of-the-box strategies to attract more customers.
With AR in the big picture, you can give customers a nearly hands-on experience where your products can engage them right from the word go. This generates more significant interest in the product and leads to better conversions.
AR in eCommerce: Examples
Take a look at AR in action!
Brand #1: IKEA
Ikea is the first major brand to implement an AR strategy for marketing and eCommerce.
The company developed an AR feature for its Ikea Place App in 2017.
The feature has a reported 98% accuracy and uses 3D furniture models to convey the size and fit of every item in a better way. It scans your entire room and then takes dimensions to offer the best-customized furniture recommendations.
Brand #2: Dulux Paints
Dulux Paints uses a great AR tool for its app, which shows how different color palettes will look on your wall.
Just take a picture of the wall you wish to paint, and the app will display color templates on the wall for you to see and choose. It was profitable for Dulux Paints and its customers because the reliability of tiny square color samples in choosing wall paints was always under question.
Brand #3: Lego
One of the most popular kids’ games ever existed, Lego took the fun to the next level with its AR offering.
The brand came up with the Hidden Side AR app. It could integrate a ghost game into physical Lego structures children prepared from the box.
Brand #4: Amikasa
The brand built its identity with AR at its core.
The Amikasa app allows users to design new homes by trying and augmenting furniture and decor items from authentic brands.
It gives a tangible experience of trying out real furniture and creating a sample, unified look before purchasing home furnishings.
Brand #5: Sephora
Sephora Virtual Artist is a famous AR app designed for makeup assistance.
It allows you to try different makeups and looks and helps match your wardrobe shades with the makeup.
Thus, Sephora defines your entire look before you actually get started with purchasing products for makeup with AR.
Over to you!
Customer engagement is the most important stepping stone for sales.
And, with AR, eCommerce platforms get to create better engagement and open the doors for interactive buying experiences missing to date.
With global brands already benefiting from the technology, it is time for the smaller players to milk this opportunity and create an impact in the eCommerce domain.