How Augmented Reality brings a new dimension to Online shopping experiences

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The Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) market amounted to a forecast of 18.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and is expected to expand drastically in the coming years.[Source: Statista]

AR is not just about some fancy animation – it’s fast becoming a powerful tool for deeper customer engagement & better customer experiences. There’s little that can match AR when it comes to building rich shopping experiences.

Augmented Reality is where technology merges real-world objects with digital assets in real-time, builds many ways for businesses to let customers ‘Try’ and ‘Experience’ the product in a real-life virtual situation.

AR helps customers understand to what extent the product satisfies their desire behind buying the product.

How Augmented Reality will shape eCommerce?

Ecommerce stores are using Augmented Reality to replicate in-store experiences and alleviate customer concerns like size, appearance, and fit, even while maintaining the convenience of shopping from their laptops and mobile phones.

Some products need a closer feel than others before you can buy them. When you buy a power bank, you don’t need to touch and feel it. You read the specifications and are practically ready to buy (or reject).

However, Purchasing products like Shoes is a different experience altogether. You need to understand the texture, the stitches, and the curves. AR solves some of these problems, like telling you how they would look like in the real world. A classic example of visual sensory commerce.

How to apply augmented reality in eCommerce ?

With AR, you can view the products, just like how you experience Reality. And that’s not all; With AR, you can choose the texture, color, material, and digitally experience them. You keep checking out till you reach the right one.

Look at this augmented reality eCommerce case study of augmented reality eCommerce app for footwear which gives a 360-degree experience of the shoe.

Augmented Reality’s immersive power addresses a significant concern when you shop for products like shoes (or a shirt or a hat or wristwatch) and reduce the shopping friction questions like – How will the product look on you?

With that out of the way, the prospect is much more likely to buy.

AR-driven In-Store Shopping Experiences

Marketers are using Augmented Reality technology to build stories around their brand.

19 Crimes used AR to do precisely that – tell unique stories that have subtle brand reinforcement tools.

Source: 19crimes.com

Stories help brands stand out. With stories, customers associate the brand with its value promise. And that makes a huge difference.

There’s no one around to help you understand the product and make a choice. Customers will scan products but leave without buying because there had a few questions that were unanswered with the original product description in the plain text.

With in-store AR display boards or integrated within apps, customers scan a product image and swipe. And lo! The customer has all the information in front of them, patterned the way they’d understand the product best.

Source: Nike.com

AR offers in-store customers a great way to understand the product.

AR was erasing the gap between self-service counters at supermarkets and assisted buying at boutiques. Without a salesperson looking over your shoulder, you get all the details and information you need about the product.

And don’t forget, AR also becomes a vehicle to let brands understand how customers interact with the brand and how that can be improved.

The famous sci-fi writer Arthur C Clarke famously said,

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” seems to have been coined for AR.

This magic is now being well-utilized by marketers.

What’s your take on AR? Do share some AR experiences which you have come across.

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