Needless to say, it is reshaping the customer experience in eCommerce where mobile, tablet and desktop was ruling the roost until now.
Follow the money and we see that businesses are already betting big on Augmented Reality. PwC’s 2017 Global Digital IQ Survey has found that 24% of executives will make significant investments in AR in next three years. The survey also found that 25% of executives believe digital technology investments like Augmented Reality will help create better customer experiences.
This is the era of experience-driven commerce. Customers are drawn heavily towards experiences more than cheap prices and alternative options.
Augmented Reality which forms part of the bigger technology called Mixed Reality is bridging the Physical And Virtual Worlds of customers. It is conjuring digital experiences in physical environments that captivates, educates and engages customers more than traditional mediums.
What benefits can Augmented Reality bring to eCommerce?
Augmented Reality development can bring to eCommerce a host of benefits that will dispel erstwhile challenges.
Some such benefits are discussed briefly below:
Reduced Return Rate
Invesp’s eCommerce product return statistics report that at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned. Product received looks different, wrong size mismatch are the most common reasons why most of the products are returned. Augmented Reality can help reduce product return rates to a large extent by offering customers a real-time view of how the product will look like without having to try them physically.
Engaging Customer Experiences
Augmented reality enables customers to visualize the product right in their immediate surroundings. It gives an enriched feeling that creates an emotional connection, unlike other digital mediums. It provides information in an easy-to-access manner which leads to multi-sensory learning.
Augmented reality connects with users on an individual level. Each user is able to interact with the rich media on a real-time basis without any barriers in between. This heightens the user experience that is hard to come by in a desktop website or a mobile app. Further, unlike a virtual environment where users are planted in artificial scenarios created by computers, in AR, the user gets the digital experience in the same physical surroundings where they are.
Content + Commerce
Augmented Reality helps drive content-driven commerce. Content commerce refers to the process of generating revenue using the content. Augmented reality is built upon digital content that includes digital snippets of places, instructions, star ratings or even videos. Disney ads even used AR posters to promote its movie Prince of Persia.
Some ways eCommerce retailers can use Augmented Reality
eCommerce brands around the world have already harnessed Augmented Reality to their benefit. Here are some ways how AR can be used to increase customer engagement, augment selling prowess, reduce product returns and dispel several other eCommerce challenges.
Virtual Trial Rooms
Augmented reality trial rooms enable customers to try on their goods virtually without having to put them on physically. Features like facial recognition and 3-D imaging are at work. They help customers get a real-time view of how the dress/accessory would look on them if worn on. The direct reflection helps in picking the right size and choice of product which ultimately reduces the number of products that are returned.
AR Product Demos
AR can help offer realistic product demos in actual settings but through virtual means. Customers can point at physical spaces to see how their choice of furniture, wall painting, artifact, etc. fits in. It helps in picking the right sized and textured product. This saves time for eCommerce store owners who otherwise would have to engage a sales rep to answer all customer queries on a regular basis.
Cosmetics happen to be one among the top product categories that are purchased online. Unfortunately, a lot of them also are returned by customers. In cases where returns is not entertained, there is a sudden spike in customer churn. The need for product return arises when the customer realizes that the product delivered do not actually suit their beauty needs. Augmented Reality can weed away this problem for both customers and retailers with the help of facial recognition.
Loyalty is a critical success factor in eCommerce. Discounts, personalized offers, coupons, promo codes, etc. make the eCommerce world a happy place for customers. Augmented reality app for eCommerce discount offers, coupons, loyalty points, etc. can go a long way in winning and sustaining the loyalty of customers.
The promise of mixed reality is too big for eCommerce players to ignore. Augmented Reality helps visualize the reality in a virtual way thus augmenting how we interact with the real and physical world. In eCommerce selling, this could turn out to be a massive advantage.
Want to know how Augmented Reality can work in your eCommerce store favor?
Talk to us.