AR stands apart from all the emerging technologies of the modern world. It is steering the eCommerce world towards new horizons by opening new customer demographies by heightening the customer experience. AR has managed to successfully pique customer interest, and keep them engaged. It is revolutionizing the world of online shopping by providing customers an experience of brick-and-mortar stores from the comfort of their homes. The coming days will witness a huge surge of AR in the eCommerce market.
According to Statista, in 2017 the AR market value was 3.5 billion USD and it is estimated to grow to 198 billion USD by 2025.
Since customer buying behavior is constantly changing, AR presents the potential to unlock a large part of the online customer segment. Almost 71% of shoppers would prefer shopping from stores that offer augmented reality. With such high customer demand for the technology, eCommerce vendors can no longer deny this service to customers.
Let’s look at the top benefits of AR for eCommerce stores:
- Keep customers engaged
With augmented reality, customers can “try before they buy” their chosen item. It covers a very vital aspect that is otherwise missing in eCommerce stores- the option to try out a product before purchasing. By allowing the audience to visualize an item, mitigates risks and significantly reduces the chance of returns. It brings an immersive shopping experience by engaging the audience and making the entire process more seamless and meaningful. The “try and buy” option also reduces the chances of cart abandonment and improves the conversion rate.
- Reduces the likelihood of returns
AR makes sampling of a product easier and provides a more real-life experience than a simple eCommerce site visit. Customers feel more confident of their purchase thereby, significantly reducing the chance of returns. Fuelled by the recent pandemic, in-store visits are already limited. By leveraging AR in eCommerce, the online stores can easily bring back skeptics who are avoiding any in-person store visits currently all the while providing a more immersive experience.
- Simplifies decision making
The prospect of trying out an item in retail makes the buying decision much easier, quicker, and concrete. AR significantly reduces the decision-making time and helps users in concluding decisions quickly. The immersive technology of AR allows businesses to create 3D animations that help them in describing their products better. Many retailers are using this technology to successfully reach out to customers and providing them a similar experience to brick-and-mortar stores from the comfort of their homes and minus the hassle. With AR, users can visualize, try an item, make a purchase, and get the delivery right at their doorstep.
- Reach new customers
Successfully leveraging the capabilities of AR can bring new customers to your store who find the technology to be fascinating and useful for making purchases. It creates a unique buzz in the market and helps in capturing the interest of the audience. This new set of customers may make the transition from brick-and-mortar stores and embrace the offerings of an eCommerce store.
According to a survey of US retailers in June 2020, almost 20% expected to invest in AR or VR for their company’s online store, up from just 8% six months prior.
How can an eCommerce store use Augmented Reality?
With AR, customers can pick the right product by visualizing it in their own environment and at their own leisure.
- Virtual try-on
- Preview the placement of the item in real-life settings
- Filters on social media sites like Snapchat, Instagram, etc
- Interactive user manuals
With a percentage of consumers missing the in-store experience, AR can successfully bridge the divide by providing a seamless experience from the comfort of their homes. In the new world of social distancing and reduced showroom visits, AR gives the potential to showcase various product features and capabilities to the audience. When implemented correctly, it provides consumers a great customer experience of shopping online. The novelty of the experience makes it unique, creates a successful market buzz, and helps businesses in reaching wide customer demography. AR is no more a thing of the future, as many businesses are already showing the power and capabilities of the technology.