How Augmented Reality Will Change the Online Shopping Experience

Imagine being able to point your phone at a building and read about its historical importance and estimated worth. That concept seems far fetched, yet...

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Imagine being able to point your phone at a building and read about its historical importance and estimated worth. That concept seems far fetched, yet it doesn’t have to be anymore, thanks to Augmented Reality (AR). Its not only used for knowing the commercial value of a property or catching Pokemon. Augmented reality is a boon for the entire eCommerce industry and a blessing for shopaholics because it will completely change the online shopping experience.

Let’s define AR as a way to “digitalize virtual objects from an environment and place them in the real world and real time.” That’s how Pokémon are able to “appear” through a map and the gamer can find the virtual emoji’s within their real environment.

Augmented Reality has added a new dimension to the technical side of software engineering. Within this dimension eCommerce businesses can access a great way to reach business goals. One of the greatest combinations of AR technology and online shopping was introduced recently by Magic Leap, a startup Augmented Reality development company. Visualize your online shoppers using an Augmented Reality tool to check out household items in an e-store and virtually place it inside their home to see if it matches their home decor. This kind of liberating experience is immensely exciting.

What Connects Augmented Reality and eCommerce?

High demand, advanced devices and a strong market have all attributed to the growth of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality. However, both technologies are still experimental and need more time to meet all of their potential. Still, that gives businesses a head start into what’s to come at a cheaper price. AR and eCommerce combined can revolutionize marketing strategies, customer engagement and business operations.

Right now the biggest issue customers face when shopping is deciding if a product fits their need. AR can offer indecisive shoppers a way to feel more confident about a product and motivate them to buy it. This kind of confidence doesn’t necessarily have to come just from online shopping. Actual retail stores could enhance the shopping experience by also integrating AR into their stores. That way customers could view a product’s information such as reviews, alternate colors, prices etc. through their smartphones by simply pointing it to the product.

If online shopping wasn’t convenient enough, AR steps it up by letting customers choose what’s best for them in real time. Other than house decor, its quite liberating being able to check out clothes without having to wait in line for a changing room in the actual store. Not to forget, what a kick window shoppers will get out of relishing options from any place, at any time rather than having to go to a mall and peep around.

More importantly, AR can offer an online shopping experience that feels like the real deal, from any location. Using AR devices customers could interact with a 3D version of their product from home, work, the supermarket and so much more. It’s almost like Augmented Reality was meant for eCommerce.

Big Brands Cash In

WalMart is the king of chain outlets, but it passed on the potential of eCommerce so Amazon stepped in, with the aid of technology, as the king of online shopping. This move allowed Amazon to adapt with the newest way to enhance shopping, at the time. Now Amazon continues to adapt by implementing Augmented Reality into their business. AR helped Amazon’s customers make online shopping a memorable experience. Various brands and retailers are following these steps and cashing in on online shopping mediums like Amazon and eBay because they can offer the facility of augmented shopping to their respective customers.

Online shopping has improved customer service for years, but AR is raising the standards. The demand for an authentic and enhanced digital shopping experience is forcing retailers to alter where and how they sell their products. Customers want an experience before buying a product and that could make or break an e-store. With a high-quality AR experience customers are more likely to buy and less likely to return the product. But give them a sub-par experience and customer satisfaction will suffer before they even buy the product.

Some major brands are already integrating AR into their shopping experience and its seeing great results. IKEA and Converse, both let their users envision pieces of furniture in their homes or shoes on their feet through a smartphone app. Also, Sephora uses ModiFace technology on a mobile app to let their customers take a “selfie” and apply a cosmetic products to their faces from home. All of these mobile apps eliminate the hassle of having to debate options and actually enhances the shopping experience.

Implementing Augmented Reality

Although AR comes with great benefits, it’s not as simple as implementing AR technology into your online business and watch the money stream in. In order to really reap in all the benefits AR has to offer, retailers must incorporate it into their marketing, sales and IT ventures. Therefore, its important for retailers to consider customer needs as much as and their business goals. Let’s look at some of the major ones.

Add Value to Your Business

E-stores are actually doing pretty well so far by showing products from different retailers all in one platform. But are they actually answering to a customer’s needs in terms of customization and modifications?

Augmented Reality has given eCommerce sites a tool that they can use in order to meet their full potential. Customers are demanding digital customization even if its just checking out different colors of a product on an app. A recent survey showed that over 50% of customers tend to shop on an eCommerce site if they use AR. Visualizing products allows potential buyers to turn imagination into reality which is enough to motivate them to buy. That’s an incredible value to your business. 

Observe More to Pay More

We’ve mentioned how ideal it is for customers to feel confident over their shopping choices. Also how giving them the option to observe the product in a real time environment raises that confidence. The more a customer knows about a product, the more likely they will buy it.

High quality 3D holograms and demo videos of products can give customers what they need to keep buying. It can be argued that physical touch is missing, yet AR can actually place a product in the place its meant for which might actually make it better than just touch.

Another survey said that customers were willing to pay 40% more than the actual price of a product given that they can view the product using AR . This kind of positive feedback will not only help eCommerce retailers, it will also boost app development. 

Personalize Online Shopping

A customer’s mood is unpredictable, hence the advantage of giving them the option to personalize products. Many potential customers try on clothes to see if the aspects of the clothing suits them. But rather than visiting the changing room, AR can personalize choices for them.

Not limited to clothes or household products, Augmented Reality can be applied to vast dimensions. Turnstangen.de for example uses Augmented Reality to showcase their kid products like sandboxes and gymnastic gear. Another company, Captured Dimensions, uses AR to scan album covers and make a 3D member of the band appear.

With Augmented Reality scopes already present in the market, eCommerce businesses can use it on their websites for maximum benefits. Online shoppers are constantly looking for ways to remove the risks and doubts that come with online shopping. Although AR has the potential to meet that need it requires the help of retailers to keep developing.

Developing Augmented Reality

Even though Augmented Reality can add great value to your eCommerce business it doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. By investing in an app development company you are enhancing your own. Without the proper gear its sort of difficult to offer Augmented Reality which is why app development is so powerful. Through app development handheld devices like smartphones and tablets can turn into AR devices.

As phones continue to advance, AR can also advance enough to become a strong business strategy. Our app development services can help your business take the next leap into the future of online shopping. Most development companies focus solely on mobile apps, but what sets Iblesoft apart is that we also have extensive eCommerce development experience.

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