How is augmented reality transforming the online shopping experience

How is augmented reality transforming the online shopping experience

People today are looking for novel ways to buy a product online just by using hand-held gadgets. And brands are complying with these expectations by embracing the latest technologies such as AR (Augmented Reality) to offer a transparent and user-friendly shopping experience to their customers. Augmented Reality in eCommerce is revolutionizing the online shopping model and paving the way for a competitive digital commerce ecosystem.

Augmented reality allows consumers to visualize and interact with the products listed on the eCommerce website and get a holistic view of the products before buying. According to a survey, 71%
consumers said they would shop more often if they used AR.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality or AR is a technology that provides a comprehensive view of objects by projecting digital visual elements such as images, videos, audios, and more onto real-world objects. AR enables customers to look and feel a product in the real world via virtual information such as 3D images, 3D models, and other computer-generated data sets.

With augmented reality integration, brands can help their customers make better buying decisions by letting them see, evaluate, and perceive the actual placement of a product in a specific context from different angles. Augmented reality implementation is an emerging eCommerce trend that will undeniably replace traditional 2D images and videos when shopping online.

How to implement augmented reality in eCommerce?

AR in eCommerce bridges the gap between traditional physical retail shops and modern eCommerce stores. To achieve augmented reality implementation in eCommerce, brands should adopt technologies such as 3D visualization, 3D product imaging, and AI analytics tools to offer a customer engaging shopping experience.

Here’re 5 ways to apply augmented reality integration into eCommerce business.

#1: Virtual try-ons


The virtual try-on feature of AR helps shoppers purchase an item from an online store after trying it for the best fit just by using their electronic devices. E-tailers selling a variety of products such as fashion accessories, clothing, eyewear, cosmetics, shoes, and more offer to demonstrate the look and feel of their products virtually to the customers using augmented reality. The realistic representation of merchandise enables buyers to make an informed decision while purchasing a product from an eCommerce store.

Eyewear retail chain Lenskart offers their customers an option to try on different frames using 3D technology. The 3D try-on option allows Lenskart customers to experiment with different looks with various frames and find a perfect fit without going through the trouble of visiting an actual store.

#2: AR-enabled manuals


One of the aspects that customers focus on while shopping online is reading the product manuals and reviews carefully to avoid the hassle of returning and replacing the products. An AR-enabled interactive user manual can educate shoppers about products’ features and the correct way to use them with the help of a comprehensive virtual guide. This approach enables buyers to have a better product understanding that facilitates them to take a quick and well-informed decision while shopping online.

A classic example of AR manuals is the AR app launched by Mercedes Benz that guides users through the features of their luxurious car.

#3: Virtual product aisles

shopping experience

Walking through product aisles in a brick-and-mortar store gives customers a certain level of satisfaction while shopping. It is also a great opportunity for retailers to cross-sell and upsell their products and services and increase revenue. Augmented reality implementation in eCommerce presents similar opportunities to merchants, as they can offer their customers the convenience of exploring various products in the virtual product aisles using AR-enabled 3D projection technology. Buyers only need to click on a product placed on the virtual shelf to know more about it or purchase it.

The image above displays an in-store shopping environment developed by the Schlesinger Group. Their virtual aisle concept facilitates their customers to have a next-gen online shopping experience.

#4: AR mirrors


AR mirrors are smart mirrors that use RFID and augmented reality to create a life-like virtual reflection of a person standing in front of it with virtually selected clothes, hairstyles, make-up, hair color, accessories, and more. AR mirrors or digital mirrors introduce the concept of virtual fitting rooms and also limit the physical contact between customers and products.

FXMirror is a virtual fitting solution launched by FXGear Inc. that enables customers to generate their 3D avatar in real time and try dynamic looks with clothes, accessories, hair, and makeup.

#5: Product preview and placement


Augmented reality allows buyers to visualize how a product would look when placed in their homes or offices. This AR trend is set to disrupt the furniture and home decor industry, as it lets customers have a real-time envision of a product and a 360-degree view of the same in a simulated environment, thus enabling higher customer satisfaction and lower return rates.

IKEA Place is an AR app that allows customers to preview their products in their surroundings and then shop for the products virtually, without having to visit a physical store.

Benefits of augmented reality in eCommerce

Augmented reality integration with eCommerce helps businesses boost their sales, revenue, and profit margins by offering customers an interactive and user-generated shopping experience. AR in eCommerce can take online businesses to the next level and help them stay ahead in the competitive market.

#1: Improved customer engagement

AR facilitates customers to engage with products, giving them a 360-degree view of the objects and their placement in real-life environments using their mobile devices. The 3D technology is a great marketing strategy that gives eCommerce customers a better idea about how the product will look once it is delivered to them, which results in higher customer satisfaction, enriching customer engagement, and better lead conversion rates.

#2: Increased brand awareness

Keeping up with the emerging trends in the eCommerce industry is the best way to improve the customer shopping experience and build brand presence. Augmented reality implementation for eCommerce businesses significantly increases the brand visibility and affinity as it successfully develops and holds customers’ interest with its gripping visualization capabilities.

#3: Better cross-selling opportunities

Augmented reality combined with AI presents cross-selling opportunities to retailers. Online business owners can use these technologies to showcase personalized 3D images of the products to their customers. Users get an interactive experience while shopping from an AR-enabled eCommerce store, and; merchants can enhance this experience by offering customers more similar and relevant products to the ones they are viewing or adding to their cart.

#4: Reduced product return rates

The true-to-scale 3D models created using AR technology enable customers to make informed decisions while buying a product from an online store. It ensures that customers know all the precise details about products in advance and, thus, it is less likely that they would return the purchased items. The use of AR in eCommerce also reduces the cart abandonment rate significantly.

Creating interactive and customer-driven shopping model with AR

The benefits of augmented reality in business are unlimited. With the adoption of the latest technologies like AR, eCommerce businesses can deal with the constantly changing customer behavior and transform the face of online shopping. Augmented reality integration with eCommerce bridges the gap between customer demands and retail supplies, fueling the growth of customer-centric online shopping solutions and building personal brand experiences.

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