How Augmented Reality is Reshaping eCommerce Businesses

Applied Tech Review | Thursday, June 09, 2022

How augmented reality in e-commerce can deliver a more enticing shopping experience to consumers.

FREMONT, CA: One of the biggest challenges of online shopping is that it doesn’t lend itself well to a full sensory product experience. In a brick-and-mortar environment, consumers can try on clothes, touch fabrics, or see for themselves just how big a couch looks in a room. While such user experiences aren’t technically possible in e-commerce, augmented reality (AR) applications offer a way to give customers deeper and more complete information about your products — right from their own homes.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology. It is a growing trend among companies involved in mobile computing and business applications in particular. It is used to enhance natural environments or situations and offers perceptually enriched experiences.

How is Augmented Reality Different From Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality is fully immersive, while Augmented Reality simply augments the real world. With virtual reality, an individual needs to wear a headset and, potentially, hold controllers in their hands. Consumers also have to make sure that their physical environment is safe. AR, on the other hand, typically just needs a smartphone or, in some cases, AR glasses. Because AR requires less equipment and fewer safety precautions, it’s also more accessible. When a VR application is created, the number of people who have the equipment available to experience it is far fewer than the 3 billion smartphone users in the world today.

How Ecommerce Businesses Are Using Augmented Reality

• Engages customers

Experiential marketing is the most valuable type of marketing but has always been the most difficult and cost-restrictive. Now, Augmented Reality is turning every type of marketing into experiential marketing. Brands that engage and interact with their customers have a much higher chance of success, and Augmented Reality is an automated way to do just that.

• Improves customer satisfaction and reduces returns

By making online products tangible, brands improve buyer confidence and, in turn, reduce returns. Customers are more likely to hit add to cart, which improves sales. They are less likely to return items, which saves companies on shipping, restocking, and repackaging costs. It’s a financial win-win for companies, as well as a win for their customer satisfaction.

• Personalises the shopping experience

Augmented Reality in e-commerce improves the shopping experience by making it interactive. By giving customers control over digital elements in their real space, they feel more connected to the product and the brand. They can adjust features, colours, and sizes and scroll through products that appeal to them the most. It’s as if they have a floor salesperson at their fingertips.

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