- AR in eCommerce improves customer experience by bringing unique features of physical stores to smartphones, helping make informed purchase decisions, and increasing the conversion rate, as customers are more confident when making purchases.
- AR technology can help businesses to retain existing customers, attract new ones, and improve how well they tell a narrative.
In recent years, the advent of technology, the global pandemic, and the inevitable digitalization have contributed to the shift in customer behavior and shopping patterns.
Several customers now prefer online shopping, and eCommerce marketers are increasingly adopting advanced technologies, AR and VR, for eCommerce to remain competitive in today’s market.
While immersive games such as Minecraft Earth or Pokemon Go or funky social media filters such as Instagram or Snapchat are what pops into your mind, augmented reality (AR) technology is now more than just a marketing ploy.
It is a potent technology that can help offline and online shoppers navigate the increasingly complex eCommerce world. Let’s dig deeper into what AR is.
What is augmented reality (AR)?
For many, AR in eCommerce sounds sophisticated, challenging, and exorbitant. So far, 81.3 million Americans have used augmented reality regularly, and there is a significant chance that you have already used it to sell your products.
Typically, AR is a visual technology that includes three key components – prompt engagement, a perfect concoction of virtual reality and the physical world, and a 3D repository of real and virtual elements.
Although it is still in adolescence, the AR market is expanding quickly. In recent years, gamers and individuals interested in the “metaverse” have been the early users of AR, but eCommerce marketers and consumers are swiftly catching up.
A McKinsey survey found that 48% of participants are interested in adopting “metaverse” technology (AR) for shopping within the next five years.
So, lets explore the significance of augmented reality (AR) in eCommerce and some of its strengths and trends to look out for in 2023.
How does augmented reality impacts eCommerce
AR has several benefits, especially for the e-commerce sector, where customers wish to digitally “try on” their purchases before they make them.
AR personalizes online purchasing for e-commerce, making it interactive while maximizing customer experience and improving businesses’ conversion rates.
AR in the eCommerce industry also helps improve customer experience by bringing features that are unique to physical stores to your smartphone.
Along with boosting customer engagement, augmented reality also makes acquiring new consumers more exciting as businesses must constantly develop innovative and compelling strategies to win over new clients.
Here is where AR and its numerous advantages come into play.
Helps make informed-purchase decisions and improves conversion rate
Imagine if you could virtually “try on” a product before buying it. Would you still be skeptical about buying it? Maybe not.
A report by Marketing Dive reveals that online AR products boost online purchase conversion rates by over 30%.
Using AR, you can view a 3D picture of a product in any location.
The opportunity to view an item in the actual and immersive form before purchasing eliminates the uncertainty that occurs while shopping online.
This translates to higher sales because customers are more confident when making purchases. In addition, refunds are decreased because customers “have already tried it.”
Enhances customer engagement
Customers these days rely on AR technology to interact with digital landscapes in the real world through their mobile cameras.
In light of this, business owners are now aiming to provide their customers with hybrid shopping experiences in more comfortable and individualized settings.
They develop interactive 3D scenarios using mobile augmented reality that make products come to life in front of consumers.
For example, PacSun, a popular apparel company, leveraged AR in its campaign for the summer collection.
The clothing collection was presented in an eye-catching storefront display that focused on augmented reality at PacSun’s flagship location in Soho, New York.
The show includes a video of waves breaking against a broken storefront window.
AR technology enhances the shopping experience by adding a new level of excitement and immersion that draws customers in and leaves a lasting impression.
Brand storytelling using AR in the eCommerce industry
Businesses today must engage a more unpredictable audience that is no longer interested in watching a 30-second commercial.
When it comes to interacting with a brand, the highly sought-after millennials and Gen-Zs prefer interaction and experience.
Due to its immersive qualities and whimsical potential, deploying AR for branding and marketing initiatives has gained much traction, as AR can help brands improve how well they tell a narrative.
Easy customer acquisitions
Many online businesses need help attracting new clients and retaining existing ones.
How can AR help resolve this issue?
Businesses can successfully address several purchase-related pain points by allowing customers to experience their goods or services in an augmented environment.
This gives them a first-hand experience with the products they intend to purchase, making them all more likely to stay satisfied with the product while increasing customer loyalty.
6 Proven AR Tactics to Enhance Your eCommerce Customer Experience
The global augmented reality market is anticipated to reach US$ 88.4 billion by 2026. Here are a few augmented reality applications in eCommerce that you can exploit this year.
Virtual try-on solutions
Virtual try-on services are top-rated for being the e-commerce industry’s fastest-emerging technology.
A near-life-like experience is produced by combining facial recognition software, pupillary distance (PD) measuring, 2D to 3D imaging conversion, and virtual try-on capabilities.
These strategies draw customers looking for improved purchasing experiences and increase cross-channel online traffic.
As far as consumers are concerned, virtual try-on options are ground-breaking for retailers selling jewelry, eyeglasses, shoes, and clothing, among other options.
Nike’s virtual try-on shoe app is one of the most recent instances of using virtual try-on technology.
Online shoppers can now use this innovative augmented reality (AR) feature to choose the correct shoe size without going to a store or trying it on.
The feature measures the foot volume, shape, and size, which then makes the ideal size recommendations.
Lastly, virtual try-on solutions enable businesses to manage customer expectations, improve customer satisfaction levels, and eventually remove the costs associated with product returns from dissatisfied customers, which fosters customer loyalty and boosts revenues.
Are you into the business of selling furniture, home décor, or even home appliances? Then the preview position is a trail-blazing solution for you.
Preview position allows customers to choose better by enabling them to picture a product in their homes or workspaces.
The AR feature offers customers a myopic experience by giving them a greater sense of ownership and saving their time.
Customers can overlay, move, and rotate objects with the live camera view mode. The feature inevitably leads to improved customer satisfaction.
For example, both IKEA and Amazon have augmented reality applications that let customers view objects in the surroundings of their choice; all they need is a smartphone.
Body measurement app
Customers have always needed help finding the correct size when purchasing wearable products online.
Picking the most appropriate size can be particularly challenging for online customers when considering measurements across different brands.
Currently, a 20 to 30% return rate is seen in online product sales. Unmet expectations, faulty or damaged products, and improper fit are the three most frequent reasons for the return of products.
The body measurement app strives to provide the most precise virtual measurements and body fittings for customers.
This ground-breaking solution enables online customers to try the product that best fits their bodies before they buy it via augmented reality.
The potential of this new technology is enormous for both buyers and vendors.
Customers can find the ideal fit for their bodies, while retailers benefit from a significant drop in product returns and enduring relationships with their customers.
AR user manual
The expansion of e-commerce platforms, fuelled by digital transformation, broadens customer options and shapes their expectations of brands.
Brand confidence is a growing component of the evolving customer experience. Now, more consumers read brand or product reviews before making a purchase.
Online review data show that 95% of customers check reviews before making a purchase and that 67% of customers say they would only believe a high rating if it was backed up by numerous reviews.
Therefore, online businesses need a system that can allay customers’ concerns.
AR user manuals combined with a QR Code can demonstrate interactive step-by-step product usage instructions and much more.
Customers that frequently use smart devices can rapidly review all of the information in the product documentation.
AR manuals shorten the time needed to evaluate a product while removing any inherent dangers in purchasing from an online retailer.
These interactive user manuals improve the consumer’s understanding of the product by fusing an immersive 3D experience with AR technology.
The manual virtually highlights all helpful features and instructions after scanning the product.
To get the most out of this technology, use a reputable QR code generator for creating a QR code to embed the AR user manuals and other product information.
This makes it easy to consume information through mobile devices.
If it’s a product that would require constant updates (like a laptop or mobile device or a kitchen appliance with multiple modes of operation) or you want to leverage the technology to showcase your future products, then use a dynamic QR code.
This way, you don’t have to worry about creating a new QR code whenever you want to update the existing information.
Online product alley
Most consumers still prefer brick-and-mortar retail to any other channel.
Convenience is a big factor in this trend, as physical stores typically have well-organized aisles and shelves for their product displays.
Here’s where AR helps. AR provides an online purchasing experience that resembles shopping in a physical store.
The retail alleys, also known as online product alleys, use a smartphone app to create a virtual alley that is filled with a wide range of products.
The shelves are displayed on the living room wall of a customer.
The customer then investigates the items on the shelves by simply pointing at them and clicking on them to get more information and continue with the purchase.
Tip: To get your users to access these product alleys easily, use a QR code (use the best dynamic QR code generator for this).
So, customers can simply scan and access the AR product alleys effortlessly.
AR in eCommerce enables digital marketing
Many large and small businesses have previously used AR in their social media strategies. Taco Bell is a fantastic example.
The fast-food restaurant chain has been using social media for several years.
The brand leveraged AR technology to introduce Quesalupa as a component of its Super Bowl campaign.
The brand also introduced AR-powered marketing efforts through its filters to set up various events surrounding the introduction of Quesalupa.
By doing this, the brand developed user-generated content that was later used for online testimonials and word-of-mouth advertising.
Such content is also promoted by brands to increase traffic to their online stores.
AR success stories: eCommerce brands that have mastered the art of immersive shopping
Here are a few instances of the biggest eCommerce businesses in the world using augmented reality to boost conversions.
Color services at Amazon salon
Amazon started its salon services in London recently. The company leveraged an interactive AR strategy where customers could test several virtual hair colors at the style stations and save them using Fire tablets.
Lakme’s virtual try-on
Lakmé has been one of the top cosmetics brands that have helped its consumers look beautiful.
This cosmetic company, which has been around for 50 years, has developed an interactive marketing strategy for promoting its products and services through AR.
Lakmé introduced a virtual try-on feature on their website that enables clients to try several lipstick colors and cosmetic goods before making an AR purchase.
With AR, Lakme successfully provided its customers with a clearer understanding of the products they were buying.
With the help of the augmented reality application “See-my-Fit,” ASOS successfully encourages natural photography on its models to highlight its products.
ASOS, a leading online fashion retailer, currently serves approximately 22.3 million active consumers globally.
Since 2020, the brand has been accelerating the use of augmented reality through its app.
Using the app, their product views have climbed by up to 500 each week.
It virtually overlays products on models while taking into account the cut, fitting, and sizes of each piece of clothing.
On the other hand, customers will find this feature intriguing and entertaining.
To help customers unbox and assemble IKEA products, IKEA used AR in the AssembleAR app. This software is based on the ARKit AR technology, an Apple invention.
The company’s original layouts, manuals, and illustrations are used in the app, which also adds references to the outside world and three-dimensional animations.
Due to its ease of use, Assemble AR significantly increases client satisfaction.
The eyewear store Lenskart provides both in-person and online customers with a “3D try-on.”
After scanning the customer’s face, the 3D try-on solutions allow them to test various eyewear options.
Customers can get thorough shopping guidelines and choose eyewear that suits their taste.
Woo your customers with AR
The future of eCommerce business is indeed AR. In the eCommerce industry, augmented reality (AR) has a lot to offer, including increased customer engagement and conversion rates.
The adage “Early bird gets the worm” is true when it comes to using AR, as it is unquestionably on the verge of revolutionizing the eCommerce industry, and early adoption of AR in eCommerce can help you stay ahead of the curve.
Try the above AR tactics, evaluate them for your business, and tell us in the comments how they helped increase your sales and drive customer engagement.