Do you think an antique armchair would add that extra charm to your interiors? Or would you like to “experience” the comfort of that brand new luxury car without buying it? Using an augmented reality mobile app, you can get a 3D experience of the real environment by integrating the physical world with digital elements.
AR is trending. The AR market is growing rapidly and estimated to cross $18 billion US dollars in the next three years. With more consumers fascinated with the technology, the spending on augmented reality mobile applications worldwide is predicted to reach $15.497 million by 2022.
Another major sector that is flourishing with AR is ecommerce. The pandemic-induced shift to digital platforms along with the changing buying habits of consumers are making the commerce space more competitive, demanding and challenging. Retailers are finding innovative ways to woo the customers, and augmented reality plays a major role here. AR helps customers to “feel” the product, to see how it meets their needs, highly influencing their purchase behaviours.
VR vs AR
Virtual reality is often confused with augmented reality, especially in e-commerce. But both are different. Imagine a customer is looking to buy kitchen products. Instead of being stuck in a static product page, how nice it would be if the customer is at a virtual kitchen trying to make a pancake! VR offers an immersive experience where customers interact with a 3D environment using special goggles or other devices.
Whether you are a newbie to the e-commerce world or trying to expand your base, an augmented reality solution will benefit you in ways like:
Enhanced user experience:
AR filters are already popular in social media channels. AR filters can make the purchasing experience engaging, interactive and bring in the wow factor. For instance, cosmetic brands are using AR filters to help buyers virtually try on different shades of lipstick before they purchase. Creating AR games is another interesting way just like how a famous brand that challenged customers to catch marshmallows in their mouths with their selfies.
Higher conversion rates:
In e-commerce marketing, the goal should be to increase the percentage of website visitors that convert into customers. Many visualization tools and software are adopted for the conversion rate optimization, and the product page is a critical component. AR technology helps create interactive user manuals that walk customers through the product’s features and instructions step-by-step. Brands can optimize product pages and offer personalized, enriched experience thereby motivating customers to make the right purchasing decisions, thus increasing sales.
Make products memorable:
There are an estimated 24 million plus e-commerce sites across the globe. Thriving in the volatile e-commerce industry is challenging and there are tons of room for growth. Website visitors come, and go; they browse and bounce. Apart from re-targeting those with social media channels or marketing tools, AR can make the products stay in the minds of customers for longer periods of time. According to scientific studies, AR makes the visual portion of the brain more active which means you will be more likely to remember what you saw later on.
Tips to integrate AR into your website
Before making the decision and finalizing the AR tools, keep in mind the following pointers:
· Check if the AR platform comes with a free or commercial license. Evaluate the functionalities, capabilities, and versions of the software and select depending upon your business objective.
· Check whether it is adaptable with devices like laptops, AR glasses, and operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows, etc.
· Shortlist the leading AR developers in the market. Analyze each and every developer’s offerings. Some are marker-based AR, marker less and some are location-based.
· Define a rigorous marketing and promotion strategy for your AR initiative. You could educate audience with demo videos and interactive in-app instructions; make use of social media channels for people to share their experience with the world.
Beyond enabling brand growth and making customers psychologically “feel happy” and “experience” the product, in a few years down the lane, AR will be disrupting, re-shaping the e-commerce landscape.