AR is a technology that is rising rapidly in eCommerce for many good reasons. Customers increasingly want to see Augmented Reality as part of their shopping experience, with a survey of over a thousand customers showing that over sixty percent prefer shopping at stores that offer AR and over 70% would shop with a retailer that offered AR more often. Around forty percent of customers said that they would be happy to pay more for a product that they could experience through AR before buying. With the customer demand clearly there, it’s easy to see why AR is rising rapidly in eCommerce. It improves the experience, sales, and brand visibility with several benefits:
While it has traditionally been the most cost-restrictive and difficult type of marketing, experiential marketing has also been the most valuable marketing type. Today, AR has the power to turn almost every type of online marketing into experiential marketing, making it easier for customers to enjoy a product before they buy it. For example, this 3D watch configurator from Apviz allows customers to not only customize watches while browsing at the eCommerce store, but it also allows them to try the watch on virtually and get a better idea of what it’s going to look and feel like before they commit to buying. Apviz offers a range of 3D marketing and configuration tools for various products including the 3D watch configurator, which can be used to boost customer engagement and offer an eCommerce experience that was previously limited to shopping in-person only.
Tangibility of Online Products
Before AR, the one downside to online shopping was that customers did not have any way to see how the product would look in their personal space or when wearing it. This pitfall of online marketing often led to abandoned carts and customer returns due to purchasing products that didn’t turn out to look how the customer imagined them when browsing. On the other hand, AR has added a new tangibility to online products, allowing eCommerce stores to offer ‘Try Before You Buy’ options or features that allow customers to see a product in their space and truly get an idea of how it’s going to look on or around them. This has been a breakthrough, especially in the world of fashion eCommerce, with customers now one step closer to being able to try on products before they buy online, often in different colors and sizes.
Personalized Shopping Experience
Over the past few years, customers have increasingly demonstrated a need to experience more personalized eCommerce experiences. Personalization in eCommerce is becoming increasingly necessary as customers want to feel like more than just a statistic when browsing and shopping for products online. AR in eCommerce improves the shopping experience overall by making it more interactive, thanks to the fact that customers can have control over certain digital elements in their own space. It allows them to adjust features and colors and see how a certain variation of the product would look in their home or on their person. As a result, customers are more likely to feel connected to the brand and products.
Reduce Product Returns
Product returns have always been one of the biggest problems faced by the eCommerce industry, with customers returning products that just did not match up to what was expected once they arrived on their doorstep. AR’s ability to make online products tangible means that brands can improve the confidence of buyers when they are choosing a product, and allowing the customer to get a clearer picture of what the product is going to look, feel and perform like in their space can reduce customer returns drastically. In turn, this can be hugely beneficial for companies when it comes to reducing the cost of shipping, restocking, and repackaging.
Improves In-Store Experience
AR is not just a useful addition to your website. If you have a physical store along with a website where your brand sells products, AR can also help to support brick-and-mortar sales. For example, many brands are now offering AR website features and apps that allow customers to browse the store more easily and upload photos to make it easier for them to envision how a certain product would look in their personal space before taking it home.
Adding AR to Your eCommerce Site
The good news is that you don’t have to redesign your entire eCommerce site if you want to start offering AR features. You can get AR solutions that are retrofitted to your existing website, with no app required for website AR that is experienced directly through your website. Whether you are looking to add product launch intros, the option for customers to see what a product would look like in their home or virtual try-on features, AR can be up and running on your website within a short period of time and any business of any size can take advantage of the many benefits of adding AR to their eCommerce website.
Adding AR to the eCommerce process will begin with a consultation with an AR solution provider. You will spend some time talking about what you hope to achieve from the solution and look at the different solutions that are available to you in order to help you reach your ultimate goals. AR experiences on an eCommerce website can easily be scaled in size depending on the size of your brand and your budget for the solution. It’s a good idea to work with an AR solution provider that offers a wide range of AR services to make it easier for you to expand the AR experience on your website in the future, should you need to.
AR During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Social distancing, hygiene, and staying at home have become more important than ever before in today’s current climate, and AR was one of the industries that were given a boost by the COVID-19 pandemic. With online sales spiking to a higher level than ever before during 2020 with more people shopping online to stay safe and avoid contamination, AR features on eCommerce websites were able to provide customers with an online experience that was as close to real-life shopping as possible. This made ordering products from home easier and more bearable for customers, even when purchasing a product that they would typically go into a store for. In addition, AR allows customers to try out and try on products virtually before buying, which increases the safety of purchasing these products during a pandemic and allows customers to interact with a product in a very hygienic and risk-free way.
Whether you are considering adding AR to your eCommerce store as a way to allow for safer product interaction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or want to increase online interactivity with products in order to meet customer personalization demands and reduce product returns, it is clear to see that there are several benefits of AR in online shopping that are having hugely positive effects on the brands that use them. By providing customers with an easy, safe, and effective way to interact with and try out products before they buy, AR is one of the best ways to improve online customer engagement and satisfaction.