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  December 1st, 2020 | Written by

How Augmented Reality Can Propel E-commerce Growth

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  • Augmented reality is a technology that needs artificial intelligence to be effective.
  • These are the ways augmented reality can take your E-commerce forward.
  • E-commerce stores are slowly taking over the brick and mortar stores.

One of the biggest challenges e-commerce retailers have had to deal with is finding a way for the consumers to interact with the products before purchasing. Owing to the fact that most people like to experience the product before making a purchasing decision, customers may abandon their carts. However, technological advancements have come in a big way to solve this through augmented reality (AR).

Simply put, augmented reality is a technology that needs artificial intelligence to be effective, and that creates a digital interface in the environment around a person by placing virtual objects in real-time in the real world. In other words, AR allows customers to review virtual products in their real-life environment, through computer-generated images on a screen to see how well they fit in their lives.

This technology has significantly improved the e-commerce customer experience. In fact, most customers now prefer purchasing on sites that offer this technology.  Even as you think of starting your e-commerce store, it is important to rethink the platform that you are going to use. It is also important to do SEO for your store to make sure that potential customers are finding you easily on online search engines. If you’d like to optimally leverage your SEO strategy, you can partner with an SEO company to help you customize the right strategy for your e-commerce.

That being said, these are the ways augmented reality can take your e-commerce forward.

1. It increases sales

In a brick and mortar store, people pick up multiple clothes before going to fit them in the changing booth. This gives them the chance to see how well an item fits on them. The more items that fit them, the more the chances of buying a few of them, if not all are increased.

The same situation is brought to life in e-commerce stores through AR. Customers are able to try on multiple items in a short time. For instance, a person who wants to revamp a room has the ability to see how multiple pieces of furniture fit in the room. They are more likely to purchase multiple pieces that go well together.

In addition, the ability to view a product in 3D provides many insights as compared to static 2D images. This influences the purchasing decision especially for people who prefer interacting with an item before purchasing. This shows that the conversion rate is high in a site that uses AR as compared to a site that doesn’t use AR.

2. It increases customers’ engagement

AR technology is thrilling and fun. Think of how many hours people use experimenting with Snapchat filters. Going through Instagram Stories, you can see people post different photos of them with different filters on, which is actually AR at play.

Virtual try-on is engaging. Statistics show that customer engagement increases by a huge percentage on an e-commerce platform that incorporates augmented reality technology. Someone can be hooked for some time trying on watches on their wrists or trying on different eyeglasses. The longer they stay, the more they are making an emotional connection with your brand, and the more they will be compelled to purchase something. This connection makes them loyal and repeats customers. Even if they fail to buy during their first visit, you can be sure that the high level of engagement will take them back in the future.

3. Increases brand awareness

Facebook challenges have been on the rise in the recent past. They provide businesses a creative way to market their brands in front of millions of people. Brands that have been able to leverage them have seen so much success in their marketing campaigns. With AR filters, you can start a Facebook challenge encouraging people to try on your products. Use catchy captions and hashtags and encourage people to tag their friends in the challenge. Owing to the fact that AR try-ones are fun, you stand a big chance of success with engaging AR campaigns.

One example of such a campaign was done by an Italian cosmetics company, We MakeUp, on Facebook. The company used a video showing people how to use filters to try on different shades of lipstick. The video encouraged people to try how the lipstick would look on them. The brand recorded a huge success and increased sales.

This is to say that video-only ads are engaging, but they are more successful when AR is added to them.

Case Study of IKEA

Ikea is one of the biggest manufacturers of furniture located in multiple countries across the world. What keeps IKEA on a competitive edge is their affordable prices and the easy to assemble products. So what IKEA has been doing recently to keep their advantage is that they have introduced virtual reality into their store with the aim of improving the customer experience. They have started this activity also in China, which allows users to test the IKEA products by using this VR app. Basically, they can use the app to automatically scale the products, depending on room dimensions which is highly accurate and gives users the possibility to see how products would look in the room.

E-commerce stores are slowly taking over the brick and mortar stores. However, the ability to interact with products in a physical store beats the convenience of online shopping by far. If you are to capture the customers who are still stuck on trying on products before purchasing, AR is an aspect you can’t afford to ignore.