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Augmented Reality Is Changing How We Shop

augmented reality

Augmented Reality Is Changing How We Shop

Consumer shopping habits and preferences are rapidly evolving—and it can be hard for e-commerce marketers to plan when they can’t anticipate the next major change. In a market defined by uncertainty, business intelligence has become essential to monitoring trends and making better business decisions. And right now, one of the key drivers to watch is the rise of augmented reality (AR)—and how it will influence consumer purchases.

Gone are the days of having to wait for an online order to arrive to see exactly how it will fit in your home or look on your face. AR, or augmented reality, is allowing e-commerce platforms to give their customers a more immersive shopping experience by showing how new furniture will look in a room, or how their new makeup can look once it’s applied. AR is gaining traction quickly: it was used by over 100 million shoppers in 2021, and it’s predicted to grow even more in years to come. By 2025, more than 75% of smartphone users will be frequent AR users. Right now, we’re in the early days, and the impact of a technology like this can be a game changer for e-commerce marketers looking to deliver immersive, engaging customer experiences.

How do you incorporate AR? What’s meaningful to your customers? What are your competitors doing? These are key questions to consider in shaping strategy, and it’s essential to leverage business intelligence for your planning and decision-making. Line Item can provide this insight into what is and what isn’t working for your business’s e-commerce; it can also help you monitor and evaluate emerging trends in your market so you can make more informed, strategic decisions. This includes information at the product attribute level as well as insight into your SEO and campaign performance and much more—all via a single, powerful platform purpose-built for CPG and e-commerce.

New technology shapes the shopper experience

How does AR work? AR takes the image captured on a device’s camera and imposes an image or effect over it. It’s a powerful tool to overcome one of the biggest friction points (and risks) of online shopping: the dreaded “not as described.” About 30% of all products bought online are returned (compared to an approximate 9% return rate for brick-and-mortar purchases), with 22% of those returns attributed to the product looking different than described. A customer’s ability to have greater confidence in a product before purchasing can help curb those return rates.

Brands like Ikea are utilizing AR to show shoppers what a product will look like in their homes. A shopper considering buying a new piece of furniture could use their phone’s camera to view the area where they plan to place the furniture, and the AR technology would place a 3D model of the furniture into the landscape, providing views from multiple angles.

AR, of course, is not limited to furniture. According to Shopify, Bumbleride, a stroller company, and Gunner Kennels have both been using AR to allow potential customers to see how much space the product will occupy in their home or on the sidewalk, and if their dog will fit in a specific crate. This allows shoppers to get a deeper feeling for how a product will look or function once they have it, giving them more purchase confidence. And it translates to better business performance: Bumbleride and Gunner Kennels reported 33% and 40% increases in order conversion rates, respectively.

AR can also work for CPG brands. Cosmetic heavyweight Sephora is implementing a “Virtual Artist” feature to layer the appearance of makeup over the face of a potential buyer (similar to a filter on social media apps). The buyer can sample different makeups quickly without ever having to go into a brick-and-mortar store. AR will give consumers new avenues to explore products—upping the ante for e-commerce brands. According to Shopify product lead Ryan Smith, AR functions in e-commerce “will be ubiquitous by 2023.”

Staying on top of trends

How could AR strengthen your e-commerce strategy or enhance customer experience? What competitors in your category are already implementing it? Staying on top of trends in a dynamic market with rapid shifts in consumer preferences is challenging; powerful business intelligence enabled by Line Item makes it easier.

AR isn’t the only trend to watch. Are there any new competitors out there, undercutting your pricing or appearing first in search results? What product attributes are driving value? Line Item provides better business intelligence to answer questions like these. Through its proprietary AI engine, which calculates attributes for style, form, packaging, flavor and much more, Line Item can help you analyze what’s really motivating preferences and purchases.

Line Item also helps to ensure accuracy and consistency in product descriptions and images, which can affect search engine rankings and page one results. Line Item can identify if your items are overpriced or if your promotions are working.

In a constantly evolving marketplace, understanding what is working for you—and your competitors—can help you make strategic changes and execute smarter strategies for more successful e-commerce. It all starts with better business intelligence. This makes Line Item your lifeline to more profitable ecommerce.


Ironbridge Software was founded in 1989 by Mike Dickenson. Mike’s unparalleled expertise and passion for technology led him to create the first-ever analytical solution for the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry.


How to Prepare Your Fleet and Stay Organized During a Global Crisis

In times of global crisis, the world relies on the trucking industry to transport essential items across the country. From medical supplies to restocking the shelves at local grocery stores, truck drivers play an integral role in maintaining the supply chain. In order to keep these essential items moving during the COVID-19 crisis, the Department of Transportation has suspended most of the Hours of Service regulations for those trucks that are transporting these essential goods.

Commercial truck drivers have had their driving hours extended from 11 to 14 hours depending on the goods being carried. With so much going on and so many depending on trucking and freight transportation organizations during this global crisis, fleet managers and owners need to be extremely organized to handle current and future industry needs. With that in mind, here are a few ways in which you can keep track of your fleet during a time of heightened demand and uncertainty:

Communication is key
The visibility that essential telematics technology brings can be incredibly helpful. Being able to stay in constant communication with your drivers via messaging and dedicated contact forms—as well as knowing their locations at all times—allows fleet managers to make informed decisions. With things being so hectic right now, knowing where your assets are, who is available for the next load, who is nearest to the depots, and who has encountered longer detention times is critical in a time when efficiently maintaining your fleet on the road is more important than ever.

Most likely due to shelter-in-place orders reducing the traffic overall, many of the states experiencing the highest level of COVID-19 spread are seeing a reduction in travel times for drivers. According to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), freight trucks are clocking faster times overall in these areas, particularly in regularly congested areas. That being said, because of additional route changes, border regulations and detention delays, freight is taking much longer to transport. Having access to accurate telematics and open lines of communication with drivers will be key in planning and tracking routes.

Documentation should continue
While logs are not mandatory to be kept while under the Federal Emergency Declaration, continuing to make notes and annotate the daily log with the reason for non-compliance is a good practice. This will make sure that logs are current when the Emergency Declaration is lifted. It’s a good idea to integrate a route planner or add-on the service if it isn’t included by your telematics provider to facilitate the planning of loads and tasks. With so much on the fleet manager’s plate and the additional hours drivers are logging, any opportunity for automation should be embraced.

Driver safety
For all fleet managers, the safety of your drivers should be the top priority. The Department of Transportation Hours of Service regulations are there for a reason. The guidelines, of course, are there to make sure that drivers are not being overtaxed, reducing the possibility of accidents. Giving your team ample time to rest before taking the next load is imperative. And while it’s required that drivers receive at least 10 consecutive hours off if they let their company know they need immediate rest, they may be inclined to push themselves given the current situation, feeling a responsibility to their fleet manager and the community at large. Plus, with people practicing social distancing, it’s likely there will be an uptick in eCommerce purchases, adding additional strain to fleet capacity. A fleet tracking tool will allow managers to review driver’s time, how often they have completed a 14-hour shift, and allow for properly scheduled rest periods to avoid exhaustion and potential accidents.

Track maintenance
While drivers are putting in the extra miles, so are their rigs! Keeping track of oil changes, tire rotation and other regular maintenance items can keep your drivers and trucks safely on the road. While you may think a global crisis is not the time to stop for regular maintenance, these quick care items are much easier and more cost-effective to complete than larger complications they could cause going unaddressed. An oil change can help engines run more efficiently and reduce a fleet’s cost per mile. Taking time to examine tires could reveal a small leak or puncture which could lead to a popped tire on the road, leaving your driver stuck for hours on end or even cause them to lose control of the truck due to the blowout. Addressing these regular maintenance items will boost efficiency and save time in the long run.

Invest in add-ons
During times of global crisis, the supply chain can change at a moment’s notice. Add-ons such as a brokerage provider integration can help keep the lines of communication open with your customers and help you keep track of where the loads are and when they will arrive. With demand high, and lives on the line while carrying freight like medical supplies, these up-to-the-moment notices can be key in providing your team and customers with the proper support.

Driving demand
There’s no doubt about it – the trucking industry is a key player in combating this global crisis. Delivering everything from medical supplies, to food to other ecommerce purchases for those in quarantine, the country is demanding quite a bit from our fleets. By staying organized and using helpful telematics tools, fleet managers and owners will be able to meet this challenge with the knowledge they need to make smart decisions. Staying in constant communication with drivers and customers will also help manage expectations and make sure everyone is on the same page.


Marco Encinas, Senior Product Manager at Teletrac Navman, plans the product strategy and roadmap releases globally for all of Teletrac Navman’s software platforms. He gains industry insights from customers, integration partners and R&D to improve current Teletrac Navman product features and tools, and drive development of new product requirements. Before joining the Teletrac Navman team, Marco planned product strategy and roadmap releases for both commercial and consumer product lines, developed sales training tools and product curriculum at Magellan GPS and Mitsubishi.