In 2019, approximately 1.92 million people purchased goods and services online. There is no doubt that the number of digital buyers continues to grow throughout the 21st century. With more tools than ever before including the internet, social media, and smart devices– consumers are continuing to increasingly turn to e-commerce to make their purchases.
With that being said, we can see how augmented reality (AR) has the power to disrupt this industry. One of the biggest challenges consumers face with online shopping is the inability to touch, try on, or experience the product they are about to buy. Enter AR, where the customer can get a real glimpse of what the product will look like in their own environment. Not only is AR beneficial for consumers, but businesses who invest in AR technologies may also see a decrease in returns and dissatisfaction. Let’s explore three advantages of AR in e-commerce.
Think about a time where you found the perfect painting or furniture set online but wished you had the ability to project what it would look like in your own home. AR solves this problem. Using AR, you can position a digitally imposed version of the item in your desired location– customizing the color or design if needed. Companies such as Ikea, Wayfair, and Home Depot have already deployed augmented reality and take the lead in adoption.
For online businesses, the goal is to keep a potential customer on your website as long as possible– eventually leading to a sale. According to Medium, video enhances customer engagement and has a direct impact on purchasing behavior. However, what if photos and videos were taken up a notch– to an interactive experience? Augmented reality can do just that. With Youtube being the second largest search engine in the world, we can see the way consumers like to interact with today’s content. Implement AR, and the numbers will skyrocket. In fact, 61% of shoppers have already said they prefer to make purchases on sites that offer augmented reality technology.
AR also has big opportunities in fashion and retail as “try on” technologies have been created using AR to give customers the ultimate buying experience. Brands like Sephora and Topshop have introduced new AR features that allow customers to try on a lip shade or clothing piece virtually. The greatest part is that users can interact with the products in their own way and personalize their experience. AR takes away the limitations of not visiting a physical location by allowing customers to interact with products as they would in person.
The Time is Now
Emerging technologies like augmented reality will increase customer satisfaction and user engagement. AR is a powerful tool for merchants and those who adopt sooner than later will reap the benefits.
How do you predict AR will disrupt e-commerce?