Augmented Reality: Everything Around You is an Input

Augmented Reality: Everything Around You is an Input

We have discussed how Augmented Reality (AR) has many use cases in E-commerce and the shopping experience. With buying habits shifting during the pandemic, it’s easy to predict that consumers will continue to prioritize shopping from the comfort of their own homes. Businesses had to keep up with these habits by finding innovative ways to create value for their customers and remain competitive amongst the crowd. 

Augmented Reality remains a unique accelerant to deliver new experiences and enhance customer engagement. However, as the landscape continues to change, we pose the question: “Are you ready to add an extra layer?”

With everything eventually becoming a computer-generated input, it is possible for people to be fearful about a world that is so personalized and interactive. This extra ‘layer’ will indeed start in the eCommerce space and then shift to encompass more and more of the world. Just like the rise of any new technology, developers will have to consider users’ expectations in all things–safety, comfort, and environment. 

In an article discussing AR design, they focus on the digitalized steps in the analogue world. Essentially, design considerations for immersive technologies. In order for the populations to feel comfortable and ready for an “extra layer”, developers need to focus on these few steps:

Safety–The idea that you cannot distract the user onto a dangerous path. Objects and items in the real world should still take priority.

Hyperreality–Hyperreality is a term that’s been used more frequently as advanced technologies like Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence continue to rise. We define it as the inability to distinguish between reality and a simulation of reality. Developers should take this concept seriously in order to avoid drowning users’ senses. 

Environment- Unlike logging onto your desktop, AR happens all around you. Developers must consider public, personal, intimate, and private scenarios. “Whatever their setting, users expect pleasurable, user-friendly experiences.”

Security- It is critical to ensure that users’ data is protected as the AR landscape takes shape. 

As AR continues to evolve, developments must continue to be made to improve the quality of output of an experience for the user. There is unlimited potential for AR, as long as changes are made continuously so populations don’t feel overwhelmed and exposed by immersive technology. We’re ready for an extra layer–are you? 

AR in e-commerce

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.

Preview Products 

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.  

Customer Engagement

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. 

Product personalization

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?

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