In recent times, augmented reality (AR) has emerged as one of the highly valued customer experience tools for brands. Especially in retail and ecommerce, AR has proven to be beneficial for attracting new customers.
It has displayed immense potential to transform and enhance customer buying and virtual shopping experience, turning it into an optimistic viewpoint.
As per Statista, by 2022, the retail segment will make up for 5 percent of the AR and MR (mixed reality) software market, and AR alone will bring in revenue in retail to the tune of $80 billion in 2022.
With the widespread use of smartphones and a better internet connection, more brands are leveraging the benefits of AR in retail and ecommerce for boosting sales and generating revenue.
AR in retail and ecommerce
Since most customers prefer purchasing products online, AR in retail is making the buying journey more user-centric. It’s transforming mobile shopping by infusing life into the products using 3D models, which can be sized up, seen how they look in a specific space, examined from every angle possible, and also judged considering the environment around us.
Hence, in online retail and ecommerce, about 75 percent of customers want brands to offer platforms with AR experience.
About 61 percent of shoppers prefer buying from retailers who offer augmented reality over those who don’t. Nearly 72 percent shoppers buy products that they hadn’t intended to because of augmented reality.
Customer buying behaviours are constantly changing. In this scenario, augmented reality shows the potential to unlock a large part of the market.
As customers get a 3D representation of the products, more people want to shop from AR-based online stores. Brands employing the accelerating power of AR experience in retail and ecommerce will be able to satiate customers and forge long-lasting relationships with them.
Adding value to the shopping experience
A regular ecommerce website cannot provide shoppers tactile interactions with the product, a high-level personalised approach, and product ‘delivery’ before purchase. This is where AR comes in as the technology can help online retail stores offer their consumers a deeper, more realistic, and more immersive shopping experience.
AR also enables ecommerce stores to provide shoppers with vivid, memorable, and fun emotions, which are richer than those we experience in an offline shop.
As a result, AR is fast becoming an important part of the online marketing landscape as it engages more customers, improves conversion rates, and delivers an unforgettable shopping experience.
Since this immersive and innovative technology is bringing amazing results in online retail and ecommerce, marketers are considering ways to integrate it into their overall marketing strategies.
AR adds a fun and entertainment element to online shopping. As it increases brand engagement, sales and revenue generation receive a significant boost.
Through the AR apps, shoppers can scan the online inventories and receive recommendations for different products. This also makes marketing easier for brands as they can provide an amicable shopping experience to their customers.
Also, this intelligent technology providers shoppers with in-depth information about various products and informs them about the pros and cons of purchasing them.
It further reduces the cart abandonment rates. AR refers to shoppers not completing their purchases post adding products to their carts. As AR allows shoppers to visualise the look of products through its virtual representation in 3D, users make purchases that give them a sense of satisfaction and are reliable within their surroundings.
Since they can also judge specifications like product sizes, shapes, and colours, this, in turn, decreases returns on online purchases and leads to a drop in cart abandonment rates by a huge margin.
This interaction with the products is a big reason why shoppers go ahead and buy a product.
Shopping decisions are also guided by emotions besides logic. This element encourages customers to buy those items which they associate with positive feelings. AR offers customers an unforgettable shopping experience, which they would come back for time and again. It even helps solve the confusion of which one to buy.
When skimming through different items, the visualisation capabilities of AR technology can help customers clear their doubts about product characteristics and options available. With a better understanding of the advantages of products, buyers are more likely to go ahead and make a purchase.
Augmented reality has proven to be an effective marketing tool, which works well for both customers and brands. When properly implemented, it can offer users a stellar shopping experience that they would want to share within their social circles.
Thus, this immersive technology has great benefits for online retail and ecommerce stores.
With its multiple capabilities like entertainment, visualisation, driving engagement, gamification, and improved decision-making process, AR is a fruitful investment, which can generate more sales for retail businesses.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)