The Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) market is expected to grow tremendously over the coming years. It is not just about some images and animation but is evolving into a powerful tool to enhance customer engagement and provide better customer experience. This technology is revolutionizing retail across the globe.
AR is trying to merge real-world products with the digital world to create and build a richer and more realistic shopping experience for customers using the internet and their smart gadgets. AR will also help customers to understand to what extent the product can satisfy their needs and desires before buying the product.
It will tell customers how they will look or feel in the real world after getting a particular product. The technology used in AR is almost like magic and can mesmerize any customer with its sheer technological power and innovative capabilities. Increasing demand for smartphones and the rapid growth of the internet will only further boost the demand for technologies like AR.
Some people are generally confused about AR and VR. Actually, both the technologies are quite similar, but VR requires the user to wear a headset and that completely blocks the view of the real world. AR blends the real and virtual world in a seamless way to showcase a product in a real-world setting.
How AR will Enhance the Online Shopping Experience?
Marketers are using AR to create an immersive experience for their customers. They are also including stories to provide customers with a personalised shopping experience. Ecommerce stores are trying hard to replicate the in-store experiences like size, fit, appearance, etc., to add a personal touch to their sales strategy.
Customers buy some products by just knowing the specifications but for other products, they would like to touch and feel what they are planning to buy.
AR will offer customers the opportunity to understand the products better and get a better idea about how the product will meet their needs. It will provide better customer engagement and conversions for businesses.
This technology uses 3D models that can be examined from all angles. The images can also be sized up or even seen how they look in a particular setting or space. For Ex: You can see how a piece of furniture will look in a given setting at your home.
The company IKEA is already offering such services through its online portal and their Apps.
Tech giants like Apple and Google have been working on this technology to create multiple services for their customers.
Almost 75% of the customers are expecting their brands to offer AR services and experience. This technology has the potential to unlock the market and even attract first time users to try it and buy the products they desire. More people will slowly begin to trust in AR-based stores and the brands who take the lead will be benefited in the long run.
Even jewellery stores have realised the power of AR and are trying hard to adopt these technologies. The AR market is projected to grow to 18.5 billion dollars by the end of the year 2020.
This is the next level in online retailing and can increase the demand and sales of products drastically in the coming years. Consumer spending will continue to drive the growth and demand for these technologies.
More than 65% of the brands are willing to use this technology in their business. Shopping for furniture, groceries and clothes will increase with the use of AR technology since it offers more benefits to the customers. Once customers are satisfied with viewing the product with AR, they will be able to quickly decide on purchasing the product.
AR-powered stores are offering multiple products and services to their customers. Some companies have also installed virtual trial rooms where the customer needs to stand in front of a camera and select the product they wish to buy.
The screen will display their image wearing that product to give customers a clear idea of how they will look. This will save time, effort and enable a seamless service for the customers. It will also reduce the need for in-store visits and provide an enhanced customer service experience.
The number of customers is rapidly increasing all around the world. Many customers are trying online shopping to know more about it and gain from its benefits. Retail shops are trying to cater to the needs of their customers by using AR. This technology serves as an online representative for retailers to deliver services to their customers.
It will help the customers to make better buying decisions since they would have a better idea about the products by using AR technologies. They can view the colours and sizes more clearly to understand more about the product before they hit the buy button. It will help customers to make better and smarter choices to suit their specific requirements and demands.
AR can generate 3D representations of products to create an immersive experience for the customers without the need for wearing any 3D glasses. The chance of customers returning the product will also reduce since they are making an informed decision. It will take some more time for customers to adopt and start using these latest technologies.
The Future of AR in eCommerce
This technology will influence about 3 percent of the eCommerce revenue by the end of 2020. Some researchers are predicting that around 1,20,000 stores will leverage the power of AR by the end of the year 2020. Even brick and mortar stores are planning to take their business to a new level by offering AR to enable more personalisation and visualization for their customers.
These technologies can respond more quickly to changing customer trends and demands to offer them better services powered by the internet, new software and other advanced technologies.
Augmented Reality is able to create a more memorable and satisfying experience for the customers. It has several advantages as discussed above. But higher engagement rates will boost the overall sales of the business and this will prompt many businesses to start offering these services.
It has a lower entry barrier since anyone can use this service without any differentiation. This is definitely going to be one of the next big tech trends. Once customers start using it and understand its benefits; it would be adopted at a faster rate due to word of mouth marketing done by happy users.
Just like google this technology would take some time for people to accept and help it to expand throughout the globe. We may see it taking off in a big way in the near future especially due to the pandemic situation and fewer people willing to visit brick and mortar stores. Online shopping is already growing at a great pace and will continue to do so in the coming decade.