The adoption of Augmented Reality (AR) in e-commerce has drastically enhanced user-experience, as consumers reap the benefits of personalized online shopping and pre-purchase product visualization.
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To buy or not to buy – that is the ultimate decision consumers make in the field of commerce and marketing. User-experience is a critical aspect of commerce that helps facilitate the transaction of goods and services between businesses and entities. It’s no wonder that technologies that provide improvements in user-experience are quickly adopted by the e-commerce industry to help sell products to consumers. Augmented Reality (AR) is one such revolutionary technology that has the potential of changing the core meaning of user-experience altogether. AR overlays digital graphics onto our immediate environment, enabling grand and novel experience for users. Several industry verticals, including those associated with e-commerce, has slowly begun adopting AR due to its increasing advancement and prevalence.
How does AR boost user-experience in e-commerce?
First and foremost, AR helps consumers visualize the product they wish to buy before the actually purchasing them. Using mobile applications of AR-enabled e-commerce outlets, they can choose any product and overlay them in their future environment. This not only provides a context of the physical space they’ll occupy but also inform the user of any color or textural clashes that might occur. IKEA, the Swedish home-furnishing company has developed the IKEA Place AR app for major mobile operating systems. The app helps shoppers visualize how various furniture will look inside their homes, allowing them to not only alter product attributes (size and color) but also select items that complement each other and embellish the room décor.
Second of all, AR has greatly benefited e-commerce by personalizing online shopping. Consumers worried about how a dress of a piece of clothing will look on them can soon avail myriad tools that allow for visualizing the product on themselves. The AR-enabled tool would superimpose clothes over the user in real time, keeping all relative measurements constant. This allows consumers to not only know which fits them but also which would look best on them.
Finally, AR has also been instrumental in enhancing the overall shopping experience. Half the fun of shopping is trying on different looks, and the prevalence of numerous AR apps has made it possible for consumers to try several products before choosing one. For online beauty shoppers, Sephora’s Virtual Artist app allows users to try out different lip colors, eyelash thickness, eyeshadow, and cheek colors – in just one click on the app interface. By trying on several shades in one click, users can easily see what colors look good and which look bad. This virtual experience is even better than an in-person experience where users have to apply and remove makeup until they find one that they like.
E-commerce retailers incorporating AR would experience an increase in sales
According to a recent survey, 40% of consumers would be willing to spend more on a product if it offered an AR experience. Thus, retailers offering AR features on their e-commerce mobile application would witness a significant advantage over their market competitors, ultimately resulting in increased sales from their online stores. Moreover, AR feature would also amplify net profits as it has the potential of reducing post-purchase hassles. The return rate of products would drastically drop in the face of AR, as consumers would have a much superior idea about the product they are buying.
The unprecedented rise in AR
AR has been identified with several applications in various industries, such as the identification and diagnosis of diseases in healthcare, teaching new information in the education sector, and developing shared online environments in social media platforms. According to a recent report by Allied Market Research, the global augmented and virtual reality market was valued at $ 11.4 billion in 2017 and is projected to attain $ 571.42 billion in 2025, growing at a massive CAGR of 63.3% from 2018 to 2025.