Best Use of AR in Ecommerce
We can suggest that the area of online shopping has significantly changed within the last couple of years. It would be fair to say that 2020 has become the game-changer for eCommerce development. Notably, the global online traffic for supermarkets increased by 34,8% in October 2020, while the projected revenue growth for large-cap e-commerce is expected to rise by 50% from 2019 to 2021.
As for such spheres as beauty, home furnishings, and fashion, merchants have started to understand how valuable the impact of visualization might become for the customers. Although it is not such new technology in terms of eCommerce, previously, it was some kind of a unique feature. Nowadays, in contrast, it is necessary for all the online stores that want to boost their sales.
Actually, 66% of the consumers mentioned that they find the AR technology’s role significant in shaping their shopping experience, while 6 in 10 people say that it is nice to have an opportunity to visualize the product to see how it could fit into their lives. Another impressive number is 94%, which is how much higher the conversion rate for products with AR/3D is compared to those without the mentioned technologies. One of the most common problems both sides of sales face is the need to return stuff that didn’t fit due to the inability to test items in real-time. That’s exactly when AR comes into play by offering more competitive advantages to the retailers and presenting great capabilities for the customers. What is augmented reality, what are the most significant examples of its usage, and what can we expect from AR in the future?
This is what Qubit Labs plan to answer in this article.
What is Augmented Reality?
To put it briefly, one can describe AR technology as when unreal and virtual objects become part of the real surrounding picture of the world in the user’s perception. When a person sees something in AR, one sees something virtual in the real world. The display shows the user the physical world with added virtual objects. With the help of augmented reality tools, companies draw the customers’ attention and add value to the products.
Now, let’s see how does augmented reality works. The operation of augmented reality apps seems quite simple; there is a label, a virtual layer is overlaid on it, and then it is recognized by a smartphone. However, it is a slightly more complicated process. Using a camera and built-in sensors, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, and GPS, the smartphone continuously analyzes the surrounding space through a special application and receives an image and data for processing (position in space, coordinates), which it then identifies.
To simplify the recognition procedure, the developers have invented several options of labels, which is a simple design look like a set of geometric shapes in black and white (like QR code). After the marker is recognized, objects of the virtual world are displayed on top of it, namely those that are associated with this image in the application, platform, or AR service database. The real merges with the virtual, enriching with additional information.
What are AR apps? These are the applications developed for smartphones that utilize artificial reality to provide an exclusive user experience. Augmented reality in the business allows companies to implement the technology to offer their customers to see the product in full-scale, look at it from each side, and understand whether it would fit.
Augmented Reality in Ecommerce: How do Companies Benefit From It?
Let’s do a quick recap of some of the most outstanding eCommerce augmented reality examples:
- Kohl’s AR Virtual Closet. We all use smartphones in our everyday lives, and Snapchat is one of the most popular apps, so why not combine these factors and take advantage of them? The retailer Kohl’s has come up with the idea to create an AR shopping experience. The app has an AR dressing room in which customers can step inside and try on different items. After that, people can buy the things they liked without switching to another app.
- Sephora. This is one of the most critical uses for augmented reality in eCommerce because when the pandemic took place, beauty retailers prohibited their customers from physically testing their products to increase hygiene and safety inside the stores. However, Sephora has presented an innovative mobile app not to leave people without the ability to see how the products would look on them. It uses facial recognition technology to scan customers’ faces and then offers a variety of makeup products they can try on. Also, it provides makeup tutorials, and if the user likes the simulated look, one can easily purchase the product without leaving the application.
- Louis Vuitton. This brand offers virtual goods as commodities. Namely, in the game League of Legends, the layers can dress their characters in branded clothing and accessories, also known as skins. It is a great example of augmented reality shopping.
- VADO. This interactive visual app gives customers the opportunity to see how certain fixtures and fittings would look in their bathrooms. The app uses the augmented reality technology to make it possible for people to configure textures and amend lighting to see the picture, which will be the closest to their home environment.
- Audi. The role of augmented reality in business is critical because, in terms of the ever-changing environment, each company has to be ready to face emerging requirements. The possibility to make a car purchase more personal will enable customers to choose the car’s design on their own without having to visit the showrooms. They will see their perfect automobile, and there won’t be any bad surprises regarding its outward appearance. Besides, there is a “try before you buy” experience, so a person can test the car as soon as it is delivered to their driveway.
- Wayfair. It is quite complicated to buy furniture without knowing whether it would fit the room’s interior. However, this app has addressed the problem by providing customers with the opportunity to see 3D models of the furniture in their homes through their smartphones.
- Amazon. This company has introduced several augmented reality uses. Firstly, they have collaborated with L’oreal to create an app that enables customers to try on lipstick. A person can take a photo or video of oneself, upload it from the gallery, or select a model with a similar skin tone to see how the makeup would look on her. Secondly, to enhance shopping decisions, it has introduced the possibility of visualizing items to see whether they would fit their homes. Finally, it launched an app that works with QR codes on its shipping boxes. It aims to create interactive and shareable experiences.
- Nike. To address the eternal problem of buying shoes that don’t fit because of the wrong size, the app called Nike Fit allows customers to define their actual shoe size. After analyzing the picture it gets from the phone’s camera, it saves the information in the app. Also, there is a QR code a person can show to a sales associate to get a pair of shoes that fit.
- Warby Parker. Augmented reality shopping cannot be underestimated when it comes to purchasing glasses because it is essential for the customers to try them on. Without leaving the house, people can select the most perfectly fitting glasses and take pictures of themselves to share with friends to make a better choice.
How Do Augmented Reality Trends Transform eCommerce?
It is easier to attract customers when an online store can provide a unique and memorable shopping experience. When the clients enjoy the application, its features, and its opportunities, they are more likely to have a good association between the app and the brand. Even if the AR shopping didn’t bring immediate conversion, it’s still a successful case because the clients may return again or recommend your app to their friends.
Speaking of other augmented reality trends, it is customer loyalty, which can be increased with the help of personalized services. They can make the customers feel more valuable because the app analyzes their previous activities to present more relevant information when they open the application next time. Earlier, we have explained what is AR apps, but it is also essential to point out the importance of social media. If a store has an account on Instagram, it can create its own “masks.” By engaging the customers to try them out, the shop can offer, for example, some bonuses for the clients’ purchases and create a connection with the users.
Thus, we have addressed the question “what is augmented reality” and found out that it is an integral part of modern eCommerce. It enables to reduce the risks both for clients and retailers, build and support the emotional connection between the brand and its customers, increase the number of interactions with the clients, and create a unique shopping experience. If you have decided to apply augmented reality in eCommerce, but the only missing element is a team of skilled developers, Qubit Labs has a solution for you. We can hire remote developers to complete your project and turn plans into reality.
Feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation.