Who’s not familiar with the fun stickers and backgrounds on Facebook and IG camera apps on Snapchat? Or the IKEA app which overlays pieces of furniture in their full-scale model on your house rooms? All these are examples of augmented reality technology and more companies are finally recognizing the benefits they bring to their business.
While Augmented Reality seems intimidating for startups, small businesses, and individual entrepreneurs, this technology can actually be affordable and easy to use for them. Many eCommerce sites are using simple AR techniques to capture the attention of web goers and generate bigger profits. Statista previously published an updated report on AR technology usage by businesses. Their projection showed how AR tech’s value will rise to over US$18 billion. Another Statista forecast also revealed the consumer spending on AR-embedded mobile applications to reach the whopping US $15.497 million by 2022.
These numbers only show that businesses are now ready to embrace AR in their operations. The eCommerce sector, of course, can likewise gain the same array of benefits as physical shops are enjoying. This is thanks mainly to mobile apps. But how else can eCommerce businesses leverage augmented reality?
We’ll find out below!
More than any other sector, eCommerce can apply augmented reality in so many ways. With the ongoing lockdowns, they are bound to win more customers and make higher profits using it than the physical stores. Depending on the products, eCommerce business owns can use these most common forms of augmented reality:
Online shopping has been the go-to of consumers for the past year. eCommerce sites are getting more traction today than pre-Covid years. But shoppers are still a bit skeptical about shopping everything online, most especially when it involves furniture and electronic appliances.
Just imagine buying a side-by-side fridge and when it’s finally delivered, you find out that it won’t fit through the door or on the space where you want it to stand. To resolve this common predicament, eCommerce business owners can use augmented reality mobile apps to give shoppers a preview of an item’s size and other physical features.
IKEA has been the trendsetter in AR home placement. Their IKEA Place mobile app was received well by people as it helped them decide on the right furniture and electronics to buy without going back and forth from their house to the retail shop and carry heavy items just to check whether they will fit a space or not. And apart from the convenience that the app brings to shoppers, it also boosted customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Augmented reality has also made it possible for shoppers to fit clothes, accessories, and shoes as if they’re trying on the real thing. Although shoppers cannot compare the experience of actually fitting an item, advance augmented reality apps now come with intelligent sizing analyzers so they can tell a shopper how it will fit in actual.
One of the popular apps to use this kind of AR strategy is the Nike Fit app which allows shoppers to have a 360-degree view of shoes fitted on their feet.
Another is the luxury brand, Michael Kors. The brand partnered with Facebook in 2018 to launch an AR advertisement that coincided with National Sunglasses Day to promote their new aviator models. Fans and shoppers were able to try on a selection of MK sunglasses by borrowing FB’s camera filters and stickers. Uses were even amazed when the glasses moved with them, making it look like they’re really wearing an MK on them. The hype it created helped the brand sell tons during the launch of their new aviators with +14% conversions.
One of the most popular and talked about invisible pop-up stores in the 2010s was Airwalk’s Invisible Pop Up Store where users simply run Airwalk’s AR app to launch an augmented store where they can virtually shop for sneakers. It was tagged as the future of marketing as it successfully captured the attention of shoe-lovers and gave its profit a lift. eCommerce sites can also follow this trend and bring their online shop to space where their customers are. This gives online shopping a fresher face and provides buyers with a more unique experience.
Augmented Reality is something eCommerce businesses should try to gain an edge over their competitors and to keep leads enticed then engaged and later, loyal.
If you are not sure how to start your augmented reality journey, here are three tools to start with:
For those who are not proficient in coding and making apps, here’s a software you should use. ZapWorks is a user-friendly program that creates simple augmented reality apps for eCommerce businesses that lets their buyers virtually try on their items or pop up a shop in front of them.
The toolkits are offered in different plans to provide you with more advanced features and tools through ZapWorks Studio and an easy and quick drag-and-drop interface in ZapWorks Designer for beginners. ZapWorks plans start at $60 per month (billed annually).
Augment gives another kind of AR power to eCommerce. While ZapWorks gives you customization tools to create your very own AR app, Augment serves as a preview tool that sellers can use to give their buyers a real-life overview of their product.
Augment plans start at $89 per month (billed monthly) where users can leverage the AR Viewer. For other functions, users will have to pay additional fees, but the experience will be more enticing for your customers.
If you are planning to up your game by creating 3D apps, 3D catalogs, and other 3D solutions, Marxent is the right software to use.
Marxent allows users to create a 360 degrees product preview and a 3D space designer, benefiting not just the eCommerce sector but also the trades industry.
Augmented reality is taking the eCommerce game to another level by changing the way shoppers preview products and walk through a shop. This technology makes online shopping more exciting and engaging, which we can see from the many customer feedbacks for eCommerce sites using augmented reality strategies. So, if you are an eCommerce retailer and you’re yet to discover the wonders of augmented reality, today is the right time to do so. Otherwise, you are missing another opportunity to grow your business.
Engineer turned Writer. Donna found a deeper interest in expressing her thoughts through words rather than numbers. With four years of experience, she has now mastered different writing styles. Writing Technology Blogs for the computer software shop Softvire Australia is her latest stint. After work, she morphs into an anime and TV series fan.