Shopping has evolved tremendously in modern times. The e-commerce platforms are turning out to be genies in disguise when it comes to instantly browsing and purchasing the product whenever one wishes to. Additionally, the delivery time is also optimized for same-day and even same-hour delivery.
With the availability of smart gadgets and internet connectivity at a budget-friendly cost, the e-commerce industry has grown exponentially and is projected to reach about six and a half trillion US dollars by 2027. Anyone can easily order and receive desired products ranging from small soap bars to vegetables, from clothes to smartphones, and numerous other items with the e-commerce platforms from the place of their convenience.
However, e-commerce has some limitations, including artificiality, lesser customer engagement, lack of interactivity, the inability to allow customers to have hands-on product experience, etc. The solution of the technology industry to counter the drawbacks of e-commerce is Augmented Shopping.
What is Augmented Shopping?
Augmented reality (AR) allows the viewing of digital world objects in real spaces. Augmented shopping or augmented reality shopping allows shoppers to try out or test products through their digital devices including smartphones, tablets, and virtual reality headsets. The technology is to provide e-commerce users with an enhanced shopping experience by allowing them to interact and engage with the products.
With AR shopping customers can derive the experience of being physically present at real-world stores to interact with the products. Through the camera and filters of digital devices, the products that are fashionable such as wearables, make-up, and jewelry can be tested to check how a customer will look if they put them on.
In addition, a customer can even check how the product such as furniture, electronics, or gadgets will look in their home settings with AR and 3D features from their digital devices. With the AR features, the issues related to the product size, color, comfort, and other factors can be sorted before buying the product, which improves the customers’ convenience while shopping online.
How Can Augmented Shopping Transform Marketplace?
The players in the e-commerce industry today are expanding their presence rapidly and even reaching to remotest parts of the world to deliver the products. However, when it comes to building trust and effective customer retention, joining hands with technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) is the way ahead.
The possibilities of customer engagement and business growth can be generous if AR shopping makes its way into the choice of customers for their online shopping requirements. Below are the ways AR-infused shopping experiences can transform the future of the online and offline marketplace.
Immersive Shopping: Options to interact with products are minimum in conventional shopping mobile applications or websites. Whereas, the AR features are more than just browsing as they enable customers to interact with the product allowing them to test or try it on while shopping.
Such a shopping experience can increase the focus of users on virtual store shopping rather than just scrolling and getting lost without coming on to any final choice. The immersive ness experience of AR/VR/MR shopping allows users to check out the products they intend to buy then and there.
Innovative Advertising and Integration with Social Media: Social media has become a vital part of the daily lives of billions of individuals worldwide. Brands across the world with innovative advertising ideas are boosting brand value and sales on social platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and several such.
Features like AR filters on social platforms can be used for attracting social media users to try out the products. In fact, several brands globally including Gucci, Adidas, Netflix, Lego, and H&M among others are creating their own AR filter for the social site to drive the interest of individuals in trying out products on social apps itself.
Improved Customer Retention: The digital world is crowded with numerous platforms. A user can easily shift from one e-commerce software platform to another if they are not satisfied with the things displayed on the screens. The reasons for distractions can be plenty, and figuring out what diverted the attention of the shopper can be difficult.
The AR shopping experience puts customers in the driving seat. The AR features of interactivity, 3D technology, and immersive ness can increase the engagement of the shoppers with the product while shopping. The exclusiveness of the AR shopping experience can facilitate improved retention of customers on the shopping platforms.
Increasing Sales: Online shopping has the potential to become equivalent to offline shopping with AR and VR technology. With improved customer engagement with the product, the limitations of skipping the product for not being sure if it would suit or not can be significantly reduced. This can enable brands to increase their online sales and minimize the skipping habits of customers for unknown reasons.
Boosting Customer Experience with Exciting Offers and Rewards: Online shopping can be more than shopping with an AR shopping experience. The fun of shopping can be boosted with the addition of AR/VR games, activities, contests, prizes, cashback, and other rewards. Such integration of various aspects of AR shopping can transform the online shopping experience of customers making it a more fulfilling activity.
AR, VR, and MR shopping experiences can revolutionize the world of online shopping. Big technology and e-commerce platforms including Amazon, Google, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft, among others, are boosting their investment and efforts in Metaverse, which can boost the adoption of augmented shopping as well. With AR shopping, the opportunities for business growth are likely to expand in the years ahead.