How Augmented Reality is Changing E-Commerce in 2021

While Augmented Reality gained popularity in 2020 largely because of covid restrictions, the demand for AR won’t be slowing down this 2021. According to a Retail Customer Experience article, AR engagement is up nearly 20% and the conversion rate increases by 90% for consumers engaging with AR compared to those that don't. 

Integrating augmented reality into your e-commerce wheelhouse will undoubtedly aid in strengthening the consumers purchase intention. However, getting customers to engage in the usage of AR can be easier said than done. With popularity comes resistance - many consumers look at new tech (and its learning curve) with weary eyes. 

Here are a few ways your company can utilize this burgeoning tech to drive online engagement and sales: 

Acclimate/Familiarize Your Consumer Base to Augmented Reality

The more informative a product translates to the consumer, the more likely they are to purchase the product. Augmented Reality incorporates three basic features: 

  • A combination of real and virtual worlds
  • Real-time interaction 
  • Accurate 3D registration of virtual and real objects

The purchaser can see the perception of the real world combined with the digital world; this enhances immersive sensations that are perceived as natural parts of our environment. AR marketing virtually puts the product in the prospect’s hands, allowing them to analyze and form their own conclusions on the product's benefit and quality. Bridging the gap between online and in-store shopping experiences. 

Promoting Confident Buying Through the Power of AR

Knowledge is power and it is important that the purchaser has the right information to make a purchase confidently. It is the natural reassurance that makes the decision feel right. Accurate and updated information gives the buyer piece of mind and helps to avoid buyer's remorse. 

AR can be used as an aid in selecting products from a catalog or through a kiosk. The purchaser can easily navigate to make a decision on a product based on what the seller offers up through their medium of choice. They know what they’re getting. Can “try it on” or “test it out” or “view in your space” 

Avoid Product Returns

With self-assured customers purchasing, they are less likely to return items. This saves the company on shipping, restocking and repackaging costs. Additionally,  having strong customer satisfaction can often lead to more buyer recognition and trust in products.

Repeat customers + customers will refer others to your business

 Augmented Reality Gives a Sense of “Pre-Ownership”

AR can make users feel they already own the product. AR experiences allow the product to be visualized in the purchaser's desired placement whether it be for interior designing, visual arts, power tools, or environmental landscaping. This open-box experience gives  customers control over digital elements in real time, space and environment and fosters a greater connection to the product and the brand.  

How is Augmented Reality Changing the Business Landscape?

·  AR expenditure is expected to reach $297 billion by 2024.

·  61% of online shoppers prefer to make purchases on sites that offer AR technology.

·  63% of customers say that AR would transform their shopping experience.

·  51% of customers feel that retailers are failing to take full advantage of AR.

·  70% of consumers are expected to be more loyal to brands incorporating AR as part of their shopping experience.

How Technology & E-Commerce Are Embracing Augmented Reality

Understanding the increasing demand for AR-based mobile apps, the top technology companies have come up with their own augmented reality platforms. These newly developed platforms are simple and user-friendly which allows developers to build e-commerce apps with AR features. At the cutting edge of visualization, the technology rises above most marketing tools and has captured consumer interest.

Consumers are experiencing something that their competitors do not have. AR demonstrates something e-commerce consumers have never had before: personalization, individuality, and an attention to individual need and preference. The technology is expanding among all devices including smartphones, tablets, computers and as well as headsets.

 How Augmented Reality and Younger Generations Coincide

Younger generations are seeking more of an interactive shopping experience. Data suggests millennial and Gen Z consumers prefer more of an augmented reality shopping experience compared to the traditional brick-and-mortar type businesses. Customer engagement increases by a huge percentage on an e-commerce platform that incorporates augmented reality technology. 

The longer the customer is staying on your site utilizing AR, the more they are making an emotional connection to your brand. The more of an emotional link between brand and demand, the more it will compel the customer to spread awareness and have continuously repeated business. 

 Augmented Reality is the Future of Ecommerce

As an ecommerce company, implementing standard processes is foundational to the success of your business. Being open to change, such as implementing augmented reality in your ecommerce flow, is pivotal to future success. As H.G. Wells said “adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative.” Reflecting back on the 2020 Pandemic, this statement is all too true. 

If you are an ecommerce company inviting the possibility of augmented reality, or your existing augmented reality solution isn’t performing as you’d hoped, we're here to help. Reach out to Epigraph for a brief augmented reality introduction.

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