Shopping Through Augmented Reality

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The technological world is changing fast, and as ever, retailers and marketers are doing their best to keep up. More and more, harnessing new tech innovations to provide the best shopping experience is key to success in the retail industry. One buzzword that has risen to the top lately is augmented reality shopping, but not everyone is clear on just what that means.

As the future of e-commerce continues to shape, augmented reality (AR) will have a huge impact in how customers buy products online. Augmented reality is helping to solve these dilemmas with product visualization. AR makes it possible to see virtual products in your actual environment, and the integration of AR in e-commerce is quickly changing how consumers shop by allowing them to see what they want to buy before any purchase is made.

Even with the knowledge of a product’s dimensions, it’s still challenging to envision how it will look in your home or on your counter beyond a simple eyeball test. Augmented reality is set to revamp the online shopping experience in that sense.

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What AR means for mobile shopping

As mobile commerce grows, merchants still struggle to come close to the conversions of desktop. There are a couple factors to which retail insiders attribute this disparity between desktop and mobile conversion rates:

Intent – With the majority of e-commerce sales being performed through desktop devices, consumers who shop on mobile more frequently have an intent to browse catalogs rather than buy.

Mobile friction – Most mobile devices weren’t intended for online shopping, and the smaller screens and (often) slower load times make it difficult for users to complete their purchasing decisions as easily, especially when it comes to entering information and comparing products. This often results in cart abandonment.

The convenience of shopping online, especially through mobile, faces tough obstacles that augmented reality is directly addressing. Being that AR is mostly seen through smartphones, it’s improving the e-commerce experience through both product visualization and making mobile shopping an engaging throughout the decision making process. Augmented reality is encouraging shoppers to spend more time visualizing and configuring products in the real world, and they are no longer left with doubts about their online purchases. 

From consumer satisfaction to abandoned carts and returned products, there are countless challenges online merchants seek to overcome. As retailers strategies to increase conversions through online and mobile channels, AR is creating a more engaging buyer’s journey for these shoppers.

Remember when augmented reality (AR) was a pie-in-the-sky idea? Even just a few years ago, AR caught our attention mostly due to its “cool factor.”

Now it’s becoming more of a reality, and forward-thinking retail brands are incorporating AR technology into the customer experience, both in-store and online.

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Enhancing the In-Store Experience

Retailers across a number of industries have integrated AR technology into the in-store experience. It’s a smart move, especially considering 61% of consumers prefer stores that offer AR experiences — and 40% of them would pay more for your product if they have the chance to experience it through AR.

AR has also proven an effective way to bring the in-store experience to life in a virtual sense. Rather than customers visiting your store, AR allows them to experience your products and services right in their homes.