E-commerce has grown considerably over the last few years. By 2020, the number of online shoppers will grow beyond 2 million.
On-demand apps are changing a lot of things. They are allowing shoppers to use their smartphones for browsing and shopping products. Consumers now have the upper hand. I can relate to it better than anyone else. I have subscribed to Cox Cable and through my Contour app, I can stream TV at the palm of my hands. They have given customers all the control to watch video content and their favorite networks as and when they wish to.
It’s The Era of Customers
Store owners are losing control and customers are gaining it. Many retailers are uncertain whether a visitor will complete the purchase or not as they land on the website. A survey reveals that 74 percent of consumers said they preferred shopping at physical stores. They like the ability to see, feel and try the products before buying.
E-Commerce companies must look for technologies to simulate the element of in-person shopping. AR could be of great assistance. If you are running an e-commerce business and not tapping into this technology, learn how it’s impacting the retail business:
#1: An Engaging Experience
When a customer is shopping online, they are disconnected from the product. They can read the description and look at the pictures but the rest is up to their imagination. AR is helping e-commerce businesses create representatives of the items they are selling to offer a real shopping experience.
By interacting with a virtual rendering of the product, a customer can have a more realistic and engaging experience. 61 percent of the online buyers already say they would shop on sites that support AR features.
#2: Offer Better Value
AR allows you to deliver incredible value to the shoppers who haven’t yet decided what to buy. Sephora app has set a good example. It uses the ModiFace technology. This allows users to take a selfie and apply cosmetics onto their faces. The customer won’t have to spend hours in the store listening to the salesperson talk about the merits of the eyeliner. Instead, they can test the product online on their faces by the comfort of their home. This has streamlined the shopping process for many Sephora customers.
#3: Add Novelty
Incorporating AR is the only immediate way for retailers to stand out in the online marketplace. Warby Parker, an eyewear online store, differentiated itself from its competitors by letting shoppers try the eyewear before purchasing.
AR is a great way of offering some novelty. Customers truly enjoy trying a product before buying. Although this technology is yet to perfect itself, many retailers are creating avatars to let shoppers try the products digitally. Customers tend to shop more at online stores where they can virtually interact with the product.
#4: Offer Customization
Having a variety of products is no doubt a great way of attracting customers. But, shoppers like to compare different products before settling for one. On a traditional online shopping platform, these differences are difficult to demonstrate, right?
AR has solved this problem. An e-commerce business can help shoppers explore differences between products by creating AR apps. AR could be rendered to reflect the differences. GAP is letting customers try clothes before shopping. They have created a DressingRoom app that provides dimensions for building an avatar. It’s used for testing different looks by trying different clothes. Shoppers can try different sizes, create different looks and even see how an item appears in a different environment.
#5: Transparent Delivery
Even though the retail world has progressed so much, shoppers still have a fair share of ambiguity when buying online. They don’t know if the color or size of the product is an appropriate fit. AR has the potential to change this.
Customers can view the product through its space, size, and color. In other words, a customer will have true information about a product. Customers will get the same product they ordered (no shocks at the time of delivery). There will be transparency throughout the purchase.
The sooner you embrace AR, the better. The brands that have already embraced it have an edge. But AR has to be more than just a gimmick. Retailers must create useful AR shopping experiences for customers. Even the entertainment industry can incorporate AR into the streaming apps. Soon, loyal cable subscribers like me would something better than Cox tv to stick to cable. Maybe AR technology in the entertainment would keep us coming?