How is Augmented Reality redefining shopper experiences? Read to find out!
Do you remember the first time you purchased an item from an online eCommerce platform? When shopping online for the first time, did you also have questions like, “What if the actual product looks different from the pictures?” or “What if it’s bigger/smaller than the pictures?”
A lot of us began trusting the internet more after Flipkart. With a hassle-free Cash on Delivery option, it made Indians trust the internet with their money, giving people an initial feel of an online marketplace.
Ever since then, e-commerce platforms have evolved. In 2012, Converse became one of the first brands to launch a virtual try-on feature for its users to help them see how a particular shoe looked on them. But it wasn’t until the AR-powered Pokemon Go was launched that people realized the true potential of Augmented Reality technology. The game gave the players a truly immersive experience, going on to set 5 Guinness World Records, one of them for being downloaded a whopping 130 million times!
Virtual Try-ons: The Next Big Thing for Luxury Businesses
If statistics are to be believed, the mobile augmented reality (AR) market was estimated to be worth USD 9.53 billion in 2019. It is forecast to approach USD 13 billion in size in 2022, before jumping to over USD 26 billion by 2025.
AR offers shoppers the possibility of personalisation, directly impacting sales. The Luxury Retail Industry is slowly embracing AR to give their shoppers customized recommendations, based on their search patterns and previous purchases. According to a Forbes study, 40% of marketing executives report that personalization has a direct impact on maximizing sales, basket size and profits in direct-to-consumer channels, such as e-commerce, while another 37% point to increased sales and customer lifetime value through product or content recommendations.
Redefining Shopper Experience
We have previously talked about how AR is changing the game when it comes to jewellery shopping. But what does it mean for businesses in general? How does it affect user experience?
Augmented Reality allows businesses to get one step closer to their existing and potential buyers, enabling them to experience their offering more closely and realistically, allowing them to truly feel and witness an experience. It helps shoppers visualize a product better, building trust, thus making AR a powerful marketing tool.
In a recently conducted survey, Snapchat found that more than 100 million consumers are already shopping with AR online and in stores. While most respondents said they currently consider AR a “toy” (for eg.: Snapchat filters, Pokémon Go, or Google’s AR-enabled search), a whopping 76% want to use it as a “tool” in their everyday lives.
Trying Before Buying
AR gives customers who typically shop online the chance to view and interact with products in the same way they would if they were visiting a physical store. AR experts predict that the next phase of AR will likely be a “gamified social experience,” that will allow businesses to engage with their shoppers on a whole new level.
When it comes to engaging with one’s shoppers, the audio-visual medium can play a crucial role. With many AR-powered platforms offering group video calling features, it has now become easier for businesses to keep their customers engaged personally. Allowing one to try and buy while also giving the feature to share their shopping experience with their friends and family, video calling and virtual try-ons are all set to revolutionize shopping forever.
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