Augmented Reality (AR) has surely come a long way since the term’s coining in 1990. Over the years, we have seen a steady increase in its popularity. In today’s visual driven economy, it holds the potential to become one of the most impressive marketing and sales tools, especially in the e-commerce industry.
Businesses have to step it up and constantly improve customer experience to develop an edge over the competition, and AR can help them do that. In fact, big names like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Ikea, and Amazon are all investing in the implementation of AR into their sales process, and with good reason too.
How Augmented Reality Helps Businesses Supercharge Their Sales
AR allows customers to view their current real-life environment with a digital augmentation overlaid onto it. Meaning, AR places products, not actually present, into real-life scenarios. IKEA, Gucci, Toyota, Adidas, and many other companies offer AR brand experiences due to the key benefits AR offers.
In fact, ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores alike are using AR to improve the buyer journey and increase sales. Companies such as Virgin Galactic and Apple are just some names that have created experience stores for their customers. E-commerce platforms such as Shopify and Amazon are also offering an AR view to create an immersive buyer experience.
Enhances Customer Engagement
AR allows retailers to create a virtual “try it before you buy it” experience. The ability to see something in your own space offers an immersive experience allowing the user to visualize the product in real life. The customer no longer needs to read lengthy product description paragraphs to get an idea of what the product will actually look and/or function like.
Reduce Customer Hesitation
Customers craving an interactive buying experience hesitate to make online purchases because of the inability to view the product in real life. AR offers product visualization and can help remove customer hesitation, in turn reducing the decision making time.
Personalized Shopping Experience
A product that looks amazing in the store can turn out to be a misfit in one’s actual living or office environment. AR personalizes the shopping experience, allowing the customer to determine whether the product is ideal for their situation/environment or not.
Benefits of Augment Reality in E-commerce
According to a report by Statista, online sales will make up almost 22% of total sales worldwide by 2023. However, the rise in e-retails follows a rise in product return rates. In fact, David Sobie, co-founder and CEO of Happy Returns claims, that customers return almost 40% of products bought online, while the return rate for in-store purchase is around 15%. Sobie also claims that not being able to view the product in person happens to be the leading cause of customers returning products.
According to a report by Arinsider, incorporating AR into the sales funnel can:
- Decrease returns rate by 25%
- Increase conversion rates by 80%.
- Enhance site interaction by 5X
With the trend set by the giants, businesses large and small in the e-commerce sector and beyond are adopting Augmented Reality tools into their arsenal. With the help of an interactive AR product demo, your customers can learn about the product features, materials, size, and more to help set your products apart from competitors.