Marketing

eCommerce Experiences: Upgrade With AR

January 10, 2023

If you run a business that deals in eCommerce, then you know it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd. In 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that eCommerce revenue grew 2.7% from the first to second fiscal quarter.

This is excellent news for the eCommerce industry. Still, it also means that the market is growing more and more competitive. If you are looking to get a step ahead of the competition, augmented reality might be the right move for your business.

Follow along as we walk you through the following:

  • What AR is
  • Types of AR
  • Important AR statistics
  • Ways to use AR in eCommerce
  • How AR can upgrade your store

What Is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that combines the real world with the digital world. AR does not have to be a fully immersive experience, meaning users do not need a headset or wearable to dive in.

With just a smartphone, AR technology can superimpose users' favorite avatar in Pokémon GO, shop for new furniture on IKEA Place, or choose perfect paint colors with Home Depot's Project Color.

While virtual reality is fully interactive and requires wearables, augmented reality is the perfect, accessible in-between in the metaverse.

Types of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is not just one thing. Different types of AR technology have unique capabilities and uses. See below for more information.

Marker-Based AR

This type of AR uses image recognition software to identify an object, or a marker, in front of the camera. Once the image has been registered, the software replaces the marker with a digital twin, an exact digital 3D copy of the image.

Once that process is complete, the user can see the image as a digital overlay on whatever environment they are viewing.

Markerless AR

Markerless AR is a more advanced technology because it does not need a marker to operate. It works the same as marker-based AR. However, this software can recognize and superimpose physical images to digital environments in real-time without requiring a marker.

Location-Based AR

This type of markerless AR uses geolocation to display digital images. If you've ever played Pokémon GO, you have seen location-based AR. No matter the location, the AR software can create an overlay of your favorite character to try to catch 'em all.

Projection-Based AR

Projection-based AR has an extra sci-fi element to it. This technology projects light onto real-world surfaces to create overlays and holograms. The sci-fi part comes in when the user can interact with the hologram as if it were a living thing.

If you've ever secretly wished that you could talk to your favorite childhood cartoon, projection-based AR might be able to make that dream a reality.

Statistics and Augmented Reality

If you're a numbers person, you will love this next section. We're giving you the critical AR facts you need to know when considering an eCommerce upgrade.

  • From 2019 to 2020, AR advertising revenue grew by almost one billion dollars globally.
  • By 2024, AR advertising revenue is projected to reach eight billion dollars.
  • 21% of social media users used AR once a month in 2020.
  • 35% of users report utilizing AR to assist with their furniture and car shopping experiences.
  • 20% of retail owners in the U.S. expect to invest in AR for their eCommerce store.
  • 66% of people would like to use AR when making purchasing decisions.

Numbers don't lie. AR is making its way into the eCommerce world, and it is an incredible way to boost your online store. Augmented reality is not a fruitless integration 𑁋 customers love the options it provides for their shopping experience.

Ready to change the way customers interact with your store? Keep reading for ways to put AR to good use.

How To Use AR in eCommerce

Now that you've seen the statistics let's get into ideas for ways to use augmented reality in eCommerce.

Virtual Try-Ons

As a customer, when you go to an in-person store, you get the benefit of being able to try on products. From jewelry to shoes to clothes, customers have always been able to see what fits by being physically in the room. But what if customers could shop online as if they were in an actual store?

Now they can. Virtual try-ons, like what Illumix offers, are a fantastic method that takes the guessing game out of online shopping.

Traditionally, online shopping consists of customers looking at stock images and hoping they like their product when it arrives. Augmented reality technology allows customers to see precisely how a product will look on their person.

Adding this extra element will give shoppers more confidence and a more positive experience when interacting with your online store.

Placement Previews

If you've ever moved into a new home or decided to spruce up your current one, you've likely experienced the hassle of measuring space and dimensions. With new AR placement previews, that process can become a thing of the past.

Ecommerce stores like IKEA, Wayfair, and Walmart allow customers to try before buying. Using a mobile phone camera, users can hold their device up to the space they want to fill and see a digital overlay of their choice of furniture.

Instruction Manuals

If your online store offers products that require some instruction, upgrade your old, boring instruction manuals with interactive AR technology.

Interactive manuals react to user interactions, provide real-time technical support, and allow users to scan the product so the software can guide them through accurate animations.

It's an experience akin to having an expert right there in the room with you. Shorten the learning curve and help your customers feel powerful with education through augmented reality.

Social Media

If you are going to exist in the eCommerce space, having a solid social media brand can give you an edge over the competition. Many Gen Z and Millenial users refer to a company's social media for guidance before they visit its website.

Make their visit to your social media page a pleasant surprise with the following:

  • Opportunities to test out new products
  • Fun AR filters to engage with
  • A strong and interactive aesthetic

Never underestimate the power of social media.

How AR Can Upgrade Your Store

AR can take you up a notch if you're ready and willing to accept technological evolution. As we take you through how AR can upgrade your eCommerce store, imagine how it could work for you.

Increase Customer Confidence and Reduce Returns

27% of the time, goods are returned because customers report being "not as described." This is not only a bad experience for your customer but a lost sale for you if the customer does not complete an exchange or new purchase.

With virtual try-ons, that no longer needs to be an issue. Give customers the confidence they need by letting them know what they are getting. Incorporating a virtual try-on feature into your store can take your sales to new heights.

Increase Customer Engagement

By nature, AR is interactive. Customers will be more engaged with the AR options and spend more time on your site. Even if they don't make a purchase every visit, their time on your site will contribute to how well they know your brand.

Building relationships with customers is a huge factor when it comes to retention. Motivate them to spend more time with your online store through AR entertainment.

Offer Flexibility

For customers, flexibility means options. The more ways customers can view products, the better. Whether it's adding colors, dimensions, designs, or environments, the more visuals you can give your consumer, the better.

You'd be surprised how much time users will spend looking at all possible options. Make their experience more fun by bringing your products to life.

The Takeaway

Just like all things in life, sometimes you need an upgrade. If that's true for your store, incorporate augmented reality to bring your online store to life.

Augmented reality is a window into the metaverse and into a new way of online shopping. Customers can confidently try your products and purchase from the comfort of their homes.

All the statistics tell you that AR boosts business by offering customers the reassurance and flexibility they crave.

If you're interested in learning more about the metaverse and AR technologies, check out the rest of our site.

Here at Illumix, we specialize in building dynamic AR experiences that can enhance your brand. We've done the heavy lifting already. Contact us to learn how we can help.

We know you're ready for the change, so upgrade your store with augmented reality today.

Sources:

Quarterly Retail E-Commerce Sales 2nd Quarter 2022 ⎸ Census

Augmented Reality in eCommerce: How Does It Work? | BigCommerce

How Augmented Reality (AR) is Changing Ecommerce Shopping ⎸ Shopify

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