Augmented Reality in e-commerce and retail is shaping the future of retail

Augmented reality is becoming an industry-changing technology for most businesses today. Apart from use cases in the metaverse, augmented reality is also being actively adopted in the e-Commerce industry.

For the e-Commerce industry, generating traffic, and engaging customers in retail is becoming increasingly competitive. However, the technology is now helping retailers to interact with customers, increase customer satisfaction and reduce returns.

In fact, companies like Alibaba and Adobe have unveiled augmented reality tools to boost shoppers’ experience on e-Commerce platforms. E-Commerce platform Shopee has also implemented augmented reality tools as well as AI for some of its beauty product merchants.

According to Statista, the market is valued at $30.7 billion, and wherein 2021, over 400,000 glasses have been already sold thanks to augmented reality.

As such, Yakkyofy, an e-Commerce and dropshipping services company has launched a service offering 3D modeling files easily usable on all the major shopping platforms to show products in augmented reality to their customers. With a database of more than 12 million products to choose from, they can easily offer 3D models for any kind of item in just a few days to all the business owners that source items with them.

Despite the opportunities brought about by augmented reality in e-Commerce, a report from Mobile Marketer showed 52% of retailers are still not prepared to start using augmented reality and other new technologies.

These retailers need to understand that the technology can help their customers have a better understanding of how a product is going to look, see the details from all angles, and understand what they’re buying, making it easier to meet customer expectations, which leads to higher post-purchase satisfaction.

Statistics already show that the technology increases buyer confidence, as 71% of consumers say they would shop more often if they used augmented reality, with another 61% of consumers saying they prefer retailers that offer such experiences.

At the same time, the tech would also enable businesses to reduce the problems of returned goods. A study conducted by UPS showed 27% of consumers returning goods for unknown reasons while allowing customers to virtually “try before they buy,” can give them more information to decide whether or not to make the purchase, and consequently, reduce return rates.

Giovanni Conforti, Ceo, and Founder of Yakkyofy pointed out that their studies showed the use of Augmented Reality in online shopping can increase retailers’ conversion rates by 40%, help shop owners improve customer loyalty, and reduce return rates.

The use of augmented reality in ecommerce web design gives consumers an immersive experience, allowing them to have real time interaction with products while remaining in their own environment.

Augmented reality (AR) bridges the gap felt by customers between physical stores and online shopping experiences. A gap that’s felt even wider due to the Covid-19 pandemic restricting retail shops from being open, leaving consumers unable to enter stores and physically handle products.

We were fortunate enough ourselves to see first hand the power of what AR in ecommerce can do when back in 2018 we worked with leading UK retailer Argos to produce their first AR enabled app. The app enabled users the ability to view furniture items placed within their own home.

es for Great Britain. According to the ONS, February 2021 was the highest on record for online shopping, with 36.1% of the proportion of retail sales spent online. This is a considerable increase compared to retail sales pre-pandemic, with 20% of online retail sales reported by ONS in February 2020.

So with Covid-19 restrictions continuing to bring a halt to customers being able to shop in store and consumers increasingly relying on online shopping channels, here’s how augmented reality technology can benefit ecommerce.

The benefits of augmented reality in ecommerce

A consumer AR survey by Google found that 66% of people are interested in using augmented reality technology for help when shopping. Jennifer Liu, Google’s Director of Product Management, highlights the importance of augmented reality technology in ecommerce, explaining: “For many consumers it’s the next best thing to actually having the product with them in their own home.”

Augmented reality helps to bring ecommerce products to life with detailed information, enabling customers to make confident purchase decisions. Google found that 6 in 10 people “say they want to be able to visualise where and how a product could fit into their lives.” Augmented reality technology enhances the customer experience by allowing this visualisation to be possible before consumers commit to a purchase.

 


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