This article is an excerpt from our forthcoming book, Foundations and Future of Augmented Reality and Ecommerce
It isn’t rare for a customer to start shopping in one channel and end up purchasing through another. A true omnichannel retail approach is about creating a customer experience that is seamless across all mediums. Augmented reality is helping to bridge those gaps by bringing a tangible presence to online shopping.
Most, if not all, innovation in retail is made to solve customer doubts and improve internal processes. In the very near future of augmented commerce, augmented reality will provide a different value to retailers, brands, and consumers.
There is no doubt AR increases consumer engagement. Thanks to augmented reality, shoppers spend more time visualizing and configuring products in the real world, and they are no longer left with doubts about their online purchases.
One of the largest issues in eCommerce is when consumers receive a product that is much different that the one they thought they ordered online. This problem arises because consumers don’t have an effective way to evaluate products online before purchasing. Photos and videos pale in comparison to the familiarity and experience that they get with augmented reality. AR creates an interactive environment between buyers and sellers. In doing so, it establishes an emotional connection between product demand and consumers’ desires. Augmented commerce allows retailers to implement AR within their mobile platform in one seamless experience.
Brand manufacturers will have a huge stake in the future of augmented commerce. As eCommerce evolves, so will consumer expectations. Product descriptions and 360° photos will no longer suffice. Shoppers will want and expect the ability to test products at home through augmented reality before they buy.
By adding a company’s products to the Augment product database, manufacturers are able to distribute accurate, high-quality 3D product models to their retailers and distributors. The ease of distribution facilitates communication and coordination between brands and retailers. This ensures that retailers and distributors can access and use the best 3D product visualization on their eCommerce channels to drive product sales and engagement.
Augmented reality is combatting buyer uncertainty and its effects unlike any other innovation. Seamless augmented reality product visualization is the next step towards improving the customer shopping experience. Retailers and brands are constantly searching for ways to empower their consumers to better convert with new business models or new technologies. Just as integrated POS systems transformed internal processes, and just as smartphones presented a revolutionary platform for mobile commerce, augmented reality will increase conversions and engage buyers like never before in the future of online retail.