Aside from catching Pokemon and the face masking filters of Snapchat, augmented reality is providing a true and apparent value in eCommerce. You’ve heard this before, but do you know why AR’s place in retail is truly the ideal synergy?

Augmented reality is helping to bridge the gap by bringing a tangible presence to online shopping with real-time product visualization. AR makes it possible to see virtual products in your actual environment, and the integration of AR in eCommerce is quickly changing how consumers shop by allowing them to see what they want to buy before any purchase is made.

Even with the knowledge of a product’s dimensions, it’s still challenging to envision how it will look in your home or on your counter beyond a simple eyeball test. Well, what if consumers could see the product in front of them right now? AR is providing value to retailers and shoppers alike in these three areas:

Create an Engaging Buying Experience

“61% of shoppers prefer to shop at stores that offer augmented reality, over ones that don’t” – Retail Perceptions

Keeping shoppers engaged throughout the buyer’s journey is a priority for all retailers but it’s still a difficult task. Engaging users through augmented reality leads to longer times spent browsing an online store, interacting with products and testing additional functionality through AR.

Still, AR provides true value when it comes to making a purchase decision.

While shopping online, a customer has to imagine and interpret what an item would feel like in their hands, or look like in their home. AR technology helps overcome this online buyer’s challenge by transforming an imagination into a reality.

A customer who can accurately see how any product will actually feel in their environment, at-scale, will be able to purchase with more certainty and satisfaction.

Modify or Customize Selections

“77% of shoppers want to use augmented reality to see product differences such as a change in color or style” – Retail Perceptions

Before making a purchasing decision, customers often want to see various color selections and explore other modifications that might be available. Historically, customization options have been difficult for online retailers to convey to their consumers.

Augmented reality and computer graphics make it easy for consumers to explore their options and make personalized modifications while online shopping. With retailers who offer augmented reality, shoppers can change the color of furniture they’re looking to buy to see how it looks in their home first.

Still, AR has managed to merge the digital element with physical in-store products and it has stimulated engagement on the sales floor.

Brands are enabling AR images on the outside of their packaging. In this sense, shoppers can scan the product packaging and easily see what’s offered inside without them having to speculate. There are also many in-store marketing campaigns that offer coupons in this way as well.

Aside from scannable packaging, AR-powered kiosks are also becoming a large part of the omnichannel approach within brick-and-mortar stores. Customers have used these AR stands to scan product boxes to show exactly what the finished product will look like, among other color and functional configurations.

Visualize or Understand Products and Features

Both online and in-store, customers want to interact with a product to get a feel of how it works before heading to the checkout. Augmented reality allows shoppers through animations to see how complex products like appliances or electronics work and function.

The future of augmented reality in retail will consider augmented reality SDKs like Augment’s SDK that allows retailers to leverage AR through their own, branded platforms.

This is a very exciting field with constant innovation on the horizon, solving today’s problems with the next platform of computing. Online retailers must realize that there is more to VR and AR than mere gaming. As futuristic as these “realities” feel, it’s all old school again ﹣the touch-and-try charm, just virtually!

Augment’s SDK in particular is built to integrate seamlessly into the retailer’s existing app or website, allowing them to leverage product visualization to provide value to their shoppers while increasing conversions.