Can (Mobile) Augmented Reality revolutionise eCommerce?
As promised in the blog post "eCommerce Trends 2020", here comes the long-awaited article on augmented reality (AR)! We live in a time that is characterised by new technologies due to digitalisation. Therefore, one should deal with the following questions: Do all technologies make sense? Does a company that is particularly active in e-commerce have to deal with these technologies? Can this lead to a better customer experience? This blog post will give you a brief insight into the world of AR.
So what exactly does AR mean?
Translated into German, it stands for augmented reality. AR is therefore a technology that supplements reality with virtual elements. The whole thing happens in real time. Impressive, isn't it?
All the user needs is an AR-capable camera, which is already available in most mobile devices.
Requirements for the software
The situation is different, however, when this augmented reality is to be created.
Evaluations of the camera images and other sensory data (e.g. GPS) must be carried out specifically for the software. Furthermore, the connection to a database is indispensable. But it should also be possible to manage the user's inputs and the general process control. Last but not least, image processing is of utmost importance, which is to extend the real world with virtual elements.
Difference to VR/MR
AR and VR - both have something to do with reality and the perception of it.
You ask yourself: What is the difference? It's quite simple!
Unlike VR (Virtual Reality), AR does not require glasses that show a completely virtual world in which the user can immerse himself. And this is the difference! AR does not simulate a complete virtual reality, but adds additional information and aspects to the real world. In order to experience this augmented reality alongside AR-capable mobile devices, holography systems and AR glasses can also be used.
AR in eCommerce
(Mobile) AR is widely used in the areas of eCommerce, tourism, interior design, gaming, etc. Especially in eCommerce, the use of this technology is intended to create new, improved and special experiences for (potential) customers. Therefore, the most widespread use in eCommerce is the virtual fitting room in the area of fashion and accessories, which is intended to encourage the user to make a purchase in a new way.
Meanwhile, AR can also be integrated into mobile commerce so that products can be ordered directly. This creates a seamless transition from the virtual try-on to the purchase and thus creates the basis for increasing the conversion rate, which can then lead to more sales.
However, the virtual fitting room does have one special side effect:
The virtual fitting room can help to avoid incorrect purchases and thus also reduce returns, as the products are presented realistically.
Furthermore, not only clothes etc. are of high importance, but also products of all kinds, such as furniture or cosmetics. But also rims can be shown from their best side by means of AR on the user's car. Creativity is the motto here! Online retailers should therefore ask themselves: Which products can also be presented in the best possible way in an AR environment and does this offer added value for their own customers?
AR is also an advantage for salespeople. Salespeople working in the field can use AR as a special tool for demonstration purposes. Useful, isn't it?
By and large, this technology appeals to the emotions of the user. By visualising the products in the familiar environment or on oneself, not only individual customer experiences are created, but rather an emotional connection to the brand or the company is also created.
Can better customer experiences actually be created through this technology? We think this is indeed the case in the area of eCommerce! Especially the combination of mobile AR and mobile commerce can be the key to success. The modern customer expects more and more better and seamless possibilities when shopping online, which should make the purchase decision easier and accelerate the purchase process. Companies should definitely look into AR and its possible applications. We are looking forward to seeing how AR will be used in eCommerce in the future.
We advise and support you & your company from development to implementation - whether you come from the field of AR and want to get into eCommerce, or whether you come from eCommerce and want to use AR as a useful tool. We are happy to help you!
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MR will be featured next on our blog. Be curious!