Changes in consumer habits and excellent online shopping growth affected retailers. Not just their stores but the way they do business.
It is not enough now to be aware of customers’ needs and leverage traditional approaches to try and meet them. To remain competitive and stay ahead of the competition, you must utilize technology solutions to get ahead of customer needs and shape the way they shop in an unexplored landscape in e-commerce.
Technology that makes people’s lives easier or improves their experiences will always be helpful to retailers and brands. And augmented reality (AR) is one such technology. With AR help, people can take part in a fully immersive experience closer to its physical counterpart than online shopping has ever been.
AR can be a powerful weapon in the realm of e-commerce. Here are just a few of the benefits that it brings:
Increase in Sales & Conversion with AR
According to Shopify, brands using AR saw conversion rates increase by around 250%. AR allows customers to “try on” clothes virtually. Place products in and around their houses, or even sit inside a brand-new car without leaving their homes.
Allowing customers this insight through technology makes them more confident in the products they view. Also making them more likely to make the final purchase.
Drive Sales of Other Products
Before purchasing a product, customers can use AR to check if a particular product fits them or their home. Moreover, cycling through various products before making their final choice.
Retailers can use this data to offer other products that match what they are searching for. Also, new items complement their final choice. For example, they may view several sofas using AR to see how they fit in their home. Based on their viewing, the retailer may suggest other furniture that fits their aesthetic and can fill the same room.
72% of people have admitted to purchasing items they had not planned on due to AR, showing this is becoming a growing and influential trend.
Reduce Product Returns
In 2020, consumers returned an estimated $428 billion in merchandise, a notable figure and at an even greater cost to retailers regarding logistics, stock surplus, and the cost of covering a return or exchange transaction.
One of the reasons for this was the growing trend of consumers buying products in multiple sizes/colors to try them on and return the ones they didn’t want. Another was simply that the style/size/color etc. didn’t fit or look as it had done on their screens.
AR revolutionizes the decision-making process by making it more accurate. When customers see how a product will look on themselves or in their homes, they are more likely to be satisfied with their purchase and less likely to want to return it.
By introducing AR and 3D visualization, Shopify recorded a 40% drop in returns, a trend replicated for many businesses across different retail sectors.
Sell Less Popular or More Expensive Products
Less popular or more expensive products capture a narrower target audience and do not shift units en masse.
With the introduction of AR into retail, these products are seeing an increase in sales. Customers are more likely to buy a less popular product or spend more than they were planning to if they can explore the product first.
AR can stimulate interest and demand for more niche products by making consumers feel more comfortable with them before they buy, leading to stats such as 40% of people telling Shopify they would pay more for a product they could experience through AR.
Help Customers Remember Your Brand
AR is still seen as a novelty in the e-commerce sector; customers are constantly amazed when they visit a retailer’s site and are introduced to the AR element of their shopping experience.
AR experiences are seen as unique and fun, making your brand not only stick in a consumer’s mind for the next time they wish to shop, but they share their experiences in conversations with their friends and through social media, helping to advance a brand’s image and potentially increase customer base. 61% of consumers say they prefer retailers with AR experiences and would recommend a positive experience to a friend.
Some retailers have already implemented augmented reality, some are just adopting it now, and others will start thinking about it tomorrow. Augmented reality offers several strategic benefits that you must recognize. Within no time, this technology will move from being an advanced feature to a must-have in e-commerce.