Headless E-Commerce 03: Augmented Reality

augmented reality e-commerce

Augmented reality or AR is not something new. The earliest AR systems were created in the 1990s in the USA. However, for some years AR has not been quite popular. Times flies, and together with growth of e-commerce, augmented reality has become one of the hottest trends in the industry this year.

The statistics are yelling. According to an influential market research company eMarketer, a number of AR users in the biggest world market, the USA, is gradually growing each year. While in the year of 2018 the number of AR users in the USA was equal to 59.6 millions of people, in just 3 years their number is expected to grow up to 85 million people. What about the market size worldwide? Statista  says that by 2025 the market size of AR is going to be equal to $198 billion. In 2019 it is 56 times smaller, and is just $3.5 billion.

Visual Reality vs. Augmented Reality

At first glance, these terms seem tone the same . However, there is a small difference between them. Visual Reality or VR places uses in virtual world with special equipment such as headset or glasses. Augmented Reality or AR overlays digital information onto physical reality. Users of augmented reality become a part of a story. And yes, there is no need no special equipment for AR.

virtual reality equipment

Why Augmented Reality in E-Commerce?

The answer is simple. Augmented reality in e-commerce makes customers feel more appreciated. Here is a list of benefits AR brings to e-commerce.

• Unforgettable Visualisation of Products

Augmented reality in e-commerce gives your customers an opportunity to visualise products in a way they want them  look like in real life. For example, a Swedish brand IKEA has been using AR in their product catalogue App since 2013. Customers are able to see how this or that piece of furniture or decoration fits into their houses and apartments. The reason behind the decision to launch a virtual catalogue App was quite simple. Many customers had questions about fitting this or that IKEA product according to the size and colour. With the use of AR catalogue App the problem was solved successfully and very quickly.

sofas chairs cafe

• Full Customer Experience

While many shoe brands like Nike or Adidas have been experimenting with AR for years, the pioneer in the shoe industry was an American shoe brand Converse. In 2010 they were the first who lauched AR in an App. 9 years ago (!) a potential customer was able to choose some Converse shoes from an App, point with them at his or her feet and see if the shoes match the colours, go with an outfit and so on. With the help of the Converse App, potential buyers were able to have a full customer experience, and an American shoe company increased sales.

black converse shoes autumn

• More Shopping Time and Testing

Augmented reality in e-commerce increases your shopping time and testing. The more options you have, the more you want to try. For many potential customers augmented reality is a game or a toy that they enjoy. For example, you are looking for some mint shoes, and you have tried them on with the use of AR. With high probability, you will have a huge temptation to try on green, white, yellow, black and other colours of the shoes. You spend more time in an App or on a web page, and you want to test more and more and probably buy more items.

grey black converse shoes

• Unusual Brand Loyalty

A smart usage of augmented reality in e-commerce is able to build brand loyalty. Customers visit your App or web page, try out your products, come to your store and become loyalty your brand. Seems to be a very quick way but think of it from a perspective of a buyer. He or she used to spend hours on finding the right products and, nevertheless, was always disappointed because nothing really matched. Your company has brought a comfortable solution as the customer makes less efforts and gets what he or she wants really quick. Would he or she come back to you again next time? With a high probability, yes!

brand loyalty

Conclusion:

Augmented reality in e-commerce is one of the hottest trends in 2019. Yet, some brands have been experimenting and successfully using it for some years, there are many opportunities for companies of any size to include AR into their goals for this year due to a variety of benefits for potential end-users.

Do you have any questions about your benefits of augmented reality in e-commerce? Feel free to drop a message anytime!

Sources: Augmented Reality in E-Commerce
  1. Michael Abeshera: 3 Ways Virtual Reality Will Transform eCommerce https://www.toptal.com/insights/innovation/3-ways-virtual-reality-transforms-ecommerce
  2. Nextech: 3 Advantages of Augmented Reality in Ecommerce https://www.nextechar.com/3-advantages-of-augmented-reality-in-ecommerce/
  3. Adam Enfroy (2019): 5 Future Ecommerce Trends of 2019 https://ecommerce-platforms.com/articles/5-future-ecommerce-trends-of-2019
  4. Jia Wertz (2019): 3 E-Commerce Trends Leading The Way in 2019 https://www.forbes.com/sites/jiawertz/2019/07/26/3-e-commerce-trends-leading-the-way-in-2019/#348eb6dc5560
  5. Max Rice (2019): 7 eCommerce trends to watch in 2019 https://jilt.com/blog/ecommerce-trends-watch-2019/
  6. Victoria Petrock (2019): Virtual and Augmented Reality Users 2019. VR Slows as AR Grows https://www.emarketer.com/content/virtual-and-augmented-reality-users-2019
  7. Gergana Mileva (2019): How Augmented Reality is Redefining the fashion Industry https://arpost.co/2019/02/11/how-augmented-reality-is-redefining-the-fashion-industry/
  8. New Generation Applications (2018): 6 VR and AR Statistics: Shaping the Future of Augmented Reality with Data https://www.newgenapps.com/blog/6-vr-and-ar-statistics-shaping-the-future-of-augmented-reality-with-data
  9. Statista (2019): Augmented reality (AR) market size worldwide in 2017, 2018, and 2025 (in billion U.S. dollars) https://www.statista.com/statistics/897587/world-augmented-reality-market-value/
  10. Impact Lab (2013): Augmented reality will reach 1 billion people in 2020 http://www.impactlab.net/2013/06/11/augmented-reality-will-reach-1-billion-people-by-2020/
  11. Edgar Alvarez (2017):  For Nike, augmented reality is the perfect way to sell hyped sneakers https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/06/nike-snkrs-augmented-reality-bots/
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