In 2016, a game called Pokémon Go captivated fans worldwide. It was like science fiction had stepped out of the Hollywood movies and into the real world. People are unaware of the fact that by playing this game or by trying Snapchat filters, they are using Augmented Reality aka AR.
Augmented reality is by no means a new creation, but rather it’s been around as early as the 90s. The difference is AR is now being used by consumers, which has only started recently.
AR Commerce has far-reaching implications for businesses alike. And in our modern “touchless” world, Augmented Reality is beginning to take on various shapes including being incorporated into our daily life.
Even though the presence and usage of AR technology is no longer a myth, many people are still reluctant to adopt this technology. One thing for sure is that the people who are not going to incorporate the latest technologies into their marketing and sales will lag. Which is why we have put together this introduction to AR Commerce handbook.
By definition, augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. Virtual images, words, or any other type of information are overlaid in the real world to provide more context to that which we are seeing. When the virtual world entwines with our human reality, our perception of our current environment is changed. This change of perception can augment our reality to improve the real environment or remove something from it.
In Virtual Reality, users are wholly occupied within the digital world, while Augmented Reality adds some digital features or aspects to the real physical world. In VR users wear a head-mounted display. There are the sensors within the headset that transmit signals to the brain and affect how we perceive our surroundings. It creates a feeling of living in that virtual world. Contrary to it, there is no need for a headset in AR. A smartphone or a tablet would serve the purpose, and a computer-generated digital layer will be added to the real world. Watch out for smartglasses which will be coming soon in the next couple of years!
There are many businesses investing in Augmented Reality technology components. This new method of advertisement is attracting more customers as compared to traditional marketing strategies. Customers nowadays are being bombarded continuously with different advertisement modes. Retaining regular customers is a challenge nowadays. Attractive billboards and tv advertisements offering discounts catch the attention of customers quickly. Customers then try new products and services rather than sticking to the old shop.
Augmented Reality Commerce makes it possible to retain the customers by overcoming competitors’ challenges. In the market, every seller is using various tactics to catch the customers’ attention. Here is where the role of AR begins.
AR commerce in online businesses has made it possible for eCommerce customers to view a product or service in their current environment, such as their home or office. At the same time, online shopping carries an inherent risk of purchasing products which can turn out to be completely different from that which has been ordered. By using AR methods, it is possible to visualize the product in real time. Following are some favourite ways that businesses are using nowadays:
One of the top utilities that AR eCommerce is providing to its customers is to relieve them from the efforts of buying the wrong item and returning it to the store. Many stores offer the “try before buying” facility in the form of AR apps. For instance, if a customer decides to buy a sofa set, they can preview how this sofa set will look in their living room. Customers can easily make buying decisions using their smartphone or tablet, along with relevant AR apps.
Customers buying clothes, glasses, shoes, jewellery, and other accessories can virtually try them on themselves using AR. They can decide whether that size or colour is suitable for them and how it looks. It makes it easy to select the right item and eliminates the possibility of adding the wrong things to the shopping cart.
Social media filters, such as those on Instagram, are being used every day by consumers. Filters are considered the “fun side” of Augmented Reality technology and have been helping the widespread adoption of AR grow more rapidly. Now, using filters is not only limited to fun and entertainment, but they are being used regularly by brands and businesses. Using filters, people can tell which product is looking good on them. Consumers can also share and tag the brands whose filters they use.
We are present in an era of social distancing where people order home deliveries for products. AR Commerce in businesses has made it possible for the people to interact with the products in the same way as in physical stores. It ultimately leads to high customer engagement which in turn results in higher product demand and increased sales.