Is Augmented Reality in e-commerce a future gold standard?

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The global pandemic outbreak changed many things in our everyday lives, but one thing certainly never changes – a people’s urge to shop. People continue to shop as if nothing had happened; they just do it from their homes. That is why Augmented Reality in e-commerce is a game-changer. 

Augmented Reality is a technology that presents us with virtual objects and information in our field of vision. AR helps customers try-on products or encounter services before shopping, giving them a “touch and feel” sense similar to those in brick-and-mortar stores. 

The main culprit for the growing popularity of AR is a necessity: The effects of the pandemic have led to an explosion of online shopping. As a result, there is massive investment in AR technology, inspired, no doubt, by technology giants who are strongly committed to this trend. You should fully note that innovation is the key to staying competitive in turbulent times for all brands, no matter the organization’s size.

This post will explain why you should implement Augmented Reality in your e-commerce business, what the benefits are, the costs of implementation, as well as future predictions of AR, so make sure to keep reading. 

How is Augmented Reality changing the e-commerce market?

You know the feeling – you sold a product through the webshop only to be returned after a while due to the wrong size, color, shape, or whatever reason. Did you know that the return of purchased products causes millions in losses in revenue and logistics of e-commerce platforms?

It is estimated that the world’s largest e-commerce platform, Amazon, suffers a loss of 400 million US dollars each year due to the return of goods and refunds. 

So how will AR magically solve this problem?

Augmented Reality (AR) is a digital version of the real physical world that stimulates sensors such as visual, sound, etc. It provides additional information based on real-world experience with the help of a viewing device such as a mobile phone. Augmented Reality can bridge a gap between offline and online shopping and helps solve problems just like in real life.

There are two main ways AR can solve problems in the world of e-commerce:

  1. People can try a product on themselves before making a purchase 
  2. People can see how the furniture would stand in their room

So, with the help of AR, not only can you have a more impressive shopping experience, but you can also save your precious time and money in returning or delivering products.

Is it a smart investment to implement Augmented Reality in e-commerce?

Augmented Reality is an effective marketing tool that creates a new unique world of your brand and provides the user with a unique experience of interacting with the product. As such, Augmented Reality is always a good investment, however, there are specific situations where AR is the solution no. 1, such as:

  • Revealing and explaining beneficial features of the product or service
  • Bringing a completely new product to the market 
  • Raising repeated purchases of the products
  • Reducing product returning and refunding

AR is interactive, making it easier for users to get hooked on your website. And the longer they stay on your e-commerce site, the better their chances of making a purchase! Even if they don’t buy during their visit, improved engagement means they have developed a relationship with your brand and your product, making them more likely to remember you in the future. 

Also, AR can help you reach new customers! In order to attract the attention of people in a crowded market, you have to make a buzz, and creating an engaging AR campaign can be one (excellent) way to do this.

What are the best niches for AR?

The potential of Augmented Reality has made it easy for companies in different fields to accept it. However, some industries will maximize the potential of this technology more than others. Let’s take a look below and learn more about some of the most prominent industries that have decided to incorporate this technology as part of their operational processes (and with good reason)!

Augmented Reality in retail

The text above mentioned that the retail sector could benefit the most from the AR implementation. This technology allows customers to experience products from the comfort of their homes. Augmented Reality can help customers understand what they are buying, making it easier to meet customer expectations and reducing the rate of product returns and refund requests.

Augmented Reality in healthcare

Augmented Reality is used in operating rooms, ambulances, and dental offices. The health industry uses AR to improve the education of medical staff. They can see different 3D models, learn every body function in detail, and find solutions to problems given through stimulus tests. 

In addition, surgeons usually use AR as a tool that allows the modeling of three-dimensional representations of the patient’s anatomy. With the help of AR, surgeons can practice complex procedures without risking the patient’s life. 

Augmented Reality in tourism

Another area where Augmented Reality is used is the tourism sector. One special feature is the 360-degree tours that are easily accessible, which allow the visitors to explore the place virtually before visiting in reality. In addition, hotels can offer clients virtual tours of rooms before visiting them.

Some great examples of Augmented Reality in e-commerce

Below are some of the best examples of brands’ Augmented Reality to inspire you for your own.

IKEA

In addition to self-assembled furniture and Swedish meatballs, IKEA is also known as one of the first companies to use Augmented Reality – and they are using it phenomenally. In IKEA Place, now you can choose anything from the store’s catalog and see how it will look in size anywhere in your house, if that piece of furniture will fit in a tight space or if the color will match the room’s motif.

L'Oreal

L’Oreal company has a mobile app that allows users to try out different types of makeup, virtual makeup try-on, something like filters. The application identifies your face and then virtually shows you how you would look with a certain shade or color of a certain product, which is a huge pain point for their customers. It also creates confidence in the purchase because the makeup can not be returned or replaced once purchased and opened.

NIKE

The NIKE application has different functions. One of them is that when the customer opens the NIKE application, he chooses sneakers to buy, and then instead of choosing a numerical size, the option for scanning the feet is presented, based on which AR recommends the size.

In addition, NIKE gave its most passionate fans a gamified virtual reality experience that allows them to unlock rare limited edition sneakers in New York by visiting specific locations and painting posters or stores.

How much does Augmented Reality cost to create?

There is no clear formula for determining the cost of creating Augmented Reality, but some estimates can be made. The cost of developing AR applications varies greatly depending on the different types of applications: they range from $5,000 to $10,000 for a simple app to $300,000+ for a feature-rich app.

But assessments cannot consider the cost of contingency risks – challenges that must be addressed with good expertise and experience. The more complicated the application, the more things can go wrong, so you always need a team of developers ready to do the heavy lifting for you. 

Is Augmented Reality the future of online shopping?

Augmented Reality technology has proven to be one of the innovations with the greatest potential that opens up new opportunities for business growth worldwide. Analysts predict that the AR market will reach $198 billion by 2025.

Providing AR experience can be a competitive advantage in many industries, and Augmented Reality will surely be a marketing tool that can quickly make or destroy any business.

Do you want to be among the first to utilize Augmented Reality into your e-commerce strategy and use its maximum potential to increase profit on a long-term basis? You are in the right place! Omnishop will give you a completely FREE 30-min session with our AR expert, so grab the opportunity and see how we can help you grow your e-commerce business!