With new advancements in AR, online shopping now offers similar benefits to offline shopping without leaving your home.

Key Takeaways:

  • Augmented reality in e-commerce is the future of online shopping
  • It’s a revolutionary technology that allows online shoppers to interact with products and try them out before making a purchase
  • AR boosts online shopping by improving personalization, increasing conversion, and reducing return rates
  • As AR continues to improve online shopping and boost sales for e-tailers, more businesses will seek to adopt this revolutionary technology

Since the advent of e-commerce, online shoppers have had to base their buying decisions on videos and images, but never something they could inspect in detail. In contrast, offline shopping allows people to view products up close before making a purchase, helping them make more informed buying decisions. For this reason, online shopping hasn’t been able to match the experience provided by offline shopping. 

With AR – augmented reality – this is gradually changing. New advancements in AR have made it possible for consumers to obtain a holistic view of products before buying them by visualizing and interacting with the product virtually. Online shoppers can now preview products as if they’re right in front of them. Undoubtedly, augmented reality in e-commerce is the future of online shopping. This article will discuss how AR transforms the digital marketplace by boosting online shopping.

What is augmented reality in e-commerce?

Augmented reality is a technology that overlays digital visual elements – such as images, audio, and videos – into a user’s real-world environment. In e-commerce, AR provides an immersive online shopping experience that allows consumers to engage with products and brands through digital experiences like virtual product personalization, try-ons, and interaction. These experiences enable e-tailers to deliver more detailed and intuitive information about their products to help their customers make better buying decisions.

When implemented correctly, augmented reality can significantly contribute to your organization’s bottom line. The main benefits of augmented reality in e-commerce are higher conversion rates, more personalized shopping, and lower return rates.

AR helps e-tailers deliver an immersive product experience and improve their conversion rates

One of the biggest hurdles consumers face when shopping online is determining the actual size of a product, how it looks from different angles, and whether it fits into their aesthetics. AR solves this challenge by providing a more engaging and immersive product experience to give consumers a better idea of what they’re about to purchase. By increasing engagement between e-commerce brands and online shoppers, AR leads to higher conversion rates.

For example, AR allows online shoppers to preview how a piece of furniture would look in their home or office. Let’s say, for example, a person wants to buy a desk lamp. With AR, they can overlay a virtual image of the lamp on the actual desk to see how it looks. If they like the way it looks in their space, the consumer will feel more confident about buying the lamp and proceed to make a purchase.

Without AR, consumers cannot accurately make such assessments when shopping online. This creates a conversion hurdle that could mean a loss in revenue for e-tailers. Thanks to the immersive experience provided by AR, however, e-commerce store owners can avoid losing potential buyers.

It personalizes online shopping, helping businesses match customers with the right products

Augmented reality in e-commerce helps personalize customers’ shopping experiences. Nike’s AR add-on is an excellent example. The AR technology allows users to measure their feet by scanning them on their phone, then recommends various Nike shoes in the correct size for the user. The technology also enables users to preview each shoe from different angles to get a feel of how it would look on them.

Another example of how AR personalizes online shopping is Sephora’s mobile application, Sephora Virtual Assist, which allows users to personalize their makeup by experimenting with different lipstick colors and textures, eyeshadows, and eyelashes. The application also provides a customized makeup tutorial for each user. As a result, Sephora customers can choose which products and brands suit them best from the comfort of their phones.

Augmented reality in e-commerce significantly reduces return rates

One of the biggest challenges online retailers face is high product return rates. Most product returns are due to defects, but buyers are also likely to return a product if it doesn’t match the product description online. Since AR provides immersive product demos, 3D visualizations, and virtual try-ons, online shoppers can try products before buying them and choose the right product for their needs, resulting in lower return rates.

When is the right time to adopt augmented reality in e-commerce?

Now is the perfect time to adopt augmented reality in e-commerce to gain a first-mover advantage since the technology is still relatively new. AR is poised to be the new norm in online shopping, and in the near future, e-commerce stores will have no choice but to integrate augmented reality solutions into their platforms to remain competitive. Businesses that make this move early will have their best foot forward, gaining a huge share of offline shoppers who previously viewed online shopping as an impersonal experience but have now moved to online shopping due to the benefits of AR.

Finding an experienced team is essential for the best chance of success when transitioning to AR-powered e-commerce. Without understanding how augmented reality works, your transition can be challenging. Having an experienced partner like Shockoe can help you showcase your entire catalog of products using augmented reality for the best user experience and conversions.

We’ll walk with you every step of the way, from creating your product strategy to product design, all the way to product development. Moreover, our full-service in-house team will be at your disposal whenever you need them. 

Ready to get started? Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you develop a solid augmented reality solution for your e-commerce business.