A New Milestone in the Retail Industry: Augmented Reality (AR)

Imagine being able to try on any international fashion brand’s design and purchasing your choice without worrying about the size or fit. How does accurately furnishing your house while you comfortably sit on your couch sound? These and other shopping experiences are now becoming more common than you might think, thanks to Augmented Reality.


Here, we will highlight how AR-assisted e-commerce is changing the shopping experience for consumers, the value of Augmented Reality in retail, and AR use cases.


1-) What is Augmented Reality (AR)?


Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive 3D experience that combines a view of the real physical world with computer-generated components. Augmented reality can take various forms, including combining a view of the immediate surroundings with 3D models and altering the world in front of the viewer.


2-) Why use Augmented Reality (AR) while online shopping or for your online business?


With the rise of Augmented Reality (AR) technology, marketers now have exciting new ways to engage customers and transform the brand experience. A report titled "Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market Report and Region Forecast" by Acumen Research and Consulting presents a 2022– 2030 industry analysis. The market for VR and AR is expected to rise to a whopping $451.5 billion by 2030, with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 38.5%, having already achieved a size of $22.6 billion in 2021.


That is why the leading retail brands are adopting augmented reality to enhance consumer engagement, revenue, and brand recognition. The value of augmented reality lies in its ability to analyze, alter, and augment the view of the real world simultaneously. As a result, Augmented Reality has become a major phenomenon in commercial ventures and computing applications.


a. More Convenient

The pandemic has changed every area of our lives and brought us into the digital age. During Covid-19, showrooms were shut down, leaving only online buying as a viable option. Nevertheless, unlike traditional in-store buying, customers could not try things online.

This is where AR in shopping comes in as it’s every consumer’s wish to be sure that the product they buy will meet their expectations. AR shopping experience can provide a realistic sense that is as close to being in a physical store as possible. Naturally, the fusion of evolving consumer behavior with recently developed technology has made augmented reality a particularly relevant and interesting e-commerce tool. That is why the phrase "AR-commerce" grew in popularity in the past few years.


b. Increased Conversion

Research by MindShare revealed that AR experiences are 200% more engaging than their non-AR equivalents, delivering double the levels of engagement. The more time people spend personalizing and using the product in immersive ways, the more likely they are to make a purchase.


Using AR can strengthen customer trust, maximize post-purchase gratification, and lower return rates. By incorporating 3D technologies into your online shopping experience, you can increase conversion rates by up to 40% and decrease waste logistical expenses.


c. Fewer Doubts

Traditional photographs just cannot compare to AR's ability to convey specifics like the appearance and texture of a product. Customers' ability to make purchases with greater assurance.


According to NielsenIQ, shoppers are tenfold more inclined to engage with brands' products when they offer augmented reality (AR) experiences, such as the ability to digitally place a product in one's environment or try it on.


3-) Use cases of AR in retail


There is a fundamental reason why people do not usually purchase furniture, cars, and houses online; some items don't come in a simple package. Even if they did, judging the size of the item without seeing it in person would be challenging. Thanks to AR, getting disappointed once the purchased item arrives because it is different from how it looked online will be history.


Also, AR allows customers to experience items in a fashion reducing the need to travel and visit on-site. Imagine lifting your phone to your own mirror and voila! The latest collection of the brand that you like is right in front of you and ready to try on. With the assistance of 3D body mesh technology and fabric simulation technologies, AR clothing can be customized to fit a customer's body and behave naturally like it would in the physical world.


Suppose that you want to get a car but you are not sure which brand or model and it is not possible to test drive every model and check out the interior without visiting their showroom. BMW's augmented reality experiences have helped car buyers to enter showrooms and customize vehicles with different colors or styles using their tablets or phones. They can also put on virtual reality goggles and experience what it's like to drive cars, which will help them understand their options and make the best decision for their new vehicle.


4-) Future of Augmented Reality (AR) in Retail


A number of businesses are expected to make significant investments in AR/VR applications within the next five years and retail will be the sector with the fastest spending growth over the predicted period. The International Data Corporation (IDC) Global Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide predicts that global spending on augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) would total $13.8 billion this year and climb to $50.9 billion in 2026.


It is undeniable that AR has the potential to have an impact on all sectors of the economy, including entertainment, automotive, medicine, and more. We may expect to see Augmented Reality (AR) become a more intertwined part of our lives as technology continues to advance.


Augmented Reality in shopping is a fantastic chance for businesses to improve conversion rates and make the customer journey more interesting. For your next business strategy include AR to remain competitive as customers demand more powerful engagement opportunities during their purchases.


Augmented Reality shopping provides an excellent opportunity for brands to deliver the most convincing and realistic engagement of the virtual with the physical environment, as well as an unrivaled customer experience. Augmented Reality is putting the power in the palm of your hands as the matter of fact at your fingertips!

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