What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is defined as “an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory”.
In E-commerce the augmented reality technology is used to allow users to try and preview the products they wish to buy, virtually.
Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality
Virtual reality deals with the creation of a computer-generated environment to allow customers to experience things that are not present. The use of a virtual headgear to play video games is a common example of virtual reality. While virtual reality puts the user in virtual reality, augmented reality puts virtual elements in the real world. The characters that Snapchat add to the environment while using the camera of the phone is an excellent example of augmented reality technology.
Customers view towards Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality For Sellers
Benefits of Augmented Reality in Ecommerce
1. Enhanced Product Preview
Use of augmented reality in eCommerce will provide an opportunity for consumers to try products without stepping out of their home. The comfort and luxury associated with the experience increase the prospects of new customers and a better experience for existing customers.
2. Psychological Satisfaction
The psychological barriers that prevent people from shopping online would be eliminated following the trend of augmented reality for shopping, as it will develop a sense of ownership among the customers and aid factual judgement. The problem of validation will also vanish as customers will be able to try products and ask for opinions.
3. Increase In The Amount Of Time Spent On The Website
Customers will spend more time on shopping when their experience is backed by augmented reality. The increased time would not only be beneficial for the stakeholders of eCommerce websites but also the growth aspects of technology. This is because increased time spent on websites will motivate them to streamline customer experiences further.
4. Reduce Return Rates
Online businesses are usually bombarded with return requests, which might result in loss of revenue and requirement of additional labour. This problem is minimised by the use of augmented reality in online shopping as customers won’t have to wait until delivery to try out the product.
5. Aid Globalisation
With augmented reality, it becomes easier for customers to buy anywhere from the world as the need to physically visit a store to try out the product vanishes. Globalization is an important factor for economic development and any technology that aids it, is favourable to the world.
Augmented reality in eCommerce is not only the need of the hour but a viable opportunity that could revolutionize the online shopping experience forever. Many websites like Sephora, Amikasa, IKEA etc are already in the race of making the most out of augmented reality technology and it is not long before all the other online shopping platforms join the race.