Revolutionizing online shopping with Augmented Reality.

How AR product configurators and visualization are changing online shopping experience
Kushlani Perera
Kushlani Perera

In recent years, digitization seized the concept of physical stores, redirecting consumers to buy items through online stores. Consumers now prefer to shop at the comfort of their own homes and have items delivered to their doorstep. Thus, it is hard to beat the convenience and the efficiency which comes with the online shopping experience for both consumers and retailers.

The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have paved the way to elevate the need of online stores more than ever before in recent history. With restrictions imposed on physical gatherings, online stores have become a win-win solution for consumers and retailers to carry out usual business activities.

“But do mainstream online stores have what it takes to meet the expectations of the buyers?”

Despite the benefits that can be acquired with online stores, the main drawback of online stores is the fact that many online stores lack product-consumer interaction. With online stores like Shopify and Magento, products are mainly visualized in 2D images with bare minimum product data to demonstrate significant information about the product. It makes it harder for the consumers to make purchasing decisions based on this limited information available. Hence, online stores are now subjected to major technological evolutions preparing to meet next level goals to ensure that the buyers get a near-physical store experience right through their smart devices. Augmented Reality is the page turning technological integration which has elevated the entire concept of online stores to meet its future.

Integrating Augmented reality brings a whole different dimension to the online store experience. Application of Augmented Reality provides many additional product data to demonstrate features, textures, colors, materials and true dimensions of products in 3D within real-world environments. Let’s take a quick look at how Augmented Reality is unlocking endless opportunities for online stores.

What can Augmented Reality integration to your web store can bring to the table?

“I regard AR as a big idea, like the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone, we don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives.”

Tim Cook(Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc.)

Augmented Reality is an immersive technology that has revolutionized e-commerce stores worldwide enabling buyers to overlay computer-generated 3D models of products in real-world surroundings. In simple terms, if you are a buyer willing to purchase a sofa for your living room, Augmented reality powered online stores can provide you with a 3D model of the sofa, so that you could visualize the product right in your living room, exactly on the location you are hoping to place the product. How AR can be used in products configuration and visualization within online stores

The most detailed product visualization application.

Augmented Reality integration allows 360 degree angle visualization in your own environment, ability to zoom in and out and rotate the product 3D models right within the exact physical space with a tap on your smart device.

Customization.

Augmented Reality powered online stores have given the power over to the consumers to customize products so that consumers gain the ability to change colors, materials, textures and dimensions of the products according to their preferences.

Simplifying purchasing decisions for consumers.

With mainstream online stores, customers do not have the ability to understand whether or not a product is suitable for their space or for themselves. But Augmented Reality implemented online stores are integrated with product try out, try on and interaction capabilities, increasing the confidence in consumer decisions made regarding purchases. Since Augmented Reality technology overlays products on actual environments, consumers tend to receive accurate information regarding the product which makes it easier for the consumers to make the purchasing decisions. If the buyer is browsing through an online furniture store to purchase a sofa, the buyer has the ability to overlay the product true scale model on the location itself before purchasing. This eventually results in fewer product return rates and minimizing the waste in logistics costs.

Uplifting user satisfaction.

Online stores with Augmented Reality integration provides an enjoyable, convenient and an effective experience for the users. The ability to try out the products in an interactive form before buying, ensures the consumer satisfaction which ultimately leads to creating a loyal customer base. And this also helps to build a solid brand image within the public. When the consumers are satisfied with what they get and with the experience they receive, they are more likely to return back, which helps to sustain a solid brand image and eventually boost the sales.

Effective shopping during the pandemic.

Augmented reality applications allow shoppers to experience, try on, try out and interact with products at the comfort of their own homes. Trying out new shoes on your feet, placing a sofa you wish to purchase right in your living room and getting them delivered to your house are no longer concepts we can only see on sci-fi movies. It is now the reality of online shopping and the future of retail. There are immense levels of opportunities which help the retailers to sustain and to grow the sales levels even during the pandemic thanks to Augmented reality integration in web stores.

Increase in online sales.

Integrating Augmented Reality ultimately increases online sales mainly due to having a greater influence on consumer purchasing decisions. Since the consumers have more time to interact with the product, visualize the product in actual surroundings and to make an assurance regarding the suitability of the product, there is fairly a higher chance consumers are encouraged to make a purchase.
The elevated visualization capabilities that come along with integrating Augmented Reality in web stores, directly influence the consumer’s understanding about the product. Shoppers receive a clear idea about the pros and cons, which eliminate any doubts they have regarding the products.

Facts in a nutshell,

Augmented Reality is the growing technology in e-commerce which has escalated the shopping experience for both the shoppers and retailers. It provides the ultimate futuristic visualization capabilities to superimpose 3D product models onto real world environments enabling customization, interaction and convenient navigation for products in online stores.

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