For e-commerce business owners and marketers, showcasing how your solutions help customers is how your revenue and company grow. Unfortunately, finding a creative marketing strategy that works for your business can feel like a lot of guesswork.
One of the biggest question we often hear is how to adapt with consumer's growing expectations. People are moving to the digital world, and they expect brands to catch up. Meanwhile, we're often faced with a lot of options to implement the latest technology in our business. How do you know if you’re spending your resources on the right methods?
Ultimately, the only way to keep them engaged is to offer a seamless experience—one that makes it easy to integrate your products in their daily lives, both in virtual world and the reality. Experts said that one of the technologies that would be the most transformative in this area is extended reality. Consumer demand, high-quality devices and market conditions have all aligned to make technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality the next major advancements in the tech world. Look no further than the success of Pokémon GO as an indication of how eager consumers are to embrace AR.
E-commerce companies should be taking notes. A recent demonstration of AR technology by Florida-based startup Magic Leap showed how retailers might integrate AR technology into an e-commerce environment. There, users could superimpose virtual models of lamps and other room decor on top of a real-world dresser. Digital objects were shown to scale, to help the user determine how those items might look in the space.
Of course, the best way for retailers to use AR is more than simply throwing darts at the AR wall. We need to consider the needs of customers and the goals of their companies. Without further to do, here are some of the ways you can utilize AR to boost your e-commerce sales.
- Offer a useful experience. It’s easy to treat AR technology as a novelty or toy, but the platform allows you to deliver value to undecided shoppers! While some organizations feel pressured to create their own unique take on AR, they might find it makes sense to invest in a more useful AR solution that does more than being a gimmick.
For example, Sephora's AR app allow users to take a "selfie" and then apply a variety of cosmetic products to their faces. Instead of spending hours debating the pros of an eyeliner option in-store, Sephora customers can narrow their choices from home and cut the shopping process quicker.
- Add novelty to retail. Between physical and online marketplaces, competition between companies is going intense. Incorporating AR is a fresh and creative way for retailers to stand out from the pack.
Eyewear retailer Warby Parker, for instance, differentiated itself from competitors by allowing shoppers to try items on before a purchase. Virtual shopping offers the same novelty, without any of the costs associated with shipping products to clients. The technology hasn’t been perfected, but more brands are starting to tap on this possibility. In fact, a 2015 study by Walker Sands showed that 35 percent of consumers surveyed said they would shop more online if they could interact with products virtually.
- Allow users to customize. Retailers such as Nordstrom have distinguished themselves from competitors by offering a fully personalized shopping experience, guided by a knowledgeable curator who knows an individual shopper’s style, sizes and preferences. As a result, Nordstrom became famous for its customer service.
AR has the potential to deliver these personalized services to the masses. Customers today want specifically tailored solutions to their needs, whether it be an app that allows them to test out different color combinations or a friendly AI offering clothing suggestions based on purchase history.
With all the growing interest towards AR today, the e-commerce that reap the biggest benefits of it will be the ones willing to invest resources early, and fully commit to the technology. Companies might find it makes sense to start investing more in specialized AR companies to do the work for them. Shoppers are anxious for the breakthrough that will finally remove uncertainty from the buying process. And AR has all the potential to do that, but only if retailers work to bring the technology into the real world.
Assemblr is a 3D Augmented Reality platform which has been used by notable brands and enterprises to bring fresh customer experiences. To learn more about how you can utilize our service for your brand, head over to our use case page for brands.