Remember the many times when you were confronted with a dilemma whether to buy a product online or not? Why, because all that is presented to you is a photo of the product and the accompanying dimensions, colors, functions, and other features that would leave you no choice but to wonder next how the texture would feel once touched, the weight, and other intangibles that can convince you to finally purchase it. So, it is common practice among online shoppers to go hopping from shop to shop due to these reasons and, more often than not, would end up buying at another online store. If ever.
So, we can say that up to now, the physical store can’t be beat as the optimal good old shopping experience every shopper is looking for. Yeah, sure, physical stores have limited product offerings as immovable as its structures compared to an ad infinitum of online material delights at the flick of a finger. But the thing is, shoppers want to get their money’s worth.
One thing is to buy. Another is to be satisfied.
With these in mind, how can we, as eCommerce advocates, deliver?
Augmented Reality (AR).
AR is set to coalesce with eCommerce to deliver the missing puzzle piece for an optimal online shopping experience, disrupting the conventional and blending it with the digital.
How does it work? AR is a live view of a real-world and physical environment that is augmented by elements produced through computer-generated inputs in forms of video, sound, graphics, GPS data, and the like, thereby enhancing the real-time perception of realities around the user. This AR technology blends supplied artificial information with the user’s real-world, which can be digitally manipulated as it is interactive. To visualize, it is all about head-mounted or virtual retinal displays, constructing controlled environments complete with sensors and actuators to produce 3D graphics for overlaying purposes on any OS platform. All that an AR would need would be a camera and an Internet connection to get started. From the comforts of your home, the possibilities AR brings can be endless:
Conventional retailing and online shopping can be blended together by recreating experiences and ending time-wasting cue lines and cumbersome inventories.
Trials become easier with online stores applying virtual mirrors, face scanning, and gamification to help customers try any clothing or accessory there is before purchases are made.
AR can help increase brand awareness to a wider spectrum of audiences by providing unforgettable experiences as part of creative retailer marketing tactics. A robust brand presence is made possible by AR technology.
Significant benefits are exponentially reaped by retailers who avail of AR technology with a 24/7/52 open store than those who do not. In the long run, it is very cost-effective and easy to implement.
And so much more.