The Future of E-Commerce is Augmented Reality: How AR Will Reshape Shopping in the Future
Updated: Feb 7
Before Pokémon Go came out, no one could fathom the power of Augmented Reality in their own hands. We all knew that AR was the fancy new technology that every major tech giant was plunging into. But little did we know that this futuristic technology is will sooner turn into a reality.
The most significant move was made by Apple which released an ARKit to steer realistic user experiences. This is followed by ARCore from Google. On the other hand, hardware companies are competing to launch the best AR glasses on the market.
While AR has tremendously taken over the tech world, many industries are exploring ways to imbibe AR into their businesses to enhance their functioning. One amongst them is the
E-Commerce industry, which believes that Augmented Reality will create a disruptive impact on this industry.
From E-Commerce to A-Commerce
The last 2 decades have witnessed the online shopping scenario rise at a colossal rate, taking their place right beside brick and mortar stores. Primarily because online shopping provides the consumer a seamless, easy and quick shopping solution.
However, with time, e-commerce professionals realize that despite the ease of operations in online shopping, consumers need a more wholesome experience when it comes to apparel shopping.
E-commerce businesses realize that providing mere flat images, dimensions or specs of a product doesn’t give a customer the confidence generated by trying the products in real-time, in the customer’s real environment.
Enter Augmented Reality-based shopping
The biggest hurdle customers so often face is determining whether a certain product is right for them. Augmented reality is poised to fill these gaps in consumerism. AR can offer shoppers the confidence which in turn may motivate their purchasing decisions. Nowadays, Retailers are
looking for ways to integrate AR into their stores in order to allow customers to view the in-depth information available online by simultaneously looking at the actual physical product via a smartphone.
Augmented Reality appears as a boon in the abovementioned conundrum. AR can bring realism to the shopping scenario by allowing online shoppers to play around with products that were only photos in the E-Commerce experience. This is ultimately predicted to transform E-commerce to
A-Commerce, where each consumer will yearn for a more seamless experience using AR technologies in shopping.
Here are a few examples of firms using AR-based tech for shopping:
1. IKEA Place
The world’s largest furniture retailer Ikea allows its customers to visualize what their furniture might look like in their own homes using its AR app. Users can easily swipe through its most popular collections, or filter by types of products like “Baby & Children,” or “chairs and desks.”
Following Ikea’s footsteps, Amazon also lets users test how any given product would look in their home or workspace before ordering it using its AR View feature. This can be done by clicking on the camera icon in the Amazon app and selecting from thousands of products across categories like home décor, kitchenware, and furniture.
Sephora has created an app which employs ModiFace technology to allow users to take a “selfie” and then apply a variety of cosmetic products to their faces. This aids Sephora customers to
narrow their choices from home and streamline the shopping process.
Rayban leverages AR to help you chose the perfect sunglasses. Its new app “Virtual Try On” lets
you try all the different sunglasses from the brand, without having to stand in front of a mirror for hours.
Mentioned above are the few big market players who have readily embraced Augmented reality in their business operations to transform the entire retail scenario. Introducing such breakthroughs in the world of shopping not only reaps large benefits for the retailer but also brings in novel ideas for a shopper to explore.