Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that is sure to revolutionize the eCommerce industry by providing exciting ways to engage customers, helping them make decisions based on what they really want and not what a sales rep convinced them to get.
Just as you may be assuming right now, when I heard of augmented reality, I thought it to be one of the hyped new technology. But I was wrong, when I decided to read what it is and how it operates, I was more than convinced this is the future of eCommerce.
This technology is expected to generate about $120 billion in 2020 and when Interaction conducted a research on its potential influence on eCommerce, 40 percent of consumers say they will be willing to pay for a product if they will be able to experience it through augmented reality.
Why would these people prefer the experience in a store and what does this technology really entails?
What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Augmented reality is simply a technology that stimulates a natural environment in a digital world. The technology does not only stimulate the natural environment, but it also triggers all feelings and perceptions that could be experienced in a natural setting ― all on your gadgets.
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Augmented Reality and Customers Satisfaction
Since augmented reality has the capacity to change how business engages with their customers, it is a game changer. Many businesses that adopt this technology early will be better off their competitors as it will help them develop new and unrivaled ways of delivering first class service to customers. Besides, they will be able to provide unique platforms where customers get to engage with their product right in their space, so that customers will purchase based on their personal conviction; thus increased customer satisfaction.
Some of the special ways augmented reality could improve customer satisfaction in e-commerce store are discussed below:
1. Multi-dimensional Product Evaluation
Customers are more likely to purchase a product they are connected with. No wonder 61 percent of shoppers reported they will prefer to shop at stores that offer augmented reality. The reason is simple. With AR, you can view and connect with products like you are standing next to them in a physical store and much more than a physical store, you can try to simulate how they would look like for the purpose you need them for. For instance, if you decided to get a bed cloth for your Queen size bed, with AR, you can try spreading different bedclothes on a virtual Queen size bed to see the one that most fit.
2. Availability in Different Languages
E-commerce companies are not limited by geographical spaces. They are available to people of various nationality and origin as long as there is an internet connection. Augmented reality brings about a range of options to get around the language issue.
Google translate for instance gives users the chance to access more than 40 foreign languages as well as their native one. In printed catalogue, augmented reality improves customer experience by providing an option to select the language of information and tips and there will be lesser or no need of reading a product’s description before they will know how it looks like ― everything would be displayed.
3. Improves Purchase Decision & Return On Investment (ROI)
Using augmented reality in most e-commerce stores improves user experience thereby increasing the chances of a customer buying what they have in mind. Many people waste a lot of time in the shops. This time is spent interacting with products in a bid to make a decision.
About 71 percent of shoppers affirmed their willingness to return to a store to spend more if they can use augmented reality to access and interact with their product. Hence, with augmented reality, customers save time and also make a better decision, improving the overall customer satisfaction ― purchase will be less determined by customer service (customer experience) but by more customer conviction; thus, better customer satisfaction and more sales; thus higher ROI.
4. Personalized Customer’s Experience
Although this is not yet included in AR features, it is very possible. With AR, each customer could get have an animation of their full physique and measurement displayed after taking something like a scan or entering measurements data. This will allow customers to try out products like shoes, clothes and caps/hats to see how it really fits. Presently, the only available features are to examine color and style, but I believe this could change soon as many industries are investing in the advancement of AR ― over $17 billion was invested in 2016 only.
5. An Augmented Reality User’s
Nicole Martins Ferreira, a content marketer at Oberlo related her experience with AR “A few months ago, my partner and I bought a condo. We used an augmented reality app to help us visualize what our condo would look like furnished. We were able to choose the exact furniture from Ikea that we wanted to buy. We were able to see what types of furniture we could fit into space without it being too cramped. We saw which colors clashed, which allowed us to visualize our home before any big purchases. We played around with our layout a few times until we chose all aspects of our home. Since neither one of us are good at imagining what our home could look like, seeing our actual furniture laid out in our space allowed us to create a home that looked great.”
Popular AR apps available today: Sephora Virtual Artist (great for make-up), Amikasa, Quiver, IKEA, Tap users etc.
It is evident that customers’ satisfaction is linked to augmented reality. There are many e-commerce stores that have incorporated augmented reality technologies into their business and have reaped the benefits. For the many e-commerce stores that are yet to join the train, it is high time you started considering it.
The use of augmented reality in many e-commerce stores will bring about an experience that cannot be rivaled. With proper implement, many companies will be able to beat their competitors and provide the needed customer satisfaction needed to move their business forward.
I do hope you have gained a lot from this article. I will like your opinion if you feel that augmented reality is right for e-commerce stores.
Kindly drop your opinion in the comment section below and do not forget to share.