Seeing is Believing: How to leverage interactive retail shopping experiences with AR
There is nothing that an e-commerce business would like to see more than record-breaking sales conversions. How about a 20% more engaged and satisfied clientele as well as much enhanced brand value and, of course, greater ROI? If you think that is wishful thinking, think again. Augmented Reality can make it possible.
The retail world is experiencing a veritable revolution when it comes to amazing shopping experiences, thanks to augmented reality. AR in retail empowers customers to engage with the products in question in never before ways. That includes interacting with and even customizing them according to one's specific requirements, thereby making the best purchase decision. A great example of this is Nike's Natural View which gives e-commerce a leg up by helping enhance customer engagement and trust.
That being stated, as with any new technology, one might feel a little apprehensive about deploying retail technology in retail. It is precisely to overcome these concerns that we have come out with a guide about what Augmented Reality is all about and how your e-commerce business or retail outlet can leverage Advertflair augmented reality service effectively and the advantages that will accrue to their business by doing so.
Understanding Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality technology manages to super impose computer-generated imagery onto someone's real-life view, thereby enhancing their visual experience. This is achieved by leveraging computer-generated display, text, sound, visuals and graphics to enhance the way someone perceives real-world experience. AR enables search by merely pointing mobile phone cameras towards objects in their real-life environment. The Live View feature in Good Maps is typical of how AR can be used to visualize real-life destinations. Other examples of this are Nintendo's Pokémon Go app as well as the photo filters on Snapchat and Facebook.
AR sees applications beyond gaming and navigation and is extensively used by the retail sector to enhance its operations and marketing abilities. The total number of mobile AR users is expected to reach 1,73billion users by 2024. It is not surprising that leading e-commerce brands and retailers are leveraging AR to deliver outstanding brand experiences.
The Importance of AR in Retail and E-Commerce
Millennials are the major segment of shoppers these days and they abhor standing in long lines, even if it is a limited offer sale. Instead, they would rather book what they want online. This is where AR in retail takes the online shopping experience to the next level. By enabling potential customers to virtually try on items and even customize them, deploying AR in online shopping empowers them to take smart shopping decisions quickly. In fact, 40% of consumers would willingly pay more for a product they can customize using AR.
Besides, it helps make the online experience a very satisfying one, thereby tremendously increasing brand trust and boosting sales in a big way. The time to implement AR in retail is now!
AR Trends that Rule the Market
The digital age customer looks at personalization and convenience before he or she looks at the price. That is where AR steps up to the plate by enabling brands to create smart retail experiences that positively impact customers’ purchase decisions.
AR leads to smooth, seamless and comfortable online selling by simulating a lifelike interaction with the product in question for the prospective customers. It allows them to virtually enter their favourite stores, try on and compare products without having to leave their homes.
AR Trends that Define the Retail Market Today
Enhanced In-Store Experience
The use of AR apps via mobile devices allows customers to access product details in practically no time. They can, for instance, try out clothing in different colors and take a faster decision as they do not physically have to try on every piece. An example of a company deploying this ability imparted by AR is that of Lacoste who leveraged an AR feature that allowed customers to visualize their shoes in different colors. AR possesses the unique ability to come up with impactful, timely and pertinent user experiences that accrue more value to customers across their physical and e-commerce stores.
Smart Malls Providing Richer Customer Experiences Are On the Anvil
AR helps enrich the shopping experience right from parking to shopping and food. It can push notifications to customers' mobile phones about great deals just as they pass by a store. Mall visits can be made really exciting for customers by for instance making AR games available to them.
AR- A Retail Channel Par Excellence
With close to 75% of the world's population and nearly all social and communication app users expected to be regular AR users, the adoption of the technology will see a huge acceleration. This is particularly true of the realms of media, shopping, gaming and communication.
There are compelling reasons to use AR for retail. For instance, according to research the top reasons for product returns are receiving faulty products (20%), being dissatisfied with the products received(22%) and receiving the wrong goods (23%). E-commerce websites and apps that incorporate AR technology can be used to empower customers to engage with their products up close and personal.
Brands that leverage AR for retail sales see 94%higher conversion rates, with 71% of customers feeling more connected with the product in question. They are also 41% more preferred but customers. AR offers shoppers many options to interact with consumer products in a very personalized manner. Even if the number of images and videos is limited, every single online interaction can be very productive from a sales point of view. AR helps an e-commerce store attract the shoppers’ attention at the decision-making stage by allowing them to engage with their products intimately, thereby making the online browsing process a powerful sales channel. It is not surprising that already 32% of consumers use AR while shopping.
How AR Helps Increase Sales in Retail
The use of AR in retail is seeing a significant and consistent rise. This is true across B to B, B to C and D to C segments. In fact, it makes online selling lead to abetter customer experience in many ways.
Helps Optimize Warehouse Space
AR can help rationalize warehouse space management by streamlining activities like order allocation, inventory handling, material control and packaging. By deploying an interactive 3D warehouse layout, retailers can get a better grip on their warehouse planning. This helps improve a slew of functions like locating processes and products more quickly, extracting necessary information like order number and trolley number more expeditiously, hastening the loading and unloading process, making zero delay deliveries and ultimately increasing your sales orders, thereby increasing revenue.
Real-Life Examples of AR Helping Enhance Customer Experience
AR Helping Make Cabin Manufacturing More Efficient
Cabin Manufacturing is beset with problems pertaining to complex designs, the large size of customer requests and wrongly created floorplans. Using customized software solutions that feature 3D web configurators, customers are empowered to build and design their sheds with the help of AR. Besides, it can help automate floor plans, reduce human error, make cabin construction planning more efficient and provide a fair price estimation.
E-Commerce Powered by AR Apps
With 20% of customers not undertaking online shopping because they fear making wrong purchase decisions, we can help e-commerce businesses effectively address this concern. This can be done in several ways:
-Deploying interactive mobile apps that allow a 3D preview of the objects under consideration.
-Enabling unimpeded display of a wide range of products.
-Much enhanced customer engagement and interaction.
-Enabling personalized shopping without having to leave home.
-Providing seamless agnostic e-commerce web solutions.
As many as 61% of consumers say that they would rather go to retailers that offer them online experiences than the ones that don't. According to the premier business magazine Forbes AR can help enhance sales by as much as 200%.
Augmented Reality in Retail-A Must Have in the Digital Age
AR helps primarily in enhancing customers’ trust and there by improving their confidence to purchase. It does that by helping e-commerce businesses to-
1. Live Up to Customer Expectations
That can be achieved with the help of real-time product visualizations that empower retailers to deliver products that match exactly with how the customers perceived them leading to reduced marketing costs and increased customer satisfaction.
2. Fewer Returns
By ensuring that customers receive the products they ordered according to their exact specifications, e-commerce businesses can exponentially increase customer satisfaction, leading to more brand loyalty and increased sales.
3. Stay Competitive
The e-commerce industry is an ultra-competitive one and the only way to stay in the reckoning is to be able to deliver more satisfying online experiences to the customers. Leveraging the power is the best way of ensuring that and thereby not losing out to the competition.
With 71% of the e-commerce customers agreeing that they would shop more if e-commerce businesses used AR, it is a no-brainer that this is something that retailers have to do if they are serious about growing their business in the fast-paced digital age.
We can help your business forge ahead with the help of our AR retail solutions that help both in-store and e-commerce retailers to deliver outstanding shopping experiences to their clients. Our AR solutions including power retail apps help shoppers have a rich in-store experience. Our much-in-demand solutions include AR pop-up stalls for driving footfalls to physical stores, web-based AR e-commerce apps, AR visual merchandising and virtual try-ons for retailers selling products like jewellery and cloth.