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Pakko De La Torre // Creative Director

How Is Augmented Reality Changing eCommerce? - GeekyAnts

How Is Augmented Reality Changing eCommerce? – GeekyAnts

Ever since its inception, eCommerce has changed the lives of consumers and catapulted businesses to unprecedented growth. The advent of the pandemic also contributed to increased demand for better eCommerce platforms as consumers could not visit the offline stores. Let us have a look at one of the many aspects of its evolution, namely, the introduction of Augmented Reality and how it will shape the future for digital retailers.

Immersive technologies have constantly been transforming every industry since their introduction. E-Commerce businesses, including both B2B and B2C models, are amongst the front-runners in implementing AR functionalities to enhance the end-user experience. Shopify was one of the first to introduce AR features on its website, and we have seen many advancements since then. With the industry leaders introducing new and innovative features to attract a wider range of customers, the e-Commerce shopping experience also has changed enormously.

What earlier used to be just simple buying and selling platforms have now evolved to allow drafting digital information onto real-world environments aiming to ease customer experience. In this article, we will be focusing on how AR has changed the shopping experience for B2C consumers. Let’s begin!

E-Commerce businesses are using AR to create enticing user interfaces that keep the customers engaged on the platforms. The new experience includes a variety of advanced features that morph the real world to present them with better buying options. Some of the widely used features include:

1. Product Visualization

In the initial days, digital commerce platforms did not offer consumers any options to view the products they were interested in except for 2D images. These images were often misleading because of the limitations of the technology. Also, consumers could not find out what the product would look like in the real world. With AR, products can be visualized in a real-world situation.

3. Interactive User Guides

Not everyone is good at gathering information using age-old methods like boring scripts. And why should this be a setback? Augmented reality allows consumers to learn more about products using interactive user manuals. Features such as on-page contextual support, dynamic animations, graphs, etc., help users learn about how a product works much faster than a heap of texts that would only add to the complexity of the learning process.

To begin with integrating AR in their e-Commerce platforms, businesses first must go through a comprehensive research process. It must include identifying their requirements and expectations of the outcomes or features that their platform should provide using AR. Also, the implementation of AR for websites can still have limited use compared to mobile phones. Businesses need to ensure which platform they are targeting for which feature.

Once the requirements are studied and finalized, they can contact AR developers or agencies that provide these services. If their requirements are minimal, they can also opt for plug-and-play options available. AR is getting commoditized. Businesses do not need to be technically involved; they can get what features they need online with a few simple clicks. The decision of whether to go for building an e-Commerce solution with advanced AR integrations from scratch or adding plugins is completely dependent on the requirements of the application.

The next factor to consider is the cost of development. Developing a solution from scratch is going to have a higher cost than adding plugins that can be implemented within weeks. The number of animations required, number of characters used, number of user journeys involved in getting the platform up and running, etc., are also some factors that contribute to the eventual costs of building an AR-integrated e-Com solution. Given all these considerations, businesses are still increasingly investing in integrating AR as the rewards are higher.

Businesses have an option to customize the AR for future requirements. If certain features do not need to be rolled out currently, they can be saved to be rolled out in the future. It increases the longevity of AR infrastructure. Businesses do not need to reinvest in adding AR functionalities.

The competitive industry of e-Commerce is rapidly growing along with AR technology. According to a report by Statista, the market size of AR will be close to worth $300 billion by the year 2024. In the future, we expect to see newer and more immersive digital experiences using this advanced technology. Experts also speculate Virtual Reality will take over offline stores and redefine the online shopping experience forever.

This content was originally published here.