The Future of eCommerce: Augmented Reality
Online retailers are slowly beginning to capitalise on the opportunities that integrating an augmented reality experience into their store can provide for them.
But what actually is augmented reality and how does it work? We’ll explore how online retailers are successfully optimising augmented reality for the e-Commerce industry.
Augmented Reality Explained…
Augmented reality (AR) in the simplest of terms is the combination of computer-generated imagery within a user’s real-world surroundings. The way in which AR is used can vary but may include sound, video, graphics and more. The technology works with the physical world in real time and can respond to changes in the surrounding area.
How Does It Relate to eCommerce?
When applied correctly augmented reality can give eCommerce retailers the ability to engage and connect with their customers even after a purchase has been made. The younger generation in particular, are the drivers behind this change to a more interactive, personal shopping experience.
Marker-based augmented reality works on the basis of a marker image activating the experience, common examples of this include QR codes and item packaging. The experience is then designed to disappear once the user is no longer triggering the original marker.
This method of AR is a great way of engaging with customers post purchase too.
Top Tip: Why not trial out AR on your product packaging so when the customer receives their item, they can interact with the brand in a new way.
We partnered with our client Foxy Locks, who specialise in luxurious hair extensions, to create a unique shopping experience, allowing consumers to ‘choose their next shade’ through an immersive filter. This allowed them to engage and connect with their consumers, as well as educating them about their products and brand.
Through this initiative, Foxy Locks has seen a 65% increase in link clicks from new users, their cost per click reduced by 11% and their average return on ad spend increased too.
In contrast, markerless technology doesn't require a specific trigger to activate the experience and instead, users are required to follow a link or app to start the AR. Markerless augmented reality processes the surrounding environment and places the experience according to geometry, usually picking a flat surface.
It is with this technology, that we were able to partner with our client Foxy Locks. A brand specialising in luxurious hair extensions, to create a unique shopping experience, allowing consumers to ‘choose their next shade’ through an immersive filter. This allowed them to engage and connect with their consumers, as well as educating them about their products and brand.
Superimposition-based technology either partially or fully covers up the original view of an object to create the augmented experience. The popular social media channel Snapchat, was one of the first to integrate this type of tech through the use of filters.
E-commerce retailers can use superimposition-based AR to allow customers to see how their product would suit them. For example, if your customer is interested in buying a piece of furniture, why not offer them the opportunity to use AR so they can visualise it in their own space. Experiences like these, can be the difference between a shopper checking out and purchasing from you as opposed to just ordinarily adding to their wishlist.
Retailers are only just beginning to trial the options that AR integration offers them.
Combining augmented reality technology with the increased demand for personalisation and interactivity, gives brands the rare chance to provide an enhanced experience that gives the competitive edge.