Using the Power of AR to Boost Your eCommerce Business
Being online is a must in today’s world. eCommerce businesses are growing at a rapid pace and the customers’ expectations are getting higher as well. People want their products fast and easy. Before, the fact that you could order something without going out was enough to make the customer happy. Today it’s not. People want more. And because eCommerce is based online, it can use all the new technologies to make their customers’ experience even better.
One of the most popular trends right now is Augmented Reality (AR). Why? Because we shop with our eyes. We want to see the product in our own personal space, in our home. And when we do – we want to buy it even more. The AR technology is getting more and more popular but it’s also getting cheaper and more accessible, because of many open source projects that decrease the time and cost of the development. So not only it’s possible for more eCommerce businesses to implement AR, it is also used by some of the biggest brands out there and helps them achieve their business goals.
AR Technology in Use
The technology is booming and the biggest eCommerce businesses use it. Let’s take a look at a few of them, how they implemented AR and how it benefits their business:
There’s a chance you even used the IKEA AR catalogue. They introduced it in 2014 and it has been a great success. Basically, the idea was, that you can scan a page from the catalogue and, using AR technology, see how certain products would fit into you home. Sounds great, right? It truly is great, because the customer really doesn’t need to leave his house to make a purchasing decision. And this means the decision process is easier and quicker and, as a result, people make more purchases. What’s more, a group of students even created an AR app which could identify products you have on your IKEA table and then suggest recipes based on which foods you have at home.
Even though, Pokémon Go is a game, it allows in-app purchases which essentially makes it an eCommerce. It is the biggest AR app to this day. With more than 650 Million downloads and an estimated revenue of $1 Billion, it is a great success. And why was it so successful? Well, what lured the users in was essentially the AR – they could see their childhood memories near their home, wherever they were. Because the app uses AR, everyone’s dream of “collecting them all” became a reality.
One of the biggest beauty retailer has a variety of options when it comes to AR. Customers can “try on” makeup products, see if the colours match their outfits, watch tutorials and play with different looks and styles. It’s one of the best AR uses. Beauty products are usually something you can’t buy online (unless you’ve tried it previously), because you don’t know what the colours and finishes look like. Well, Sephora enables you to do that. Being able to try out makeup in the comfort of your own home is something that the customers love and it’s been a great success for Sephora.
To make it easier for their customers to make a purchasing decision, Converse created an AR app which enables customers to try on the shoes before purchasing them. You can also share “pictures” of the shoes on with your friends and family. It benefits the company in a similar way it does all the other eCommerces mentioned – because the decision process is quicker and easier, the customers end up buying more. The ”picture” functionality has another benefit as well – if you send this to your friends, you basically promote the app even more.
How to Use AR in Your eCommerce Business?
AR Technology may seem intimidating. Mainly because the technology seems like it’s going to be out of reach for smaller businesses. Investing in technologies like AR is something many believe is an investment only available to the biggest players on the eCommerce market. But, with today’s open source solutions, it doesn’t have to be. There are lots and lots of free or licensed solutions that any business can buy. There’s Wikitude SDK 8 which works for a variety of different platforms (Android, iOS, Windows for tablets and even smart glasses). There’s also ARKit from Apple (which, of course, is dedicated for iOS devices). One of the most popular ones is ARCore, developed by Google, which works for both Android and iOS. The ARCore is also what we recommend to most of our clients because it allows for motion tracking (tracking the phone’s position relative to the surroundings), environmental understanding (detecting vertical and horizontal surfaces as well as even angled surfaces, considering their dimensions so that the products are true to size) and light estimation (which considers light condition to make the visualized product look extremely realistic).
Only for big, complex eCommerces?
Some may think AR won’t work for simpler businesses. That’s why we designed GardenAR – to show you, that AR is not reserved for the big players. GardenAR is an eCommerce app which sells home plants and provides AR view of those products so that people can easily visualize them in their personal space.
The app is fairly simple, but based on our market and target audience research, the AR makes a significant difference in the user’s experience. Along with other functionalities like the knowledge base and extensive FAQ, the app is designed to perfectly suit the target users. If you’d like to see the full case study on this project, visit our Dribble profile.
We believe that AR is a big part of the eCommerce future. And that’s why more and more businesses start investing in this technology today, to be ahead of their competitors tomorrow. If you want to join the future – contact us and we’ll help you bring AR to your business.