Augmented Reality Is The Next Step In The World Of eCommerce

Augmented Reality Is The Next Step In The World Of eCommerce

Let’s face it, Black Mirror is awesome!

We know it has nothing to do with the title of the post, but somehow it will all make sense by the time we are done with the post.

The buzzword in the tech circle these days is Augmented Reality. Every second day there is an app launch highlighting how it uses augmented reality to offer you an experience you’ve never had. From entertainment (hence Black Mirror mention) to gaming ( remember Pokemon Go) to e-commerce, augmented reality is the way forward in pretty much every field. From being a futuristic technology to become a reality, AR has come a long way.

Such is the battle to advance in the field of AR that every tech giant wants to have a bit of the AR pie. Apple recently made a significant move with the launch of their ARKit, which was soon followed by ARCore from Google. These software frameworks enable the developers to develop their solutions and products with augmented reality being at the core of it all. As far as the hardware manufacturers are considered, the battle is equally fierce there as well with all major hardware manufacturer fighting to develop the best AR glasses.

With all the major tech giants exploring ways to use AR to benefit their business. One area where we feel augmented reality can make a real difference in the world of eCommerce. It very well could be the beginning of A-Commerce and a departure from the traditional eCommerce. It will certainly take some time, but we could very well be on course to the world of A-Commerce.

Why do we say so?

Well, simply because the signs are all around us. Let’s be honest and admit that despite the humongous growth and development that the eCommerce world and the world of online shopping has seen, the brick-and-mortar stores still are relevant and perhaps still a preferred mode for shopping for a lot of shoppers. And one simple reason for that being the fact that the online stores still fall short when it comes to giving the complete shopping experience in terms of experiencing the product you are buying.

This is why a lot of modern customers start their shopping on one channel and end it on another. It has given birth to the shopping pattern like “research online, buy offline.” Customers, for all its advancements, are still not confident buying online and making their purchase decisions based primarily on flat images, specs, dimensions etc.  

This is where the Augmented Reality comes into play. AR brings the missing piece of the puzzle by adding a dash of realism to the overall shopping experience. It familiarizes the online shoppers with the products, which initially were only visible as photos in the current e-commerce world.

In an ideal omnichannel retail scenario, the customer gets to experience the product across all mediums. And that is what AR brings to the table. With the inclusion of AR in the online shopping process, the customers can now experience the products of their choice, which is kind of revolutionary.

By bridging the gap between the online and offline world, Augmented-Commerce (aka A-Commerce) revolutionizes the traditional eCommerce market as we know it. Retailers can now offer a lot more personal and interactive experience to the online shoppers.

Yes, the brick-and-mortar stores still remain relevant and will not disappear overnight, however, with the growing implementation of augmented reality in the modern e-commerce world, we are inching towards them becoming obsolete one day.

Here are few of the finest usage of augmented reality by the e-commerce giants to lift the shopping experience for their customers.

IKEA Place –

Ikea has already released its AR app with the release of Apple’s ARKit and iOS 11, enabling the customers to visualize how their furniture will look in their homes in real time. Customers can now browse through their most popular collections and check how they will look at their homes.

This is just the beginning, but a big step towards A-Commerce.

Amazon –

Following the footsteps of Ikea, Amazon too has released their AR app, which allows the customers to check how a certain product will look on them or in their home prior to placing the order.

Known as AR View, the feature can be activated by clicking the camera icon in the Amazon shopping app. You browse the products from different categories starting from furniture, home decor, or kitchenware and check how they will look at your home.

Ray-Ban –

Buying sunglasses online has been one of the toughest shopping decision one has to make. Especially if you do not have the chiseled looks of the models wearing them in the ads. But not with Ray-Ban’s new app. It allows you to virtually try all their sunglasses right from the comfort of your home and not even needing a mirror.

Virtual Try-On” App by Ray-Ban uses the face mapping technology to create a model of your face and see yourself in different angles. It is yet another fine amalgamation of online shopping with augmented reality.

So, with already significant strides being made in the world of e-commerce in terms of AR adaptation, we feel augmented reality is the next step in the world of eCommerce and certainly the way forward. ')}

How Emergence Of Retail Technology Is Changing Traditional Shopping

How Emergence Of Retail Technology Is Changing Traditional Shopping

According to a modern study, a majority of shoppers prefer online shopping over the traditional in-store shopping. The number of businesses lured into the modern e-commerce market is constantly on the rise.

However, with the constantly increasing number of businesses, the competition is growing fast as well. So, to survive in this cut-throat competition, businesses need to step up their game in every department to offer a seamless shopping experience to the customers. Technology, being at the forefront of it all.

Technology has had a huge impact on the retail market. Be it the way, the customers interact with the retailers or the way the retailers build their brand, everything has been revolutionized by the emergence of retail technology. In this post, we will take a quick look at some of the key areas where the emergence of retail technology is changing the traditional shopping:

The Rise Of Smartphone Shopping

Smartphones have taken over. Not in a Terminator-esque sense, but pretty much in every other sense. A majority of modern shoppers use a smartphone for their shopping needs. While some of them buy directly from their favourite e-commerce website, a majority of them prefer doing a thorough online search before making the purchase. Some of them even search the local retailers and do not restrict their hunt for the perfect product to the online market alone.

The smartphones have become the primary mode of engagement between the brands and the customers. From reading reviews and ratings to searching for the product at the best available price, pretty much everything takes place on the smartphone screens. This is why it’s very crucial for the advertisers and marketers to offer attractive prices and engaging content for their brands. In order to thrive in the modern market, it’s very important that the brands offer a pleasing, updated, and convenient mobile experience for the shoppers.

Efficient Use Of Analytics

In our previous post, we saw how machine learning applications are changing the modern e-commerce world. One area where the implementation of machine learning applications has created serious impact is the mobile world. With the growing comfort level of shoppers with online shopping, the use of customer behavioural analytics, web analytics, and the sheer amount of data accumulation that comes with every purchase makes it easier for the marketers to use machine learning to put all that analytics to work.

Shoppers like to do extensive research on products, sellers, and services on offer before assigning their loyalty to an e-retail store or a brand. Business can use the rich data based on the customer’s shopping trends to engage with them and accordingly carry out relevant advertising, marketing, and other strategic decisions to capture them.

However, not every business in the market is technologically equipped to use the behavioural analytics for their business gains. This is where online product discovery platforms like Taglr play a vital role. Taglr offers rich behavioural analytics to the advertisers on its platform to help them create engaging content for the potential customers and use them for their business gains.

Dynamic Pricing Strategy

The modern retail market is highly price-sensitive, whereby even the slightest change in pricing can significantly boost the chances of a retailer attracting the shoppers as opposed to its counterparts. In such competitive market, the dynamic pricing strategy by the e-retailers could give them a slight edge over the e-tailers going by the traditional pricing route. To help you understand, dynamic pricing strategy allows the retailers to change the pricing of their products based on the market trend, the inventory, or the sales targets.

As soon as the retailer identifies a fast-moving product, she can decide to inflate the price to avoid stock depletion or vice versa. In a similar way, in order to meet the sales targets, the retailer might also choose to lower the prices of their products.

By using dynamic pricing strategy, the retailers can also keep a tap on the pricing strategy of their competitors to make beneficial pricing decisions. For example, when a competitor is running low on the stock of certain products, they can choose to increase the price and attract better sales and profit margins.

The best implementation of dynamic price strategy is the real-time price updating, which a lot of e-commerce stores use to capture as many customers as they can. But nowadays a lot of small and medium-sized enterprises have also started adopting the strategy.

Artificial Intelligence

Managing customer interaction is the biggest challenge that the modern e-commerce firms face. And this is where Artificial Intelligence comes into the picture.

Artificial Intelligence can be employed to handle customer interaction in a much more efficient manner through chatbots or automated response to make sure the customer interaction is a lot more personalized, efficient, and effective.

At the same time, AI can also be used to handle huge chunks of data to analyze the customer behaviour, market trends and the factors influencing the customer behaviour.  This not only makes online shopping a lot more personalized and safe as well.

One fine example of this is Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, which helps the retailers to offer better suggestions to their customers to help them boost their sales. Some of the areas where artificial intelligence has helped the retailers include product recommendations, post-sales support, and helping the customer make a purchase faster.

To sum it all, retail technology and its evolution will continue to revolutionize online shopping, which will enable modern businesses to innovative ways of customer engagement. In coming days, it will be the differentiating factor between the leaders and laggards in the world of retail. ')}

How big data analytics is revolutionising the retail

How big data analytics is revolutionising the retail
How big data analytics is revolutionising the retail

Online retailing has brought with itself ongoing debates about its differences with offline retail. The truth is that online and offline retail are like two peas in a pod, and the real debate is how big data analytics can revolutionize the world of retail, both online and offline.

However, in this digital age, online shopping gains preference over offline retail for various reasons. Online/mobile shopping gives shoppers more options, instant product and price information, along with added conveniences like faster delivery. Taglr is one such all-encompassing advertising platform that offers online shoppers as well as retailers the best of the best.

To catch up, offline retailers must accurately predict customer behaviour to customise their offerings as per changing customer preferences and budgets. A major enabler of this is retail analytics – the contemporary mantra that both online and offline retailers can adapt to revolutionize their business.

Retail analytics/software solutions are changing the game by:

  • Helping retailers improve their business models, devise intelligent pricing and supply chain solutions, improve customer engagement
  • Making market expansion easier for offline retailers in particular
  • Aiding in developing valuable clientele solutions via loyalty analytics
  • Uncovering latent data patterns and facilitating accurate predictions of future outcomes from massive data volumes generated in the retail world
  • Allowing optimisation of loyalty analytics aspects including pricing, marketing, promotion, merchandise planning
  • Empowering retailers to provide highly personalized shopping experiences by adopting an omnichannel approach

Additionally, big data analytics can also help with:

Customer behaviour monitoring

Customer-retailer engagement happens through different touchpoints, sometimes in unpredictable ways. For instance, while shopping online, a person may abandon his/her shopping cart, but the same customer could purchase several products at the offline retail store. The reverse could also be true. Analytics can help retailers in continually monitoring customer behaviour to be able to offer appropriate incentives to activate transactions either online or offline.

Dynamic pricing

Adopting dynamic pricing in sync with demand-supply fluctuations can help retailers combat stiff competitive and stay up-to-date with category-wise pricing trends – A pricing system that considers diverse variables like product sales, competitor pricing, regional preferences, customer actions, etc. to determine appropriate prices for specific products.

Focused customer support

Customer-focused support is an aspect of retail where big data analytics plays a crucial role. It gives support reps a 360-degree view of every customer’s interactions/transactions with that specific business. How?

For instance, an angry customer registers a complaint online about an unpleasant experience along with Facebook and Twitter lash outs. The right data analytics solution can update customer service about this in real time, so when the customer calls to support, the real-time updates automatically redirect the customer to the right representative. This leads to better resolutions, increasing the customer’s satisfaction quotient as well as his lifetime value.  

Fraudulent activity checks

Data analytics eases the process of monitoring fraudulent activities. Say a customer returns a product after using it or falsely claims an item was not delivered and instead sells it elsewhere. Retail data analytics can help retailers detect fraud patterns in real time and thereby curb such malpractices.

Of course, monitoring the above activities could become cumbersome when there are thousands of daily transactions, with further complexities created by initiatives like loyalty programs, etc. In such ecosystems, spot on data analysis via retail software solutions becomes no less than a miracle of sorts.

The omnichannel approach

According to a recent Deloitte report, digital is influencing 21% in-store organised retail sales in India. To match up to the rising tilt towards online retail, many brick-and-mortar retailers are working towards offering an omnichannel experience.

An omnichannel approach is a redefined retail strategy that includes the best of both worlds. Such an approach can help retailers create additional brand recall for consumers and an additional revenue channel for themselves. Shoppers Stop expects a 15% revenue hike through its digital touch points in the next 2 years; Amazon is introducing 3D product videos to offer the touch-and-feel factor; Croma, Shoppers’ Stop, Puma, Big Bazaar, etc. have gone online – Real world validations of omnichannel retail.

Predictive retail analytics can help retail models acquire significant market gains by helping achieve the following:

  • Scientific targeting of right customers at the right time with right information through the right channels
  • Improved Pricing and Supply Chain Management
  • Sophisticated analysis of historical sales, inventory and promotional data
  • Better understanding and forecast of customer needs/wants/trends, product personalization and recommendations based on browsing history/purchase patterns/interactions and behaviour data
  • Identification of new audience clusters, and channels that increase order velocity, customer acquisition and retention
  • Demand-supply trend analysis, Sentiment analysis, Returns analysis
  • Ability to seamlessly manage communications across multiple channels
  • Outstanding shopping experiences

Consumers are major change and growth drivers for the retail industry – They want value for money, greater variety, and more holistic shopping experiences. And all-encompassing platforms like Taglr offer these contemporary shoppers more than what they seek.

Retaining these valuable customers, prudent pricing, targeted marketing/advertising, complex decision making – These are just some of the tough decisions retailers constantly grapple with. In such an environment, analytics becomes a tool to combat competition, a facilitator of optimum business decisions, and a goldmine for the world of retail. ')}