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.
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.
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. ')}