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. ')}

Research Online, Purchase Offline Is The Way Modern Shoppers Shop

Research Online, Purchase Offline
According to a study, almost 65% of modern shoppers prefer to do a little to extensive product research online before stepping foot in any store.

The pre-purchase behaviour of modern customers plays a decisive role in their shopping decisions. Consumers today are empowered by many tools that enable them to do an extensive research online before putting money on the table for the purchase. This move from clicks to bricks with absolute ease, calls for effective measures to be taken by the modern retailers to understand their customers and enable them to browse and buy to maximize the profit margins. However, it is a lot easier said than done. While the customers have the freedom to browse and buy from any store, online or offline, of their choice, the retailers struggle to tap into these shoppers due to the sheer unpredictability of their move.

This is where making use of technologies like Big Data analytics, Machine Learning, and a bit of Artificial Intelligence can give an edge to the retailers. To tap into the right consumers it’s very important to identify where the journey of the shopper actually begins. And the retailers that harness the power of aforementioned technologies together with engaging digital content, findability based on the geographical location, keywords, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), are bound to win the game.

And with Taglr, we are trying to put our retail partners at the forefront of it all. So, let’s have a closer look at the latest trend that is – Research Online, Purchase Offline.

Understanding research online, purchase offline or ROPO –

The increasing penetration of internet with increasing number of smartphone users is converting the modern consumer into a research obsessed buyer. An integral part of any modern purchase is the initial research that goes into shaping up the final purchase decision. Whether the consumer is in the store or in the product aisle itself, the convenience of researching products online prior to putting them into the cart plays a significant part in determining what ends on the billing counter and what remains on the shelf.

According to the latest study, almost 67% of the customers admitted to researching products – occasionally – if not regularly before walking into a brick-and-mortar store for the final purchase. Some more admitted to having a pre-shopping routine, which included extensive online research among many things. A very small number, almost 33%, admitted to not making online research a part of their shopping journey.

All of this data highlights the fact that whether you are a multi-brand retailer or a fashion brand or a retailer with omnichannel presence, you need to have a firm grip on the digital channels to ensure that you are present where your customers are seeking you.

Understanding The Shoppers –

When we talk about research-obsessed shoppers, a millennial with a big smartphone roaming around the store is the first image that comes to our minds. Doesn’t it? However, we could not be far from reality. According to a study, the younger shopper base aged between 18-24 years aren’t as obsessed as their older counterparts. As per the study, almost 54% of shoppers between the age of 18 to 24 years said, they do not do an extensive research on products online before visiting the store. However, a lot of it could be attributed to factors like impulse shopping and the fact that most of their shopping includes low-risk items.

On the other hand for the older shoppers between the age group of 24 to 34 years almost 73% research online – occasionally if not every time – before stepping into the store. And while a lot of it can be attributed to the responsible behaviour of these shoppers, it’s very important to understand that these shoppers account for the most sale in the modern market. They not only like to read reviews of the products they intend to buy but also like to know all the key facts about the items they are about to buy.

The same is applicable to the shopper above the age group of 34 years. The mature the shopper, the larger is the extent of research that goes into any shopping. This is what makes having a strong digital presence and a thorough understanding of consumer behaviour such a decisive factor in the modern market.

So now, let’s see how to capture these research obsessed shoppers for your business

The key to success in the modern research obsessed market is to have impeccable digital capabilities. The content to go with it will give you an added advantage. Let’s have a look at both these things one by one.

The technology has grown leaps and bound since the time you last visited the supermarket so it will be unfair to overlook it in aiding your business. The increasing use of Big Data to understand customer behaviour, buying patterns, the best time to sell, and pretty much any metric that can be used to boost the business and capture the shoppers at the right instance is changing the modern retail market. And we at Taglr are trying to do just that. The expansive use of technologies like Big Data, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence to predict, study and understand the shopping behaviour makes it easier for us to provide smart analytics to our retail partners to empower them to tailor their offers and deals for maximum profits. Taglr is a unique product discovery platform for modern retailers which enables them to harness the power of modern technologies to capture the research obsessed customers.

Now, as far as the content goes, Taglr uses advanced machine learning algorithms to generate a wide array of keywords to match with the relevant products to make sure that the customers find what they are looking for with absolute ease. We also encourage retailers to have deeper understanding of rich content to go with their products to make sure that their products are easily discoverable by the consumers. Pieces of information like product descriptions, photos, specifications,  and reviews play a significant role in the Search Engine Optimization of the product page and make them easily discoverable, making it a priority for every retailer in the modern retail market.

In the end, while we agree that it’s difficult to predict where the shopper will begin his/her journey, but what is easy is to predict the fact that the research will always begin online, and if your brand/store is not discoverable there, then you clearly are missing on a major chunk of market pie. ')}