Ecommerce represents the single biggest evolution for consumers since the introduction of the mail order catalog in the 19th century.
This evolutionary step has advanced especially quickly, as well. Sites like Amazon and technology like smartphones turned something as simple as shopping into the kind of experience sci-fi writers used to imagine.
And yet, this progress shows no signs of plateauing anytime soon. Actually, just the opposite is happening. The introduction of augmented reality (AR) technology is ushering in a completely new era of ecommerce.
Those companies that are fastest to embrace why they need an AR strategy, will enjoy a major edge over competitors who struggle to adapt.
3 REASONS AUGMENTED REALITY IS THE FUTURE OF ECOMMERCE
There are a number of reasons more and more companies are adopting augmented reality as part of their marketing and sales approaches. Many of these reasons are industry-specific.
However, no matter what industry you’re in, if ecommerce plays a role in contributing to your revenues, there are three very important reasons you should pay attention to the growing popularity of augmented reality.
1. Smartphones Are the Dominant Method for Accessing the Web
Far too many companies are relying on ecommerce strategies designed for a time when people only used traditional computers to access the web.
Today, 77% of U.S. consumers own a smartphone, so it should come as no surprise that these devices now surpass traditional computers as the most popular way people go online.
Augmented reality generally relies on mobile devices to provide users with the experiences companies want to offer them. The unprecedented success of Pokemon Go already proved how quickly the market would take to AR. Manufacturers took notice of this, too.
Mobile devices and AR are a perfect fit for one another. Manufacturers understand this and are now designing devices that better support this technology. Devices that are unable to do so will soon be considered outdated. The same will go for ecommerce sites that deny mobile-users the experience of augmented reality that they want.
2. Ecommerce Takes Personalization to Another Level
The future of ecommerce belongs to companies that get personal with their marketing. Specifically, this means leveraging personalization to offer each and every website visitor a completely unique experience based on their preferences – similar to how an employee would treat them in a physical store.
In short, the days of one-size-fits-all content are coming to an end. The same goes for ecommerce companies that expect consumers to decide whether or not a product is right for them by using their imaginations.
Augmented reality is taking personalization to a whole new level in a very interesting way, too.
For example, our ARitized AR Ecommerce tool allows a user to take objects from cyberspace and see what it would look like in their actual living space. No more measuring for dimensions and then imagining what a piece will look like before spending the money to purchase it and the time to set it up. Now, users can decide whether or not the products right for their home before ever spending a dime or even leaving their homes.
Converse is another company that understands the importance of augmented reality and clearly has for some time. Back in 2010, a lot of companies still weren’t sure about what ecommerce was. Meanwhile, Converse debuted The Sampler, an app which allowed customers to see what different shoes would look like on their actual feet.
In the very near future, it will be a no-brainer for customers to do their shopping on ecommerce sites that support this level of interaction and personalization. Why use your imagination when you can literally see the results? It doesn’t get much more personal than that.
3. Still Represent Real Potential
Though smartphones may currently reign as the consumer’s favorite tool for enjoying augmented reality, a new king of the hill may be on the horizon.
While the fanfare surrounding Google Glass died quickly, that’s hardly uncommon for brand-new forms of technology. In fact, Snap Inc., the company behind Snapchat, is already promoting their third version of camera-outfitted glasses. One of the main selling points of these spectacles is the AR experience they can support.
What’s most interesting is that, despite wearable technologies like Oculus (which Facebook bought for $2 billion) and Magic Leap (which Google has invested $542 million in) that support virtual reality, augmented reality clearly represents the much bigger business opportunity.
By 2020, virtual and augmented reality companies will be worth $150 billion. However, only $30 billion of that will be for virtual reality (VR). Many companies understand the opportunity this technology represents for entertainment. The reason 80% of that total is going to augmented reality is because far morebusinesses will leverage AR simply to engage their markets and make sales. It’s becoming as essential as having a website.
With the likes of Amazon and Google getting in on the action, AR-outfitted glasses clearly have a major role to play. By looking through glasses, instead of a phone, consumers have both hands free to interact with any augmented reality that’s helping with their shopping experiences.
What many are finding surprising is that this type of AR technology is also finding a home in the fulfillment-side of ecommerce. Once again, fulfillment professionals can use both hands to do their jobs, which has proven to increase efficiency as much as 15%.
IS YOUR COMPANY READY FOR THE FUTURE OF ECOMMERCE?
Consumers will always use the Internet to research products and make their purchases. That said, how they use the Internet to do so will continue to evolve.
Augmented reality is the perfect example. Consumers want a three-dimensional experience akin to the one they would enjoy in a physical store.
Are you able to give it to them?
If not, there’s still time to harness AR as a competitive edge before the rest of your industry invests in it.
At NexTech AR Solutions Corp., we’ve turned AR adoption into an effortless and affordable process. Contact us today and we’ll walk you through each step of our proven approach.