Augmented Reality (AR) in Customize eCommerce solution
Technology for a Purpose — Augmented Reality and its Role in e-Commerce
When you want to buy a Mercedes, you can download the Mercedes cAR app. It allows you to choose a Mercedes car model and configure it according to your requirements.
Then you can open the door of the car and experience how it would feel if you were seated inside the car. You can also place the configured model in your driveway or garage to see how it would look or use the drive mode to drive it around and virtually experience driving a Mercedes.
As a customer, wouldn’t this be just the thing to do before you even visit a store?
By configuring the car yourself and virtually driving it, you would be more prepared to make a decision when you arrive at the physical store to buy your Mercedes. In fact, it solves the big problem of choice in terms of colors and configuration for many customers.
Did you know that even the in-store Mercedes teams use the app to provide customers with visualization of how the car could look in their driveway? With the help of the app, they also show models of cars that the customers may be interested in which aren’t currently available in the showroom.
Isn’t it fantastic how the customer, as well as the sales team, have been benefitting from the app?
Technology for a purpose
Mercedes put the technology of Augmented Reality into good use by providing consumers and sales professionals with an app to experience their cars and not just visualize it. But Mercedes isn’t really the company that is known for pioneering the use of AR in marketing products.
Long before Mercedes built their cAR app, IKEA introduced the world to IKEA Place, an app that uses Augmented Reality to help consumers see how a piece of furniture could look in their living or workspaces. The app was a roaring success, with IKEA reporting higher online sales after the launch of its app.
As customers around the world become more comfortable with online shopping, their expectations from brands regarding shopping experiences is increasing. This has led companies to push the boundaries for e-commerce experiences creating innovative solutions in response to common customer problems.
One big concern that many customers had about online shopping was that they did not know how the product could look when they brought it home. Dresses couldn’t be tried online, cars couldn’t be driven virtually and furniture couldn’t be checked physically. AR helps businesses solve many of these problems.
With AR apps, you can try on a dress by scanning yourself or using a picture of yourself and trying on different dresses virtually. You can place furniture in your room virtually and check how it would look if you decided to buy it.
What do we know about AR?
Augmented Reality is a technology that allows you to create an interactive and immersive experience of the real world on a digital device like computers, laptops, phones, and tablets. It can be used in many ways across many industries. One of the earliest adopters of AR technology was the gaming industry.
Games like Pokemon have been investing in immersive experiences for a long time which has given them considerable traction around the globe.
The e-commerce industry has started adopting the technology, but right now it is mostly used by the big players. Small business owners are just not sure of how it would work for their websites and some feel that the cost of using the technology will be high, so many of them are just waiting for AR to become cheaper before they incorporate it into their websites.
It is much like the use of responsive technology to make websites more accessible on different screen sizes. The big companies made their move and many smaller companies delayed the move till there was no option but to make their websites responsive.
But this delay in moving to mobile websites led customers to move to competitors because they were shopping from their mobiles and not their computers.
So even though businesses may want to wait this out, becoming an early AR adopter can be highly profitable.