Engine Creative is a creative service and digital products agency with a thirst for innovation. We are passionate about bringing brands to life online, on mobile devices and through augmented and virtual experiences.
5 ways Augmented Reality shopping is set to transform the retail sector, reducing returns and maximising sales
16 August 2018 15:32pm
By helping online retailers to reduce the growing cost of returns whilst providing their customers with a more engaging and convenient way to shop, AR is cementing itself as the future of retail. Consumers are willing and ready to adopt augmented reality shopping experiences - an amazing 69% of consumers expect retailers to launch an AR app in the next 6 months - and so it’s now up to retailers to start delivering on the huge promise of AR.
So, let’s explore five ways that augmented reality is transforming e-commerce and reducing the cost for online retailers.
1. Reduce the cost of returns
With 30% of all products ordered online now being returned, retailers are crying out for ways to help them reduce the burden of increasing returns. Augmented reality can help by providing an engaging ‘try-before-you-buy’ digital experience. Customers who have seen a product in-situ feel reassured that it fits, it looks good and that they are happy with it before they even add it to their basket, making it far less likely that they will return the item when it arrives. When 76% of consumers say they would ‘maybe’ or ‘definitely’ purchase more items if there was a ‘try-before-you-buy’ option available, it is easy to see how AR can help reduce the cost of returns whilst maximising sales.
2. Speed up the purchasing journey
Innovative AR solutions allow customers to visualise products in real time, from the comfort of their own homes. Full 3D visualisations give the opportunity for shoppers to see how products will look in their space before they commit to purchase, encouraging quicker purchasing decisions by reducing the guesswork associated with online shopping. This is backed up by research )which found that 42% of shoppers think using AR would make it easier for them to make a decision and shorten the time between browsing and final purchase.
3. Build an emotional connection
By allowing consumers to experience products in their homes you encourage them to bond with the product before they purchase it. Once someone has fallen in love with how an item looks in their home they build an emotional connection not possible through traditional web browsing; they can easily visualise how they will accessorise it, how they will decorate around it, and how much their mother-in-law will hate it! This all comes together to form a strong emotional connection with a product before it has even been purchased, helping to secure sales and encourage brand loyalty. When 95% of a purchase decision is believed to happen in the subconscious, the emotional connection is more-often-than-not the thing that converts your customer and stops them checking out your competitors.
4. Enhance the mobile shopping experience
Augmented reality offers a unique physical layer to the online shopping experience, allowing customers to explore the details and nuances of a product, close up and in real time. In many of our AR shopping experiences, such as our product visualiser for prestige taps and showers manufacturer VADO, customers can even alter the lighting of their experience to ensure they love the product from all angles and in all lighting conditions.
With conversion rates on shopping apps more than 3 times higher than on mobile web, and shopping apps generating 67% of all e-commerce sales on mobile devices for retailers with an app, AR can provide retailers with a unique competitive advantage in the growing mobile space.
5. Reduce the number of abandoned baskets
A Barclaycard survey found that British shoppers abandon online baskets worth an estimated £18bn every year. More than three quarters of consumers stated that they use their shopping basket as a wish-list, and nearly half remove items when they finally review their basket before payment. However, only 24% of people stated that they had abandoned a basket in real life, compared to the 76% who frequently did it online, and so augmented reality can help to secure these sales and reduce the amount of baskets being abandoned pre-payment by providing shoppers with an e-commerce experience more similar to the in-store experience. By introducing AR to the e-commerce process, online retailers can get more of the benefits of a physical shopping basket, helping to swing the odds in their favour.
To find out how our team of AR shopping experts can help you bring your brand to life, get in touch now and arrange an informal discussion.
Be sure to download our AR and e-commerce info graphic here.