There are many ways to integrate AR to help consumers and businesses. Imagine you want to paint your living room, but you can’t decide on a color. You just aren’t sure what will look best. Instead of taking a gamble, you find a tool that has you open up your smartphone camera, hold it up to view the room, and then allows you to change the colors of the walls in real-time on your screen.
You are able to experiment with colors you hadn’t even considered before. In the end, you narrow it down to two and post them on Facebook to see which one your friends and family like better. Voila! Your decision is made and you can feel confident in it.
This is just one example of the power that augmented reality (AR) can have for consumers, and consequently, for business owners. When you use this technology to remove pain points from the buyer’s journey, not only can you gain more customers, but you can also improve customer retention.
Here is a closer look at what you should know about augmented reality and ways to integrate AR into your ecommerce marketing strategies this year.
What is Augmented Reality?
How does augmented reality work? Augmented reality is a technology that enables you to render digital data or images onto real-world objects.
Smartphones are often used as the medium through which users interact with the AR world. The screen displays the real world but it has virtual elements integrated within it.
One of the most famous examples was the Pokemon Go craze a few years ago. Remember when people were wandering around town with their phones hunting for Pokemon?
There was no doubt then that AR was interesting and engaging, and it has continued to evolve. Now, it’s allowing ecommerce and educational websites to engage audiences in interesting new ways.
3 Popular AR Trends for Websites
So, what is working best in the AR world? Here are some of the leading AR trends for websites:
1. Try-It-On Solutions
The first AR trend is creating a solution so consumers can try on products in a virtual environment. Imagine going to a website to buy reading glasses.
You scroll through the glasses and then can virtually try them on to see how they actually look on you in real-time.
Consumers can get the in-store, try-on experience on your website. This has been adopted in many industries from clothing and jewelry to cosmetics and more.
2. Placement Solutions
The next trend uses AR to show you how items will look before you buy them. For example, you can see how furniture will look in your living room or how a car will look in your driveway.
Ikea launched a furniture placement assistance software to save customers time. It also helped prevent possible injuries (or fights with your roommates) from moving furniture around and reduce the inconvenience of returns when products don’t fit as expected.
3. Interactive Manuals
Lastly, interactive guides have hit the scene and help customers to better understand how products work.
For example, Mercedes Benz launched an AR feature that enables drivers to use their phones to look around the dash of their car. As you look around, it tells you about the functions of the vehicle on-screen.
Other use cases could involve AR onboarding for products using smartphones. You look at the product through your phone camera and are presented with arrows and directions to guide you through how to work it.
Think About How to Use AR on Your Ecommerce Website
Can AR help your business? A good place to start is by exploring your buyer’s journey.
What obstacles do your customers run into when shopping for your product online, considering their options, making a decision, and using the product post-purchase?
For Ikea, its customers had to pull out the tape measure, measure their spaces, and then hope the furniture would look as they imagined. They might end up moving the furniture into various configurations to figure out the best arrangement.
And, worst-case scenario, the furniture wouldn’t be a fit so would have to be returned. The brand helped to reduce all these pain points with its innovative AR website feature.
It’s time to explore the ways you can integrate AR into your ecommerce website. Where could it help your customers to better understand your product and its use?
Could you help your customers literally see your product in their space? Would it help if they could try on your product? Or, after the product is in their hands, could AR help you to walk them through how to get the most out of it?
This technology creates an incredible opportunity to deliver the next level of customer satisfaction and can set you apart from your competition. It’s worth considering how you can integrate AR into your ecommerce website.