If you are an introvert (like me), you would like to stay at home instead of going out even if it is for something as exciting as shopping. Gone are those days when we had to go to a mall to shop for our necessary items.
With the advancement in technology, everything has been revolutionized and so is the shopping experience. You can now buy your favorite things online without having to leave the comfort of your home. Yes! now it is just a matter of a few clicks, and your order is placed and delivered as per commitment and desire.
With a great level of progression in the smartphone segments and businesses, shopping trends have been switched from the traditional method of selling goods to the electronic method; it has tremendously transformed the way we shop.
This online shopping experience has now been taken to the next miraculous level with the inclusion of Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Augmented Reality (AR) is truly bringing a noticeable and touchable presence to the product that is to be purchased by online shoppers.
Truly Augmented reality (AR) has revamped the shopping experience. It is surely changing the lives of consumers for the better and we’ll discuss how but first let us probe deep to know what Augmented Reality is.
What is Augmented Reality?
Well, other than the advancements in Cellular Industry, new innovative ideas and developments have also brought in some more very interesting aspects of technology. Among these visibilities, Augmented Reality presents itself as a powerful user interface that combines the real world with an outlay of digital information
You might have heard about this AR word quite often these days, but we need to go into a little deeper than a basic understanding. Augmented Reality (AR) got popular in the year 2017 and it has taken the world by storm since then.
AR is an interactive experience where you have an enhanced experience of real-world objects and things. Computer-generated perceptual information with stimuli from different senses is used to enhance your experience of the real-world object. There are three basic principles involved in AR which are;
1. accurate 3D registration of virtual
2. real objects’ real-time interaction and,
3. combination of the real and virtual world.
How Augmented Reality is different from Virtual Reality
You might be thinking about the Virtual Reality devices which are all the rage these days, right? Well, Let me tell you that Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are two different concepts.
In VR the user does not have any real-world interaction with the object and the perception will be completely based on the virtual information provided by the gadget. On the other hand, AR provides additional computer-generated information to the user where he/ she already had the basic information from the real world.
AR basically enhances your perception of reality using AR gadgets. AR helps in many fields, for instance, a company can see its product’s performance in real-time with the help of augmented reality. The environment in AR is real and additional information enhances the experience while VR is focused on a completely virtual environment.
Where Augmented Reality is Used
Fields that are using AR to create better experiences include education, industrial designs, virtual arts, gaming, military, spatial interaction, navigation, commerce, architecture, and whatnot. It has been developing very rapidly during the last couple of years and undoubtedly has achieved creating humungous hype among its users.
Snapchat is one of the most popular apps these days that are being used by almost everyone and the camera filters used in this app offer a true experience of superb and fulfilled pictures. These camera filters and pretty easy to understand and operate. This is probably the most common use of augmented reality.
How AR helps the Buyer
Who does not love shopping? Yes! Pretty Ladies!! Give us a credit card and we’ll live happily ever after, isn’t it? Well, Jokes apart, shopping is both important and fun, but it can be a little hectic at times, especially with loaded busy schedules lined up for you.
If you are also an eternally confused person when it comes to deciding between two items to buy you are in for good news. AR literally helps you buy your favorite items in a much better way than you used to shop. This fascinating technology is letting the users customize and envision the products according to their needs.
It mainly creates a sense of presence even when the real products aren’t there, and we are going to tell you how.
i. Augmented Reality Offers the Visual Information
Whatever item you are going to buy will be provided to you in a visual showcase on the website. You will be provided all the visual information you are going to need to make a decision. You had to go to a few stores and try a few items when you first did the shopping. Now you can go to the online store, just click on the item, and get all the information you need. AR has made it easier for you to know the product without having to leave your couch.
ii. Augmented Reality Product Configurator
Are you interested in renovating a specific corner of your house? Do you want to change the color scheme? Well, Augmented Reality is here to help you out with various alterations so that you can make the right choice.
AR recognizes the dimensions of the room and lets the consumers manipulate the elements within the image, either by adding or removing the furniture or choosing between various color schemes.
The AR product configurator will provide you with the multiple options available in the products. You will get information about the sizes and colors available in the particular product. It gives you the virtual experience of “try before buy” and you can get the product only if you are satisfied with the options.
You will also get information about the measurements of the products. Some businesses even offer you a method of measurement so you can easily measure and then buy your product.
iii. Stress-Free Shopping Experience
Ever since the pandemic hit, people are reluctant to go out or try items that have already been tried out by many. There are some other people who just don’t like to go in crowds and want to shop in comfort. AR-supported shopping experience gives you a stress-free environment to shop in.
You can be sitting on your couch in your pajamas while sipping your coffee in the middle of the night and order your favorite shoes.
Some of you can be difficult shoppers (like me) who spent hours selecting a single item. While shopping with AR you have ample time to decide because you don’t have to rush anywhere as it eliminates your traveling time. Look at the item from every angle and then decide. Take your time with it. This is how AR shopping makes you stress-free while buying something.
iv. Awareness – Consideration – Buying
The shopping process starts with the awareness stage where a person realizes the lack/ non-availability of an item and then thinks of buying it. Enhanced experience of AR will help the person know about his non-availability of the present items and a drive to purchase the items consequently.
The consideration phase is probably the most important stage in AR where are person has a fear of making the wrong purchase. This is where the buyer will look at his choice from every angle and will think of buying the item if only given all the information.
AR helps both in the personal purchase where emotions are linked to the purchase and also the professional or business purchase where the buyer is thinking more logically.
v. Accurate Decision
While buying from an online store, you need to imagine and interpret what an item would appear at a specific place in your home or how a product may look on you? Is it going to look good on you or not? Augmented reality has overcome such situations and provides a platform that let you transform your imaginations into reality.
AR will mainly allow the customers to get the actual feel of the product in a particular environment and watch for the suitability you ask for. Thus, you are able to shop with more certainty and contentment.
Additionally, AR reduces the chances of returns because the visual information used in the consideration stage helps the buyer make an accurate decision. When the buyer has made a perfect purchase, he would not return his purchase. This is why businesses using AR are becoming more popular and people prefer shopping with AR.
Augmented Reality is undoubtedly delivering endless fun which is surely going to flourish and will become the most talked-about technology in the near future. Considering numerous brands of clothing, cosmetics, and jewelry, they all are taking advantage of AR.
The rapid evolution and worldwide acceptance of AR technology have compelled retailers to put their major emphasis on creating a strong online presence. This will not only enhance the in-store shopping experience for the customers but also increase the brand value.
The amazing technology is actively performing to aid both the online retailers as well as the buyers. As more and more buyers are interested in shopping online while remaining within their comfort zone, online retail opportunities will continue to expand, converting small businesses into major businesses setups.
To compete and remain profitable, the online shopping experience must be personal and interactive to help ease buyers’ uncertainty and drive revenues through consumer satisfaction and gaining customer loyalty. In this regard, Augmented Reality has proven itself for sure.