The Rise of A-Commerce: How AR is improving E-Commerce
Over the years, movies have fed us ideas about futuristic glasses and screens that insert images up in the air or taking up (virtual) space among us. So it’s only natural that this tech-hungry society would eventually come up with the closes thing to the fantasies on screen. Enter augmented reality, or AR, one of the newest and most exciting ventures into an alternate world which is starting to shape out the modern economy.
The Far Reach of Augmented Commerce
With the almost unprecedented popularity of Pokemon Go back in 2016, it’s no wonder investors in gaming companies are trying to cash in on this shiny new way of presenting the dull, old world. More and more companies are trying to come up with ways to integrate AR in their systems, to make the augmented reality a part of, well, reality.
But, as with anything the potential demographic is currently interested in, other sectors of the economy, especially the online retail business, are starting to notice the possibilities of augmented commerce. This huge leap in customer access to products has the potential to change the term ‘window shopping’ forever, with the window now being our phones.
Online shoppers are the main target when it comes to this augmented retail strategy and the goals are more than transparent: let the buyers try out the products before buying it, a concept almost unimaginable a few years back.
With the option of this augmented reality luxury, product sales are expected to shoot up, and poor customer reviews to dial down because they now know what they’re ordering. Another way of thinking about it is a more grounded version of you imagining if that beige couch would suit the wallpaper in your wallpaper, without the rose-tinted glasses.
In fact, an app like this is actually out there, more real and attainable than that virtual beige couch. Ikea is one of the brands using augmented reality to give them an edge in the retail world. The Swedish company’s Place app was among the first to adopt the concept of retail and AR technology merging together. As mentioned, this lets the user superimpose a virtual image of the company’s furniture into their living space, or anywhere the product is intended to go. The user has a selection from all products in stock, picking from size and color and overseeing how their purchase might look when it arrives.
Some of the other big names in the industry trying to break into the AR tech overtake would be retail behemoths like Amazon and eBay, and some companies in the beauty Industry, such as Sephora and Banana Flame.
While Amazon and eBay have not yet developed their AR functions for multi-use purposes, being still limited to a select group of products or boxing estimates, Banana Flame and Sephora have advanced by leaps and bounds, allowing buyers to ‘try on’ the products. The companies are still looking to integrate more features, however, anything for that competitive edge in the retail game.