Imagine you wake up to the sun streaming through your window and a world of possibilities at your fingertips. With AR glasses or a VR headset nestled comfortably, you step into your favorite virtual marketplace. Instantly, your surroundings transform; your room becomes a showroom, and shelves laden with products hover before your eyes.
You browse through a collection of sneakers, but 3D models materialize in your space instead of static images. You examine the texture, virtually try them on, and test how they look with different outfits without leaving your home. As you explore, personalized recommendations are tailored to your style and preferences.
Feeling the urge for home decor upgrades, you switch to an AR mode. Your room becomes a canvas for experimentation.
Want to see how that new couch would fit or how a different paint color might change the vibe? You simply place virtual versions in your space, rearranging and refining them until you’re certain it’s perfect.
When you’re ready to purchase, payment becomes a seamless gesture. A flick of your wrist confirms the transaction. And with a satisfied smile, you watch your chosen items seamlessly transition from virtual to physical, scheduled for delivery to your doorstep.
This fusion of AR/VR in e-commerce is set to transform the future of online shopping. Time is fading when people rely on 2D images and text info to purchase on e-commerce platforms. With the emergence of AR/VR in e-commerce, the landscape of the entire online shopping experience is revolutionizing.
Let’s dive into this and explore how the integration of AR & VR in e-commerce is set to change the future of online shopping.
But before that, let us first understand
The Current State of AR/VR in E-commerce
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are immersive technologies that enable users to visualize a digital environment in the real world. With AR/VR, people can simulate a whole new virtual scenario and interact with digital elements. So, AR/VR bridges the gap between online and offline shopping experiences.
Due to this unique ability of augmented and virtual reality technology, it is emerging as a handy and innovative tool for e-commerce businesses.
Many retailers are leveraging AR/VR in e-commerce applications to empower their customers with plenty of exciting features. For instance, virtually try on clothing, test makeup shades, preview home decor placements, and visualize products in their desired environment.
All these AR/VR features contribute to a more confident buying decision process. Therefore, these immersive technologies have significantly impacted online shopping and dramatically changed how consumers interact, engage, and make purchases in e-commerce. If you look at recent market statistics, you will find the influence of AR/VR in the e-commerce domain has a significant impact.
Rising Adoption Rates
Reports indicate a steady surge in the adoption of AR and VR in e-commerce. According to a report by Statista, the number of AR/VR users worldwide is estimated to reach 1.7 billion by 2024.
Increased Consumer Interest
Some studies reveal a growing consumer interest in AR/VR-enabled shopping experiences. Around 61% of shoppers prefer stores that offer AR experiences, which indicates a significant shift in consumer expectations.
Enhanced Engagement and Conversion
E-commerce platforms integrating AR/VR witnessed substantial improvements in customer engagement and conversion rates. As per a recent study by Deloitte and Snap, AR-powered product experiences resulted in a 94% higher conversion rate than traditional e-commerce.
Various domains in e-commerce, from fashion and beauty to furniture and automotive, have embraced AR/VR to enrich consumer experiences. In this case, IKEA’s AR app is one of the top examples in the e-commerce industry. It allows customers to visualize its furniture products in their homes before buying. Mobile AR Penetration
The massive penetration of smartphones and mobile devices equipped with AR capabilities has significantly contributed to the integration of AR into e-commerce. Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore have empowered developers in AR/VR app development companies to create immersive experiences for smartphone users.
The future of online shopping with AR/VR in e-commerce is auspicious. This is because the fusion of augmented and virtual reality with e-commerce offers an interactive, personalized, and visually engaging experience. By deploying AR/VR capabilities in e-commerce apps, customers get a more immersive and well-informed way of online shopping. How? Below are the emerging trends that are gradually transforming the online shopping landscape.
1. In-depth Product Exploration
AR/VR enables a detailed examination of products. Through this, customers can scrutinize every aspect of products. They can zoom in to see textures, examine details, and even understand how products work in a way that goes beyond static images or videos. This thorough exploration gives consumers a deeper understanding of what they’re buying. Hence, it will foster confidence in their purchases.
2. Interactive Virtual Try-on
Virtual try-ons are revolutionizing how consumers shop for fashion, accessories, and cosmetics. Customers can virtually “wear” items, trying out different styles, colors, and sizes without physically trying them on. This interactive experience reduces the uncertainty associated with online shopping. Thus, it will help choose the right products and reduce return rates.
3. Immersive Brand Storytelling
Brands can leverage AR/VR to tell immersive stories about their products. Instead of just displaying items, they can create virtual environments that showcase their product’s features, history, or how it fits into a consumer’s life. As a result, this immersive storytelling approach will deepen the connection between consumers and brands. It will also improve engagement and loyalty.
4. 3D Product Visualization
We all know how difficult it is to imagine how a product fits our requirements mentally. Whether furniture or shoes, you need the right way to choose the right product. Here, AR/VR allows consumers to visualize 3D models of products in their actual space. This immersive capability lets customers see how items fit, match their style, and complement their surroundings before purchasing. Consequently, buying decisions will be more accurate.
5. Personalized Shopping Experience
AR/VR has ushered in a new era of personalized shopping experiences. By analyzing user behavior and preferences, platforms offer tailored recommendations and customizations. Many leading e-commerce brands have already implemented AR/VR to add a personal touch to customer shopping. So, this personalized approach will enhance customer satisfaction and make the entire shopping journey more enjoyable and efficient.
6. Virtual Marketplace
Imagine how you would feel stepping into a virtual mall or marketplace from the comfort of your home. AR/VR has the potential to create immersive virtual environments where users can not only browse through multiple stores but also interact with products and engage with brands—all in one seamless digital space. This centralized virtual marketplace will redefine the online shopping experience. Due to its high convenience and variety might turn into the best alternative to traditional e-commerce platforms.
7. Virtual User-Generated Content (UGC) Galleries
Reading customer reviews before purchase is a critical part of the customer journey. However, with AR/VR, this process will become more efficient and reliable. Through AR and VR-powered e-commerce apps, users can see products in real-life settings through virtual user-generated content galleries. Customers can view how others have incorporated products into their homes or lifestyles. As a result, it will contribute to giving more reliable customer reviews and realistic product depictions.
The future of online shopping with AR/VR in e-commerce is promising. Integrating augmented and virtual reality in e-commerce offers a blend of interactivity, personalization, and immersive experience. It brings the store directly to customer’s fingertips and empowers them with innovative shopping features. As businesses recognize the futuristic potential of immersive experiences in online shopping, AR/VR in e-commerce will expand enormously.