AR and VR are two of the most promising technologies of our time. Both have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the world around us. But it took a long time for these technologies to reach their full potential.
AR and VR have been around for decades, but they’ve never been able to deliver high-quality experiences without being limited by technical constraints or portable enough for widespread use. Only recently.
Nevertheless, they have made waves in many industries.And now the e-commerce industry is gaining momentum. By 2023, Statista will: 1.4 billion AR devices It is projected to grow to 1.73 billion by 2024.
What should we expect from AR and VR in 2023 and beyond? In this article, we explore the possibilities of AR and VR in e-commerce and how they can enhance the shopping experience.
1. Increased adoption of AR in e-commerce
According to a recent survey, 38% of marketers Reportedly using AR in 2022. That’s a significant increase from the 23% reported in 2017. This makes sense given the benefits of AR technology for e-commerce customers.
For example, while you’re online, you can feel like you’re physically interacting with a product in a brick-and-mortar store. AR also helps consumers visualize what their homes and bodies look like. This improves the shopping experience, leading to more informed purchasing decisions and fewer returns.
As we head into 2023, there are six exciting trends to watch in the AR shopping space. they are:
1. Social media apps and camera filters
Social media apps and camera filters. Snapchat and Instagram are leading the way in incorporating AR into their platforms. Brands can use SnapAR Lens Studio or Meta Spark to create compelling AR filters and lenses that bring their products to life. A good example is Gucci.
2. Virtual try-on technology
Virtual try-on technology to see how products will look to shoppers, like Sephora Snapchat pages.
3. Virtual Showroom
A virtual showroom is like a try-on, but the buyer flips the camera. For example, it is popular in furniture stores such as EQ3.
4. Better AR hardware options
Better AR hardware options brought to you by innovations in mobile technology such as LiDAR and ToF (depth sensing hardware). Companies like Google, Microsoft, Lenovo, and Vuzix are developing smart glasses to enhance AR experiences.
5. AR mirror
AR mirror for in-store shopping. Help buyers who are in-store and unwilling or for some reason unable to try various alternatives.
Gamify in-store shopping to connect physical products with apps to create a fun and interactive shopping experience.
2. VR-enabled online shopping experience
VR uses devices like the HTC Vive and Oculus Quest to create immersive visual environments such as 360-degree videos, photography, product demos, and complex experiences.
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Unlike AR, VR is fully simulated and disconnected from the physical world. VR benefits your business in many ways, including:
- Virtual tours of showrooms and stores.
- product visualization;
- Improved user engagement.
- Increased consumer confidence.
- Improve conversion rate.
- improved retention rate;
- Improve customer service.
However, it is imperative to remember and avoid “shiny toy syndrome.” Before choosing a VR experience, make sure it fits your business goals and customer needs. Ecommerce stores can use VR to:
- Virtual store with virtual clothing racks, the opportunity to meet friends and shop together online.
- “Try before you buy”;
- in-store experience;
- live events;
- interactive education.
3. Bringing AI into AR and VR Solutions
Artificial intelligence can be integrated with AR and VR technology to revolutionize the shopping experience. His AI-powered 3D representation of products in the user’s environment can increase conversions. how? Here’s how AI enhances virtual experiences:
1. Object recognition
AR and VR experiences can adapt to your movements and actions thanks to the ability of AI algorithms to detect and track things in real time.
2. Computer vision
This includes image recognition and tracking, allowing the system to adapt to its environment.
3. Natural Language Processing (NLP)
NLP is the use of voice commands for people to explore and interact with virtual worlds.
4. Predictive analytics
AI can predict user behavior so merchants can build personalized and positive experiences.
5. Usage analysis
AI can also help analyze usage data and client feedback. Optimize your AR/VR services and increase buyer satisfaction based on results.
6. Personalized experience
One way to leverage customer insights is to tailor your offers to customer preferences. Increase satisfaction and sales.
4. Create a digital twin
The last year saw an increase in the use of AR and 3D technology by fashion brands, driving sales and brand awareness in the physical and virtual worlds. And in 2023, expect more brands to make innovative use of AR.
This includes the ability to try on digital versions of your avatar’s physical clothing. Another example is unlocking physical apparel special effects. Some brands create digital-only looks that users can capture on camera and share on social media.
Related item: What is a digital twin?
This trend is made possible thanks to avatar platforms and AR features such as image targeting and body tracking. As such, brands can offer and sell virtual goods. Also, with NFC (Near Field Communication) and his QR code embedded in physical apparel, one thing (e.g. a t-shirt) can be turned into an infinite number of designs.
5. Security Concerns About Using AR and VR
Consumers are increasingly concerned about privacy, security, and safety in computing. With the metaverse, new headsets, and more AR and VR content, safety is becoming more of a concern. Devices can now collect more information through eye and hand tracking. AR also relies on spatial data to keep users immersed. That’s why customers are skeptical about using such devices every day.
How can we safely enjoy digital reality? We need new frameworks, regulations and social contracts that prioritize safety. All of this requires collaboration through working groups, policy and standards discussions, and new software solutions for moderation and cyber threats.
The last word
In summary, AR and VR can power the e-commerce industry by improving customer experience, driving more engagement, and reducing costs. However, there are many challenges that must be overcome before these technologies become mainstream.
For example, some websites are not compatible with VR headsets or AR apps. why? The reason is that they weren’t built with these devices in mind. Also, not everyone has a headset or smartphone that can use these technologies.
Related item: Why Not Everyone Wears an AR/VR Headset
Therefore, e-commerce merchants must take advantage of these new opportunities to avoid losing potential customers due to incompatibility issues. As these technologies improve, more online stores will use AR and VR to provide shoppers with an immersive shopping experience. The future of e-commerce is exciting. Augmented and virtual reality will undoubtedly play an important role in shaping it.
About guest authors
Art Malkovich is CEO and co-founder of Onilab, an e-commerce development company. He has about 10 years of experience in team management and his web development. He is passionate about keeping up with the latest technologies, especially working on innovative projects such as Headless his Commerce his solutions and his PWAs.