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Augmented reality in the online store. How does it work and should it be implemented?

This will lead to a shift from the need to assess the needs of the store to the need to fully meet the needs of customers. The consequence will be structural changes in the economy, with serious implications for manufacturers and supply chains. In the post-imaginary fast-paced world, augmented reality shopping will play an increasingly unique and important role.

In this future, shoppers no longer shop through a catalog of products, but instead choose a type of product – be it pants, a car, or a dining table – and then interactively swipe their fingers across the screen to achieve the perfect size, color and style of the product. Then they virtually try on clothes or try the product in any environment – and all this without leaving home. Augmented reality (AR) and 3D technologies turn such situations into reality.

Today, more than 1 billion smartphones and tablets will technically “pull” AR. Augmented reality superimposes digital content into the user’s real environment. This greatly enhances the standard experience of online shopping visitors. At the same time, AR technology can be implemented both in a mobile application and on a web platform without the need to download the application.

Augmented reality helps

Shopping takes place in a wide variety of places: from home, on the go and in the store. AR shopping gives customers more information about a product, interact with it without leaving home, personalize it or customize the design to their liking, and immerse themselves in emotions along with the brand. So the buyer feels more confident when choosing a product. Almost all of the benefits of AR can be enjoyed by retailers who sell standardized products with customization options. For example, car sales are perfect for AR: a standard set of models and customization options.

The benefits of AR in retail include cost savings through fewer returns, better shopping experience, more items in the cart, and more.

An essential but costly area for building trust in online stores is the return policy as a form of guarantee. This can be disadvantageous if the delivery lies with the seller. AR does not change anything in the return policy, but it helps the buyer to better understand whether the product is suitable using visualization and subsequently does not even address the need for a return.

According to a study by Retail Perceptions, 71% of consumers will shop more often at the store where a retailer offers AR. A third of shoppers are already using AR, and 47% of them would prefer to use the technology in online stores.

The ability to visualize a product, modify specifications and customize them in real time increases the likelihood that shoppers will include additional accessories and customizations in their shopping cart.

In addition, with the help of an AR application, you can stand out in the market. Most often this is implemented in the form of a promotional application, for example, such as the one we developed for Garnier. A promo application is a one-time story that has a viral effect. If an entire online store will have the opportunity to virtually “touch” the goods, then a competent marketing strategy will help win competition and take its rightful place in users’ devices for a long time.

Is AR right for your online store

Currently, there are three widespread ways for AR in online shopping:

  1. fitting on body-worn goods: for example, clothes, shoes, accessories, headphones, jewelry, glasses, wigs, cosmetics;
  2. trying on goods placed in a specific environment: for example, cars, furniture, interior decoration items;
  3. Interaction with interactive products: for example, electronics, design and layout of premises.

Household goods and furniture

This is exactly the retail sector that figured out how to use AR. In the near future, an exclusively expansion of the variety of goods is expected here. The abundance of colors, shapes, sizes, patterns and styles makes it more difficult to make a choice, and in this augmented reality becomes an important assistant to the buyer.

Globally, AR is becoming the standard in the furniture industry and will become a basic expectation of buyers in the coming years. A store without AR will feel hopelessly outdated.

Beauty and makeup

This is the second area that AR has found commercially viable applications. In it, the moment when the buyer sees a new appearance or color is critical in making a purchase decision. Indeed, after a purchase without “fitting” the store can remain in the buyer’s head a place where he wasted money. Retailers are working hard to develop new technologies that can better match colors in the real and digital world. The complex technical issues of facial recognition and color accuracy have not stopped cosmetic brands from experimenting. L’Oréal, Sephora and other well-known brands have such apps.


Cars are not a commodity that should be purchased without a personal presence. But it is also impossible to place the entire lineup in various trim levels and colors in one showroom. Moreover, buying a car is not only a set of configurations, but also emotions from interacting with it. AR helps customers to customize and better understand the details and functions of each vehicle, gaining deeper knowledge about it and therefore confidence in their buying decision. Such opportunities, for example, are provided by Audi and Toyota.

Clothes, shoes and whatever

AR for shoes and apparel are still in the field testing phase. For example, Zara decided to try on clothes not on a customer, but on a mannequin located in a store. At the moment, there are indeed difficulties in using AR. However, you should not give up. The technology is being successfully developed in the cosmetics industry by the same method of long experiments. We assume that in the future, innovative retailers will go into individual tailoring and shoe making.

Of course, it is much easier to apply AR to those retailers whose product does not require such an individual approach as clothing or cosmetics. For example, we at IT company Omega developed an AR app for an Australian home pool manufacturer. Now buyers can virtually position the pool on their site and choose the most suitable shape, color or size of the pool.

How to personalize offers with AR

Analytics helps online stores understand what products and options are preferred by customers. By measuring the time spent with each virtual product and the actions of the users, companies can tailor their offering to the needs of each customer. According to SalesForce, 63% of buyers, understanding the ability of services and applications to track actions and behavior, expect companies to adapt their offerings.

Online retailers can use AR to learn more about their customers, such as adjusting clothing sizes, maintaining consumer preferences, and tailoring marketing campaigns and offers.

AR interaction can be two-way, just like in a regular store. When a customer tries on a product in a virtual fitting room, the online store can participate in this with the help of a bot, which gives some kind of assessment and personal suggestions: “Looks cool! This designer has a new collection that you will love. “

With AR, an online store can better tailor marketing campaigns for each user. For example, you can create special discounts targeted at social media if a customer has spent an exceptionally long time with a particular product in a mobile AR app. You can also set up an email distribution for a group of users who have shared their activity in the AR application with users of social networks or the application.

With AR, an online store can better tailor marketing campaigns for each user. For example, you can create special discounts targeted at social media if a customer has spent an exceptionally long time with a particular product in a mobile AR app. You can also set up an email distribution for a group of users who have shared their activity in the AR application with users of social networks or the application.

When raising the issue of digitalization in each specific case, it is necessary to analyze how effective the technology will be in the framework of the company’s business processes. However, the available cases show great opportunities for using AR.

A source

More about IT company Omega

Moris Akline
About author

Speculative operations in the foreign exchange and stock market. Work with futures and indices on CME. Work on FORTS and RTS. Development of portfolios and investment strategies for clients. Knowledge of technical (price charts of various types, indicators and oscillators, trends, channels, support / resistance levels) and fundamental analysis, take note of news. I work according to my trading strategy in compliance with the rules of capital management and risk management. Development of trust management strategies. Technique of order execution, placing and changing protective stop-losses, hedging.
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