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What Effects Do AR And VR Have On E-commerce Retailers?

A woman wearing a Virtual Reality equipment and smiling

While shopping online has a lot of its perks it does have one drawback: full sensory product experience. In a physical store, you can try on things, touch fabrics, and see for yourself how huge a dining table or a bed appears in a room.

Although those things aren't physically achievable in e-commerce, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications provide a method to provide customers with deeper and more comprehensive information about your merchandise – all from the comfort of their own homes.

The decision-making process for consumers is significantly influenced by the quality of the shopping experience. We anticipate that as new technologies emerge, shopping experiences will improve. In the modern world, internet buyers prefer immersive experiences that bring them closer to reality via a phone screen. They seek out buying experiences that incorporate virtual reality and augmented reality.

Why Are AR And VR Both Important For E-commerce retailers?

A person keying in their card details into an e-commerce website on their computer

According to Kivisense, more than 60% of consumers prefer to use augmented reality when shopping, and 46% of business owners are hopeful about switching to an AR solution.

Interestingly, 77.24% of customers abandon their shopping carts before making a purchase. This suggests that merchants must exert far greater efforts to persuade clients to complete their selected online purchases. The solution could be found in the growing field of virtual reality. It has the potential to change the retail industry together with its sister technology, augmented reality.

What Distinguishes Virtual Reality (VR) From Augmented Reality (AR)?

A woman in a white shirt using touch screen glass

Within the wider rubric of extended reality (XR) technology, AR and VR have many similarities, but their applicability to the shopping experience is significantly different.

VR is completely immersive, whereas AR only enhances the real world

Although augmented reality adds filters and material to the user's actual environment, virtual reality creates a completely simulated world that the user may explore and navigate using a headset. In conclusion, whereas AR experiences strive to improve what is currently there, VR is intended to transport users away from the "real world."

VR requires special equipment, but AR is more flexible

You'll need to put on a headset and perhaps handle controllers when using virtual reality. You must also ensure that your physical surroundings are protected from — well, you. (Avoid being the person who hits their television while boxing in virtual reality.)

Contrarily, AR usually just requires a smartphone or, in some circumstances, AR glasses. You won't need to leave the room in order to enjoy the experience because you'll be completely aware of your surroundings.

The capacity to use AR is more widespread than that of VR

Last but not least, AR is more accessible since it requires less equipment and safety procedures. The number of individuals who have the necessary technology to use a VR application is far smaller than the 3 billion smartphone users in the world right now.

What Are The Benefits Of VR/AR In E-commerce?

A tiny baby blue cart and a white paper bag

In a crowded environment, you'll need to generate some buzz to attract people's attention. One method for doing that is by developing a compelling AR campaign.

Attract customers' attention

Both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can provide consumers with a distinctive buying experience that differs from visiting standard e-commerce websites. They enthrall customers by enabling them to view how your items appear in various lighting, settings, and combinations within the comfort of their own homes.

Decrease in the return rate

Your customers can completely experience your items and their selling points in e-commerce thanks to VR and AR. This increases customer trust in their purchases and lowers the possibility of product returns brought on by unanticipated events.

Increasing conversion rates

Customers who use AR technology have a 90% higher conversion rate than those who do not. Also, compared to other shoppers, their browsing sessions are substantially longer, which may result in more sales on your e-commerce site.

Extensive customization is possible

In order to make an educated decision about their purchase, consumers prefer the chance to examine items in a variety of colors and patterns. AR/VR enables your clients to have more flexible purchasing experiences, such as "putting on" many colors and models of the same product, with only one 3D model. With less time and money spent on product photoshoots, this technology offers a higher return on investment than conventional photography.

Augmented Reality In E-commerce: How Companies Are Using It

Before deciding to make a purchase, e-commerce buyers may sample items or try out services using augmented reality (AR) in their own space and at their own pace.

Try-on possibilities virtually

Apps like Sephora have started to implement AR in their online shopping experience. For example, if you’re not sure of the lipstick shade you’re purchasing, you can always ‘try it on’ virtually!

Consumers want to be sure they are receiving exactly what they want and want to take all necessary precautions to ensure this. Also, your return rates will rise if people take the opportunity and make a purchase but are unsatisfied.

AR enables internet buyers to better comprehend the products they are purchasing and how they will benefit them. Applications like these exist for apparel, cosmetics, accessories, and even sunglasses.

Placement preview

How would that furniture actually seem in your home? How much space will the television take up on your wall? Even when you are looking at the actual item at the shop, it might be challenging to determine, let alone when seeing it on a small computer or smartphone screen.

Customers may get a real-time preview of how a product will appear in their personal setting using preview placement.

Interactive user guides

If you're offering a product that requires some understanding before it's simple for new consumers to use, an interactive user manual might be a terrific AR application to assist people in better grasping how your product works.

While utilizing a piece of software, a website, or an application, an interactive user manual provides on-page contextual guidance in response to user activities. Many AR user manual applications scan the item and, using graphical arrows and animations with text, point out the buttons in the actual surroundings.

Final Words

Augmented reality is expected to play a bigger role in bridging the gap between offline and online shopping experiences as customers take an increasingly hybrid approach to purchasing. The popularity of virtual try-on and product visualization tools, together with increased accessibility for both major and small retailers, demonstrate how AR technology is developing more sophisticated applications. Brands must meet rising demands for immersive experiences as the use of augmented reality in the buying journey grows.

There is no denying that augmented reality is a rapidly expanding market that all companies need to be implementing into their strategies.


Well, aren’t we glad you asked! We at DigiCom are obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all platforms and placements and provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.


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