ShipStation

Using AR to Solve E-Commerce Problems

AR solves e-commerce problems

How could AR solve the most common e-commerce problems?

For years, e-commerce was a luxury. Today, it’s a necessity. If you want your business to thrive in an increasingly competitive market, moving online is a must. Refusing to establish a digital presence is setting yourself up for disaster. But it’s not just about keeping up with the company next door. E-commerce can help your business reach millions of new customers, market yourself in more effective and engaging ways, and scale your business without limits.

But like every opportunity in life, e-commerce doesn’t come without its challenges. When you’re focused on a brick-and-mortar location, you only have to deal with local competition. Online, you’ll be up against thousands of competitors scattered across the country – and the world. Plus, there are 24/7 online customer service challenges, maintaining high conversion rates, and more.

Fortunately, the biggest challenges that come with moving your business online can be solved with the help of Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Here’s how…

AR Reduces Product Returns

Returns are the bane of the online retail industry. Online customers return 15% to 30% of their purchases. Compare that to the 8% to 10% of products returned by in-store shoppers. 

The fashion industry has been facing the biggest product return rates in online shopping. According to SaleCycle, 56% of clothing and 30% of fashion accessories purchased online are returned.

Fortunately, recent developments in Augmented Reality can help fight this problem.
Augmented and Virtual reality enable try on experiences, which can drastically reduce the number of returns that online shoppers make. Fashion companies like Gucci, Macy’s, and Burberry have relied on AR/VR to give their shoppers the ability to try on shoes, glasses, and clothing virtually. Does it work? Most certainly. For example, Macy’s reduced their online return rates to less than 2% with AR-enhanced shopping.

 
Try-before-you-buy AR experience. Source: CGTrader

AR Increases Conversion Rates

Fashion retailers use AR and 3D models of their clothing and accessories to allow people to try before they buy. The most recent statistics show that AR-empowered mobile conversion is 11%, compared with only 3.5% for non-AR mobile apps.

After implementing the AR feature, Rollie Nation, an Australian fashion brand, increased time on page by 28.45% for Derby Black, a product available in AR.


Rollie Nation’s Derby women’s black shoes in Augmented Reality. Source: CGTrader

Rebecca Minkoff also implemented AR feature into their e-commerce site and discovered that shoppers who interacted with a product in 3D were 44% more likely to add it to their cart. And furniture retailers like IKEA have released apps that give their customers the ability to see how a piece of furniture will look in their home before they hit the purchase button. These are just a few ways that AR is improving customer experience.

 AR Offers Businesses a Competitive Edge

Consumers today expect even more from online retailers than brick-and-mortar businesses. One-click shopping, flexible payment and shipping methods, and recurring orders have become the norm online. More competition has forced e-commerce sites to innovate and look for ways to engage customers at a more personal, emotional level. AR has been one of the latest ways that businesses have discovered to offer an overall better customer experience to those who land on their sites. AR technology can be used in dozens of ways to make your customers’ shopping experience more convenient, reliable, and fun. 

AR QR code

Try a personalized shopping experience yourself by scanning the QR code. Source: CGTrader

Some of the latest consumer surveys have revealed that over 60% of online shoppers prefer making their shopping decisions from a site that offers AR experiences. And yet, 51% of people say that businesses aren’t taking full advantage of the technology.

From virtual dressing rooms to interactive maintenance guides, AR engages consumers like nothing else. And since research has shown that 61% of online shoppers prefer buying from sites that include AR features, you can bet your AR-powered website and app will put you far ahead of the competition.

AR Personalizes Every Shopping Experience

When a customer walks into a brick-and-mortar store, she’s able to have a unique, personal experience. Salespeople will greet her with a smile. She can browse the racks, closely examining each item. She’ll even have the opportunity to try on any clothes or accessories. But shopping online isn’t like that. Or at least, it hasn’t been.

Augmented Reality is changing all that, though. With it, you can offer your customers the same personalized experience that they’d get in-store. AR-enhanced apps and sites allow consumers to try on items for themselves digitally. They can immediately see how it will fit and what it will look like on them. We’re finally approaching the moment when online shopping experiences rival in-store ones.

Conclusion

If your business is going to thrive in today’s fast-paced, always-connected world, having an e-commerce presence is a must. And while you’ll face a number of challenges, many of them can be overcome by the power of Augmented Reality technology. Whether you’re concerned about finding the perfect technology, wondering how to personalize your customers’ shopping experiences, looking to reduce return rates, or simply want to give your business a competitive edge, AR can help. 
One of the leaders in the 3D content space – CGTrader, has recognized the struggle that retailers face, when it comes to 3D product visualization and implementation of AR technologies.  3D technology pioneers have recently launched a free try-before-you-buy plan for businesses that are planning on going tech. Try out what the AR has to offer, now is the time to experiment!

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