Augmented reality (AR) is a technologically enhanced version of the physical world that is achieved via the use of digital visuals, audio, or other sensory stimuli. One of the primary goals of augmented reality, amid the rise of data collection and analysis, is to highlight particular aspects of the real world, increase their understanding, and generate smart and accessible information that can be applied to the physical realm. This big data can help companies make better decisions and get to know the consumers' spending habits, among other things.
That said, augmented reality in eCommerce allows customers to visualize products or experience services in their own space and on their own time before making any purchase. Customers can also preview products using augmented reality, increasing their chances of picking the right product from the very beginning of their shopping experience. Therefore, businesses, CEOs, and marketing teams that think forward are already using augmented reality to engage customers in new, imaginative, and increasingly immersive ways. This technology industry is expected to expand from $6.12 billion in 2021 to $97.76 billion by 2028.
In this article, we provide 5 examples of how major brands are utilizing augmented reality in their shopping experience.
Sephora is one of the businesses that has successfully integrated AR technology into its ecosystem. This "Virtual Artist" app allows users to obtain a virtual makeover, star in lessons, and quickly share hobbies with others. The program scans candidates' faces, analyzes their eyes, lips, and cheeks for product placement, and allows them to virtually experiment on cosmetics. The software also offers virtual step-by-step instructions tailored to each face, matches cosmetic colors to an outfit, and compares hundreds of color swatches in real-time.
ASOS has always been innovative when it comes to mobile apps, having already integrated visual search into its incredibly user-friendly mobile interface. By 2019, ASOS had completely embraced augmented reality, unveiling an experimental augmented reality feature called Virtual Catwalk, which was aimed to enable app users to envision a hundred items.
As a result of the epidemic, ASOS expanded its "See My Fit" technology, which used augmented reality to digitally fit garments clothes, and accessories onto models.
This technology also allowed the brand to improve the consumer experience by showing customers how things genuinely look in different sizes and on different body shapes.
Joining forces with us at Designhubz, we created for Samsung a try-before-you-buy technology that enables shoppers to easily place their refrigerators and washing machines in the desired space, with the exact size and fit. This web-based augmented automation works in any web browser and on any device, iOS or Android. Not only that, but we also focused on improving the interactivity of the AR experience by allowing users to virtually open fridge doors, see them on the inside, and select the option that best meets their needs. Therefore, users are being provided with the ability to make the most convenient and practical decisions during online purchases.
Ikea's design studio, Space10, has revised the company's augmented reality product to make it more useful and immersive. Previously, users could arrange virtual furniture in a space using the IKEA Place app. The all-new IKEA Studio software, which now uses LiDAR sensors in iPhones, allows users to record and re-design whole 3D room designs, including everything from windows and door frames to wall colors and carpets. However, IKEA Studio is not yet linked to the official website, resulting in a rather isolated user experience. This version of the app was created in part to prepare for the advent of Apple Glass, which might enable a more immersive and realistic AR experience.
Gucci was among the first luxury brands to assist customers in making more educated purchasing selections by adding an augmented reality feature to its app that allowed users to virtually try on sneakers. This is a very practical application of augmented reality in retail; by providing customers with a visual representation of how a product will appear in real life, the technology was able to reduce returns and increase customer satisfaction. Gucci has also launched a pair of virtual sneakers that can only be worn and shared on online platforms such as the Metaverse. This is one of the earliest examples of 'digital fashion,' a notion that some anticipate may soon take off, based on the surge in popularity of both virtual influencers and AR filters on social media.
Another shoe brand that has been making the most out of AR is Converse which has found a way to both enrich the customer experience and drive e-commerce sales at the same time. The Converse Shoe Sampler app allows the user to simply point a phone or tablet at their feet from wherever they feel comfortable and instantly see how different models and colors of shoes might look on their feet. What makes Shoe Sampler so unique is that it integrates seamlessly with Converse's e-commerce platform, allowing consumers to go from shopping to purchasing instantaneously.