Throughout the pandemic, Augmented Reality (AR) has given customers a new ray of hope in one too many ways. From fashion to eyewear and makeup, the industries that have been reveling in the advantages and benefits of this immersive technology are endless. But there’s one industry that has, against all odds, forged a unified bridge between the real-world environment and the virtual one.
Indeed, the furniture and home décor sector has followed suit and has integrated AR into its very core, making it increasingly popular among customers – all of whom have been looking for ways to minimize human contact and, more importantly, avoid making costly mistakes when buying furniture online. But what’s really AR and how is it used as a form of experiential shopping?
When speaking about spatial AR, the technology is used to create realistic simulations of furniture and home décor items, to immerse customers in a real-life experience and help them make an informed decision before making a purchase. So how does it work? It allows customers to see how a piece of furniture would actually look in their home, all the while giving them the chance to experiment with various design ideas.
By allowing consumers to scan their space and virtually place their desired items within it, these immersive technologies have forever changed the way individuals consume products, thus giving potential buyers a truly unique experience and enticing them to come back for more.
Until 2020, attempts to use AR were limited at best, as retailers and brands were weighing the costs against potential gains. Post-covid, everything changed. The pandemic prompted a rapid shift to the digital world, as lockdowns, travel restrictions, and social distancing drew the line on the way we interact with each other. And so, responding to this complex matter, AR rose to fame, particularly during the pandemic, but stood the test of time almost two years later. Questions such as “How will I know if this furniture fits into my space?” and “Why bother shopping outside the comfort of my own home?” were most prevalent and, much to our content, still are.
Another brand to effectively convert part of its e-commerce to VTO is L’Oréal Paris, using its built-in Beauty Genius virtual makeover tool to allow consumers to try on hair colors and makeup before purchasing them.
Let’s just say that the increasing interest in AR has influenced our business interactions in this post-Covid world. But let’s also mention the fact that this immersive technology empowers online shoppers to place and visualize products in their own surroundings…through the magic of technology. The key takeaways here are that AR removes online buying hesitations and boosts purchase decisions by helping shoppers accurately scale their preferences. In numbers, this means that 71% of consumers would shop more often if they used AR, 40% would pay more for a product that they could customize in AR and 1 billion people are using AR to shop now compared to only 100 million in 2020. And it’s just the beginning….
As we slowly go back to life as we know it, the myth of AR "losing its hold" on the way we shop and consume products, has revealed itself to be wrong. The message is clear, the world has changed to the point of no return, and AR is, without a doubt, going to become an integrated component of the buying experience. Indeed, this technology has become much more accessible, with better capabilities and even greater results. And the verdict is in: brands that want to create a sustainable and long-lasting relationship with their consumers need to move to AR…sooner, better than later. If you’re looking to shift your business to AR but don’t really know how to get started, get in touch with us now and schedule a demo. The future of your business is just a few clicks away.
Are you looking to upgrade your audience’s online shopping experience to a more engaging, interactive, and effective one? Schedule a demo now to learn more about how we can help you.