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In the near future, AR will be a huge part of the e-commerce experience

🗣 It’s cool, it’s fun, and it drives sales: AR is poised to be the next new thing for e-commerce stores, making this a perfect time to jump on the wave before it breaks. But for a majority of online retailers, it seems out of their league, something only the big brands can afford. And while AR isn’t free, it can be more affordable than you think, and in some cases pays for itself by increasing sales.

👀 So, why Augmented Reality for e-commerce is More-or-Less Essential?

The Harvard Business Review predicts that augmented reality spending will reach $60 billion in 2020. That’s a good reason to start taking it seriously (because your competitors are). Either way, we can offer a better explanation than just that.

For starters, AR tech is mostly for mobile devices, and mobile e-commerce is growing in leaps and bounds. According to eMarketer, mobile e-commerce sales grew 24.8% between 2016 and 2017, making up 58.9% of all e-commerce sales for that year. The numbers for mobile e-commerce are projected to keep growing as well, which means the more conversion-oriented tools like AR you have, the better.

Moreover, the customers themselves want it. The ThinkMobiles blog reports that:

👉 63% of customers say AR would improve their shopping experience

👉 35% Say AR would make them shop online more often

👉 22% Say they’d patronize brick-and-mortar stores less if AR was available on more e-commerce sites

Considering that augmented reality minimizes the physical limitations of e-commerce — online shopping’s biggest drawback — it makes sense that customers and retailers alike are eager to see its adoption.

On a psychological level, customers have an increased sense of ownership with AR technology, sometimes even more than in brick-and-mortar stores because they can see the product in their own homes before they buy it. Imagine how it would improve conversion rates if a customer decides where they would put your product before even deciding whether or not to buy it.

💡 On top of these statistics, there’s also the sense of wonder this new tech provides. Early adopters can stand out from their competition and improve brand awareness, building a reputation as a more modern company. Although that sense of wonder won’t last long (the curse of the digital era), there’s still time to capitalize on the freshness of augmented reality before it truly becomes commonplace.

🤔 What are your thoughts on using AR to enhance the e-commerce experience?