Visual Commerce: What it is and why it’s important

It’s hard to deny that we live in a visual world where the way a thing looks can and almost always will have a huge impact on how it is perceived. This goes for the front of a store or a house, often referred to as curb appeal, to what we see on social media platforms like Instagram. For an influencer image is everything.

Where the commerce bit comes into play has been hyper-relevant during the pandemic and as habits shift are becoming more and more important for any business that operates at kind of presence online.

It is essential where buyers may not or cannot have a chance to visit a brick-and-mortar store or handle products in person. They become entirely reliant on visuals and the days of just pictures are over.

 

Visual Commerce in a nutshell

It essentially involves using visual content, front and centre, for marketing, branding and sales purposes. It is core to the strategy for helping customers learn about products and create connections with the brand.

It includes way more than just product images. For it to sing, it needs to include high-resolution photography, videos, and augmented reality.

By adopting visual commerce you’re aiming to dramatically enhance the customer experience by offering more than just ‘regular’ visuals they’re either expecting or coming across when dealing with other retailers.

 

Here’s why customers love it

There are a bunch of reasons why customers gravitate toward visual commerce and here are just a few.

 

Drives Engagement & Purchases:

As mentioned before people are drawn toward things that look good or are interactive. Having compelling visuals attracts customers and encourages them to engage.

It only takes 13 milliseconds for the human brain to process an image, which is 60,000 times faster than text and it only takes 50 milliseconds for someone to form an opinion about what they’ve seen, like your website. If you’re trying to get information across images is a great way to do it.

And when we look at how it is shared, images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only, and they achieve an interaction rate of 87% compared to 4% or less for things that are text or links only.

When it comes to AR, 71% of shoppers said they would shop more often if they could use AR, 61% said they would choose to shop with stores that have AR over those without it and 72% of shoppers that used AR in their shopping journey said they purchased stuff they didn’t plan to buy, simply because of using AR.

 

Discovery and Education

Visual content is key to discovery and education for customers. Video tutorials can help solve problems, answer questions and drive desire whilst AR allows people to get closer to products that ordinarily can’t be picked up or seen in person.

And we’ve all been subject to that moment when we’re scrolling through Instagram and something makes us stop or even scroll back down to take a second look. That is the power of visuals and their ability to create a discovery moment.

70% of B2B buyers watch videos during the purchase process and 4 x as many consumers watch videos about a product rather than read about it. Generally, people are 85% more likely to buy a product after watching a product video and when it comes to AR, 77% of users said they use it to see product differences such as possible variations of colour and style and 65% use it to find out more information about a product.

 

So, what could it look like for you?

There are plenty of ways that it can be implemented using great images, video, and AR and of course, combining multiples into a single experience. This tends to be the case for the companies that are doing it well. Here are just a few examples that show it in action.

 

Configurators

These are becoming more and more popular with companies that offer products that can be ordered in customised configurations. A lot of car manufactures have adopted more advanced versions of these, but they can apply to just about any product where customisation or choice is part of the ordering process.

Tesla has a great example of a configurator at work. They have for the most part encouraged potential new owners to order their new cars online and as such have created a fantastic clean experience.

But they’re amongst great company. Manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Alfa Romeo all offer some kind of builder on their websites and the best combine it with a 360-product model, matched to the configuration so that people can experience the car from all angles.

 

 

Another company doing it well is Steelcase. Their range of home and office furniture is fantastic, and they offer the ability to match the accessories and finishing to match needs and interiors.

 

 

Again, combining the option of either 2D or 3D gives people the chance to interact further with the product during the ordering process.

 

Augmented Reality or AR

AR is a technology for many that is still somewhat unknown or misunderstood. The result of the pandemic and the popularity of games such as Pokemon Go has really driven interest from consumers and awareness from manufacturers and sellers.

There are plenty of companies already making great use of this technology by taking the 360-product models that others are using and allowing users to bring it into their homes or create try-on solutions.

One of those is Etsy. They rolled out the ability via their app to allow shoppers to try pictures for sale, in their homes, via AR.

 

 

Having this as an option means no more measuring tapes and trying to figure out if the picture will fit in the space you have. You can literally see it on the wall before you buy it. This is a great example of what AR can do to drive interaction and remove doubt from buyers’ minds.

Virtual try-on is another place where AR is really making strides. Be it a watch, shoes or sunglasses giving people the chance to get up close to products without the need to have to deal with shipping and returns is great not only for the customer as it is a lot more convenient, but businesses can save on the logistics and the environment benefits from not having to have extra parcels on the road that are essentially just going to do a great big loop.

One of those offering this service is Monc. They offer several of their sunglasses models as virtual try-ons from their website when using a mobile device. It allows a person to see what the glasses will look like on their face with an incredibly high level of accuracy, adapting to lighting and movement but they also offer the ability to see the glasses in 360 so that you can get up close with the detail of the product.

 

 

Video

When it comes to creating an incredible experience with exceptional video it is hard to beat Apple. It is so well incorporated into the total visual commerce experience that you can be forgiven for not even realising that you’re consuming video whilst navigating their website.

Every element where value can be enhanced using video, it has been implemented. They use it to tell stories and demonstrate features and functions teaching the users how to use their products as part of the product discovery process.

 

 

Another example of great use of video as part of the buying experience is being done by PrettyLittleThings. They use video in the form of catwalk videos. These show the clothes on real people moving and turning around in the items you’re looking at giving them a real sense of what they’ll be like to wear.

 

 

Most people are aware of the tricks of the trade when it comes to photography and by using video you remove any doubt that photoshop has been used to make the clothes look like they fit better than or that they have been size adjusted on the model with pins and clips to make them look better.

During our research, we came across entire threads on the internet where people were sharing links to sites that have this catwalk video option because they refused to shop with people online who did not have that option open to them.

 

360 Images

We have talked about this as part of configurators and within AR but they have a use in their own right. Giving people the option to view products, especially big ones, from all angles helps with decision making.

Heals have implemented this for their furniture and most notably with their sofas. When you load the product page, it is the first image you’re greeted with and it encourages you to drag the product around and take a look at it from all angles.

 

 

So, what are you waiting for?

We hope that we’ve been able to demonstrate the value that visual commerce has when it comes to creating incredible experiences and that more and more businesses will see that the longer, they take to adopt some of these tools and methods, the further behind their more forward-thinking competitors they’ll fall.

These things are not nice to have, they are expectations of the consumer and avoiding them is done at your own peril. It’s not too late to push forward and create memorable experiences people want to share.

And the good news is that if you’re serious about it and need help making it a reality, Eclipse can do just that. Come talk to us and let’s create more personalised experiences for your customers that genuinely make a difference.


5 Ways AR Can Improve Customers' Shopping Experience

Thanks to the various innovations in smartphones, laptops, and tablets, augmented reality or AR technology is more accessible nowadays compared to before. Sadly, only a few businesses recognise the benefits of augmented reality in retail. There is still that misconception that only certain industries, such as aviation, military, medical, and video gaming, can truly benefit from AR. As a result, not a lot of retailers are willing to invest in the technology.

Nonetheless, customers’ demands usually change alongside technology. With every innovation, consumers expect that you provide them with the best experience that technology would allow. In fact, 40% of industry leaders believe that immersive technologies such as augmented reality in businesses will become mainstream in the next two years. This is due to the increase in demands for such technology from the consumers.

 

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is a type of immersive technology that allows people to overlay digital augmentation on real-life environments. A great example of this is the game Pokemon Go! where players can see 3D representations of different Pokemons intermingling with their real-life surroundings through their smartphone or tablet cameras. 

Some marketers also use this type of technology to advertise their brands. This is especially true in countries such as Japan and China who are pioneering consumer augmented reality. In fact, a survey by Worldpay showed that 95% of Chinese consumers have used AR and VR technology in the past months. 

Augmented reality is different from virtual reality. With AR, you can only have a live view of digital elements using your device’s camera. Whereas virtual reality or VR provides you with complete immersion into a digital space. In short, AR brings the digital into a real-life setting while VR brings you to a digital setting. An example of VR is the gaming device called Oculus Rift.

 

Why will Retailers need it?

The COVID-19 pandemic left a lasting impact on retail businesses around the globe. The various quarantine and lockdown protocols forced many stores to shut down temporarily—or even permanently. Others, on the other hand, turned to ecommerce to sustain their operations. As a result, many retail business owners are reevaluating the future of their bricks-and-mortar stores

As AR technology becomes more accessible, the retail sector started recognizing its usefulness. In fact, some big businesses in retail are gradually picking it up. IKEA, for example, has developed an app called The Place App which allows customers to use AR technology to visualize how the furniture would look in their home. Another big brand is Apple, which used augmented reality to bring their physical retail stores to their consumers’ home to showcase their products.

 

How can AR improve Shopping Experience?

 

1. Boosts Customer Engagement

Some think that digital shopping can never truly replace the experience of shopping in physical stores. It lacks the same dynamic and exciting atmosphere often found in brick-and-mortar shops. Instead, it subjects shoppers to just scroll through their screens and click on the items they want to purchase. This can get boring and tedious in the long run. Fortunately, this is where augmented reality in retail and its impact on sales come in.

AR technology can level up your customers’ digital shopping experience by providing them with more ways to interact with your products. This gives them more reason to stay longer on your platform and explore what your brand has to offer.

For example, instead of the usual monotonous scrolling and clicking, AR can add an option, allowing your customers to “try” the item before they buy it. This is especially useful for clothing and accessories retailers since it will allow their customers to see how a specific outfit or accessory would look like on them. 

Not only is it useful in digital shopping, but you can also incorporate augmented reality in your physical stores as well. This creates a unique experience for your shoppers which, in turn, can pipe their interest on your brand.

 

2. Showcases Products Better

Consumers tend to want to get a closer look on an item before they buy it. But with digital shopping, your customers can no longer do that. As a result, they tend to dither longer on their decision. Worse, they would eventually abandon the item in their cart instead. 

Remove any doubts from their minds by allowing them to get a closer look on the product even without needing to go to your physical store. Through AR, your customers can view the product in its actual dimensions, size, and specification. They can even use AR to manipulate the product, turning it sideways or around. 

This technology is also useful for retailers that sell fragile products. Instead of displaying the product itself, you can use augmented reality to allow your customers to interact with the product without the risk of breaking it.  

AR also allows you to think outside the box when it comes to advertising your product.

 

3. Gives Customers a Sense of Ownership

More than showcasing your product, AR can also give your customers a sense of ownership over your product—even if it is only temporarily. With augmented reality, they can “try on” an outfit and see how it would look on them. They can also place an augmentation of a furniture inside their house to see how it would fit into their interior design. Doing so gives your customers the illusion of actually possessing the product. 

This is something that shoppers cannot usually do with an actual product. There are often limits to how much a customer can handle or interact with an object for sale especially when it is something expensive or fragile. But with augmented reality, your customers can temporarily have the product inside their house or in their hands. Such momentary taste of ownership can encourage them to buy the product in the process. Hence, this is one way augmented reality increases sales.

 

4. Provides Convenient Alternative to Consumers

Traveling to a store just to check out a certain product can sometimes be a hassle. Some customers might even decide to push back their plans of purchasing the product just because of the distance between the retail store and their house. Fortunately, augmented reality can provide customers a convenient alternative to shop without having to get out of the house. It brings the store to them instead.

 

5. Improves Self-Service Support

Augmented reality is also a great way to improve self-service support especially when your product has malfunctions or faults. Instead of having to go through customer service staff, your customers can use AR to help them resolve the issue or understand how the product works.

For example, augmented reality can overlay the manual of the product while the customer tries to assemble it. You can also use AR as a virtual assistant, explaining to customers the different functionality of your products.

 

Retail in the future

With the rising popularity of online shopping, the future of AR in retail seems bright. It won’t be long before more retail businesses recognise its benefits and how it can revolutionise the shopping experience for their consumers.

Moreover, AR isn’t the only innovative technology you should look out for. New technologies are always around the corner. So it would be best that you always keep an eye out for what tools you can use to improve your services to your customers. This applies not only to technology but to innovative strategies, models, and principles of business management as well. So if you are thinking, “what degree should I do?”, consider keeping an open mind on taking up a business course.  


2020 fridge magnets

Our Top 5 Posts from 2020

2020 is behind us and the new year has begun but we thought we'd take one last look back at our Top 5 posts from our blog. We wrote a lot of different kinds of articles over the year from opinion pieces on the industry to guides on how to get the most out of your digital store front with design and CRO and these 5 are the posts that users were drawn to and spent the most time with.

Here is our Top 5.

 

AR & Furniture Retail | A match made in heaven? We Think So.

Read Post

 

 

Is Magento a good choice to launch your first online store?

Read Post

 

 

 

The ROI of UX & why not investing in it is a huge problem for you.

Read Post 

 

 

What it a User Journey Map?

Read Post

 

 

 

Testing in testing times

Read Post

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed our posts and insights in 2020 and that you'll be joining us again this years as we've got even more great stuff planned.


Ares example

AR and 3D Makes Shoppers More Likely To Buy

We’ve all seen the news; more and more people are shopping online and there seems to be no slowdown in that trend but how do you stand out from the crowd and what is going to give you that competitive advantage?

And beyond that, how do you mitigate other potential risks like an upsurge in returns due to people not getting that they thought they were when they bought it from your site?

The answer is surprisingly simple, and it involves your embracing technology.

In a recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Threekit, 60% of adults asked said they’re more likely to buy a product if it is shown in 3D or AR. It also found that many online shoppers felt that it would help them make more confident decisions.

Other key insights were:

  • 66% said that 3D/AR visuals would increase their confidence that they’re buying the right product.
  • 66% said they would be more interested in shopping on a website if it offered 3D/AR images.
  • 42% say they would pay more for a product if they could see it in 3D/AR.

These insights further confirm what we’ve talked about in our previous posts. In our article How is Augmented Reality Impacting Retail? We found that 71% of shoppers said that they would shop more often if they could use AR, 72% of shoppers that used AR in their shopping journey said they purchased stuff they didn’t plan to buy, simply because of the experience of using AR and 55% admitted that shopping with AR makes the experience more fun and exciting.

“These findings prove that consumers want 3D/AR,” said Ben Houston, Threekit’s founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO). “There is a growing gap between consumer demand and eCommerce technology preparedness. Although 3D and AR imagery has been around for a while, they’re underutilized by retailers due to its perceived complexity”

 

It's Not Complex At All

We’re here to tell you that this complexity that is being perceived does not exist. Adding these options to your shopping experience is easier than ever before and Eclipse can help you take care of it, end-to-end.

We’ve developed Ares, our Augmented Reality E-commerce Solution. It is what makes adding AR and 3D to your website seamless and easy.

Ares allows businesses to display exceptionally high-resolution 3D product models and interactive Augmented Reality replicas of their products for use in their online catalogues, directly in the browser, without the need for apps to be downloaded. This allows potential buyers to “try realistic products” in their own spaces, before committing to purchase.

We believe that better user experiences benefit everyone – from end-users and retailers – to the eCommerce market as a whole. In a world where the reliance on online shopping continues to rise and adapt, it has never been more vital to provide engaging, yet accurate information to potential shoppers.

Find out more about how Eclipse and Ares can lift your eCommerce game, give it a try and then talk to us about getting started.


More Good News for Online Retail

It almost goes without saying but Covid-19 has really changed almost all aspects of our lives and one of the things that changed the most is how we shop.

When surveyed as part of the Big Ask Report, almost half of UK shoppers said that they believed the Pandemic would leave behind a lasting impact on their buying habits.

Research conducted by O2 Business in partnership with Retail Economics for the Report revealed that 44% of participants think they will see permanent changes to the way they shop, with many saying they expect to buy online more regularly.

The survey also showed that 47% of people think the number of times they shop online will definitely increase.

 

The Numbers Speak Volumes.

At the peak of the pandemic, around a third of consumers, 34%, said they bought essential and non-essential goods online but that is just the start.

The research also showed that 45% of customers have now purchased a product online that they had only ever purchased in-store before the pandemic.

Jo Bertram, managing director at O2 Business, said: "As a technology partner to the industry, we wanted to find out what the tectonic shifts have been in how people have engaged with each other over the last decade.”

He added, “The effect the lockdown has had to the way we buy has been significant, but they've accentuated these shifts more than redirected them."

49% of consumers now spend more time researching products online even as lockdown eases and when they make a purchase, 83% of consumers will opt for home delivery over click and collect.

Richard Lim, chief executive officer of Retail Economics, said: "The impact of Covid-19 has re-wired the customer journey, leaving many retailers scrambling to assess the impact as they attempt to realign their proposition to meet a new normal.

 

What Does This Mean For Retailers?

For years we've seen a significant shift towards online and some of these behaviours will inevitably become permanent, with digital playing an incredibly important role.

"Many of these consumers are shopping for goods online for the first time, overcoming the barriers of setting up online accounts, entering payment details and gaining trust.” Added Lim.

It is the job of the retailer to enhance these processes and make them as easy and pain-free as possible. The customer is out there wanting to participate but if they’re faced with barriers, they’ll head elsewhere.

"The new normal will involve a step-change in the integration of digital technologies and retailers are assessing what this means for the number of stores, where they should invest and the potential partnerships that could be formed."

Looking for ways to be more easily found, offering truly exceptional shopping experiences and using technology that allows you to stand out from the crowd are all things that retailers should be looking at.

Having a CRO (conversion rate optimisation) plan for your digital store that can continually work on the customer experience is a great place to start. It will give you insights into how customers are currently shopping with you and find opportunities to improve and fine-tune to deliver an uplift in conversion.

And looking into technology like Augmented Reality can help you stand out from the crowd. It offers customers the opportunity to bring your products into their homes and experience it in an ‘as close to the real thing’ as possible without the need to head into a store.

These things will help you prepare and take advantage of this shift change.

 

How Can Eclipse Help

We’ve been building digital experiences for a long time and we pride ourselves on making them beautifully simple.

We unlock your trading potential, creating and supporting beautifully simple sites that are functionally rich and continually perform way above expectations.

Our clients enjoy seamless access to the best analysts, experts and technical resources in the sector. We’re proud of what we do and we’re incredibly good at it (and it’s not just us saying that).

Our Experience team works with clients every day to test their sites and work to create a better conversion rate for them.

We’ve got specialist teams that advise and then action Design, UX & UI for your digital storefront. We’ve also got geniuses to work with you on how to drive brand engagement, solicit positive sentiment, strengthen your content marketing, SEO & PPC.

And when it comes to Augmented Reality, Our Augmented Reality E-commerce Solution, Ares, changes the game and is all about enhancing the online shopping experience for the end-user. It is about lifting product images from standard 2D into something experiential and visually impactful, that truly brings product shopping online to life.

Ares is dedicated to leveraging the power of AR and 3D for so much more than entertainment – it exists as your next step for achieving peak eCommerce performance.

And the reason it is changing the game is that it works straight from the web browser or mobile device, no apps or downloads required. It can be plugged into any website or e-commerce platform and Ares works on the latest Android and iOS devices.

Ares is a full end-to-end AR service for retailers. You don’t need to be an AR expert to get the best out of Ares.

Reach out to us and we can discuss how we can help you move with the shift change, maximise the opportunity and support you and help make sure that your business lives long into the future. No matter your size or specific industry vertical, our mission is to see you succeed.


AR & Furniture Retail | A match made in heaven? We Think So

Covid-19 has disrupted and changed the way we live our lives. In particular, it has disrupted retail massively. In our blog posts, The Wheels of Change Continue to Roll for Retail and Our Shopping Habits Continue to Change, we highlighted the huge shift away from physical retail to online. Lockdown was a major driver for this but even with things starting to open up again, shopping is highly unlikely to return to pre-lockdown experiences. Social distancing and the measures that have come along with it have seen to that.

This has ultimately created both an opportunity and a challenge. With fewer people heading out to stores, retailers in all sectors have been forced to focus on their online shop fronts. They’ve had to find new ways of offering ‘in-store’ experiences online.

How do you stand out from the crowd and give customers an experience like no other? Help them understand what it is they’re buying before they buy it and remove any doubt that might come along with not being able to see and touch products before they buy them.

For some, this is less of a concern. Supermarkets have been selling products online for several years and there is less need to see and touch a can of beans before you buy it. You know what you’re getting, and you just throw it into the cart.

But what about those retailers selling big-ticket and physically large products? The good news is that technology is here to help you out. Augmented reality (AR) gives you what you need to be able to stand out from the crowd, let’s your customer experience your products in an as close to the real thing possible in the digital world and helps to relieve doubt and hesitation when it comes to clicking buy now.

For furniture, electronics and household accessories retailers, in particular, AR is a game-changer. Letting customers visualise products in their own space, making sure it’s the right size and fits with the décor of the room is a monumental shift from just having a few pictures, from different angles in a dressed set.

By offering AR you’re making your store more convenient to the customer, offering a truly unique experience that ultimately results in more sales and fewer returns.

 

Some Of The Biggest Players Are Already Doing It

For the longest time, people have been heading online to research products before they headed in-store to size them up. In this new normal, the second step of that process is becoming moot.

For thousands of people, their shopping experience begins and ends with online, but their expectations are for a better shopping experience than many are offering and those offering more, are succeeding.

Ikea heavily invested in Augmented Reality when they launched their Ikea Place app. It allows customers to do all the things we’ve been talking about. You browse the app, find the products and then try them in your space. It has been so successful for them that Digital Silk, a US-based Digital Agency voted them the most successful retailer during the coronavirus lockdown. It was because they were able to roll with the punches and “grow their eCommerce revenue”.

Ikea beat other retail giants including Nike, Lululemon and Steam to the top spot, with its eCommerce sales reaching 10 times their pre-pandemic levels in some markets.

Brabantia, known around the world for their kitchen accessories, has also successfully rolled AR into the shopping experience. I have used it whilst trying to figure out where to put a recycling and refuse bin into my kitchen. I didn’t want it to end up being too big or just the wrong size and shape. The convenience of their AR offering is that it happens directly from the website, without having to download an app I am likely to use once. Because let’s face it, how often are you shopping for a new kitchen bin?

And if you’re still not convinced it might be for your business, here are a few other things to consider. We curated a research paper on how augmented reality is impacting retail and some of the biggest callouts from it are:

 

  • 71% of shoppers said that they would shop more often if they could use AR.
  • 61% said they would choose to shop with stores that have AR over those without it.
  • 55% admitted that shopping with AR makes the experience more fun and exciting.
  • 40% of shoppers said that they are ready to pay more for a product if they were able to test it through AR first.

 

I’m Sold! How Do I Get It

 

The good news is that it’s easier than you think, the great news is you’re reading this on the blog of the creators of Ares, a market-defining AR solution for eCommerce.

What makes Ares so good is that our solution allows your customers to see what products will look true to size, without needing to break out the measuring tape or rearrange the living room, home office or bedroom. Just click the button on the browser from a phone and like magic, a digital version of the product appears before them. Incredibly detailed and lifelike, they can then get to decide where to put it.

And because the AR is embedded directly into the site it helps to remove any barriers for the customer trying to visualise the product and makes it a more seamless experience. No need to head off to an app store, get lost and then forgot what they were doing.

Ares is a total end to end solution for managing your AR models. If you need us to help create them, we can do that and then they’re loaded up ready to be placed wherever you’d like. Ares is totally platform agnostic and is designed to work with every eCommerce platform on the market. You can also place it anywhere on the site, it doesn’t have to just been stuck on the product page.

Writing a blog for a feature for the product? Stick in the AR experience. In fact, you’ll see that we’ve done exactly that below.

ACTIVATE AR

 

AR shouldn’t be seen as a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity. If you’re trying to keep up with the shifting eCommerce landscape and the demands of your customers, AR is the way to do it. Brands that adopt these new technologies now will be better positioned to thrive in the long run.

All that is left to do is take a closer look at Ares, then reach out and talk to us about how we can get it implemented on your digital store.


If You’re Not Offering AR, You’re Being Left Behind.

The world of retail is forever changing. The period we’ve been through and find ourselves in right now has had a huge effect on the shift change, and the speed at which it is happening is unprecedented.

The outbreak of coronavirus and the lockdown that followed has been good to online. Former Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe commented that: “Online groceries have taken 25 years to get to 8% of our business and eight weeks to get to 15%, and it’s still growing like there’s no tomorrow” This is being seen across all industries that have an online presence.

“A decade ago UK e-commerce sales were <5% of total retail sales. In March, we hit a record high of 22.4%, April 30.7%. Expect May will be closer to 35% and then we dip back to high 20s for foreseeable future even w/ shops reopening. Habits learned during lockdown will stick,” retail analyst Natalie Berg took to Twitter to comment.

In a Response to Berg’s tweet, John Roberts, Founder and CEO, AO, commented that: “We saw five years of consumer behaviour change accelerate into five weeks. Now we've got to prove to our new customers that online is a better way even when it's not the only way.”

This is where new technologies like AR are coming into play. The thing physical retail has held over online for the longest time is the experience. This, however, is no longer what it used to be.

Social distancing and the aftereffects of lockdown have removed the ability to interact with products as we once did. Changing rooms are closed in clothing stores, we’re being discouraged from picking up or interacting with products in all other retail stores and the ‘personalised’ shopping experience just isn’t a thing anymore.

By using new technologies like AR, online can take those missing experiences, morph them into something new and allow you to enhance what it means to shop online.

AR allows your customers to bring your products into their homes, try it out in the space, flip it around, watch it work, move it about and get a sense of what it’ll be like to own it. This is in some cases even more than shopping instore can offer.

Over a quarter of respondents (26 per cent) in a recent survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Diffusion, said that AR led them to think of a brand as hi-tech.

Our AR solution, Ares, does all of this and more. Delivered right in the browser, it removes the need for customers to download an app and leave your site. It enhances the shopping experience and offers your customers a truly immersive way to get to know your products.

And customers want to use AR. 34% of customers already use some form of AR while shopping and 47% of them use it both in a store and online when shopping. But that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to augmented reality impacting retail.

In our blog, How is Augmented Reality Impacting Retail? We highlighted these with our eBook. You can view a copy of it here, but we’ve brought some of those stats right here to emphasise that if you’re not offering AR, you’re being left behind.

 

  • 71% of shoppers said that they would shop more often if they could use AR.
  • 61% said they would choose to shop with stores that have AR over those without it.
  • 55% admitted that shopping with AR makes the experience more fun and exciting.
  • 40% of shoppers said that they are ready to pay more for a product if they were able to test it through AR first.

 

AR adoption is on the increase and it is on the verge of becoming an expectation when it comes to shopping online. Companies like ASOS, Etsy, Yoox, Lululemon, Gucci, Burberry and Uniqlo (to name just a few) are all working on or increasing their AR offering for their clients. The more this happens, and the more companies join this revolution, the more it becomes an expectation.

AR is becoming the new ‘mobile responsive’ for websites. The idea now of having a website that doesn’t automatically adjust to a mobile device and give the best experience to the end-user is unthinkable and even gets penalised by the likes of Google.

Now is the time to be implementing AR into your online digital offering. Be at the leading edge of what customers associate with an exceptional shopping experience and separate yourself from your competitors.

With the drive to shop online increasing and almost becoming the first point of call for many, you have to find a way to stand out. AR helps you do this. And looking at what Houzz CEO Adi Tatarko said, “users of their AR tools were 11x more likely to make a purchase” those of some conversion statistics that you could be taking advantage of.

Take a closer look at Ares, then reach out and talk to us about how we can get it implemented on your digital store.


AR being used on iPad

How is Augmented Reality Impacting Retail?

The possibilities that Augmented Reality has for any business that has an online presence, is huge. That comes down to its potential to boost sales.

We’ve taken a look at The Impact of Augmented Reality on Retail report created by the team at Interactions Consumer Experience Marketing & published by Retail Perceptions and pulled out the most valuable and impactful stats to help show the value of integrating AR into your online retail experience. Whether B2B or B2C, these insights are valuable when building a business case.

Their research study involved 1,062 people. The conducted it seeking to learn the ways shoppers perceive augmented reality and how they prefer to engage with the technology as they shop. Results from the survey show that shoppers enjoy using augmented reality, and they see it as a fun and novel way to explore their options as they weigh out which purchases to make. Utilising the data in this report, businesses can build on the popularity of augmented reality in ways that engage customers, provide a unique and memorable experience, and ultimately drive sales.

 

WE'RE HERE TO HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF AR

Our Augmented Reality E-commerce Solution, Ares, changes the game and is all about enhancing the online shopping experience for the end user. It is about lifting product images from standard 2D into something experiential and visually impactful, that truly brings product shopping online to life. Ares is dedicated to leveraging the power of AR and 3D for so much more than entertainment – it exists as your next step for achieving peak eCommerce performance.

And the reason it is changing the game is because it works straight from the web browser or mobile device, no apps or downloads required. It can be plugged into any website or e-commerce platform and Ares works on the latest Android and iOS devices.

Ares is a full end-to-end AR service for retailers. You don't need to be an AR expert to get the best out of Ares. Find out how Ares can revolutionise the way you sell online.

Click the picture below to take a look at our highlights from the report.