April 18, 2017
By: Steven Anderson
Augmented reality is a terrific idea that just isn’t finding much of a crowd. Augmented reality driving directions would show you exactly where to turn, right in your field of vision, if it weren’t for jumped-up bureaucrats screaming about “distracted driving.”
Augmented reality shopping would show you information about a product just by looking at it, if people weren’t getting beaten up for wearing augmented reality glasses. For mobile commerce, however, augmented reality is posing a whole new set of possibilities.
Mobile makes a particularly good case for augmented reality, studies find, since a lot of users like to use mobile devices for browsing. Since mobile is used as an exploratory tool, making information easier to find—which is the whole point of augmented reality—looks like a natural fit.
Mobile devices aren’t quite so well-suited for actually shopping, thanks to smaller screens and load times, but as information-gathering tools, they do the job nicely.
Throw in augmented reality, meanwhile, and things improve all the more. Consider augmented reality shirt shopping, where an augmented reality overlay puts a shirt on you in an image in your mobile device’s camera. You can actually see what you look like in the shirt itself.
That helps reduce return rates—22 percent of shoppers actually return an item because it looks different than was expected when it actually arrives—and improves conversion rates as customers spend more time with a product.
Plus, augmented reality makes a great help to in-store operations. The practice of showrooming—spending time with a product physically to see how it looks, feels or fits—only improves when augmented reality offers instant access to product reviews or other operations. Then, by turning the process over to mobile or online commerce, the product can be ordered and shipped as normal.
Essentially, augmented reality systems take what’s great about shopping and makes it even better by making more information available as relates to products and services. With easy access to the fullest amount of information, businesses can improve the customer experience and keep shoppers coming back for more.
That’s a development that’s hard to pass up, and one that increasing numbers of businesses aren’t passing on at all thanks to augmented reality.