The Future of Augmented Reality in Ecommerce

Updated 2 years ago
Paula Guevara
September 20, 2022
4 min read

The age of augmented reality is here. 

From the metaverse to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the future of augmented reality in our everyday life looks bright. Ecommerce brands continue to experiment with different augmented reality experiences that provide consumers with new and exciting ways to interact with products. 

Over the last few years, AR experiences surged in popularity. Statista predicts that almost two billion people will use AR by 2024. 

For online retailers, augmented reality brings together the best of both worlds, with the word “phygital” now regularly used in marketing meetings. 

Phygital is a term that describes the growing connection between physical and digital experiences. According to researchers, brands that want to succeed in today’s hyper-connected world will have to undergo a phygital transformation

Given the continued growth of the technology, let’s look at the current state of augmented reality and discuss how brands may use it in the coming years. 

The Current State of Augmented Reality in Ecommerce

Facebook rebranded as Meta in 2021 and is now pouring billions of dollars into AR and VR technology. What was a gimmick just a few years ago is now a powerful tool in the hands of ecommerce brands. 

We shared some of the best AR use cases in this post from last year. 

Now, let’s look at which brands are expanding their use to attract more shoppers with engaging AR experiences. 

1. Ray-Ban’s Frame Advisor

Ray-Ban uses frame advisor technology that analyzes a person’s face shape, size, and features. Shoppers can either scan their faces or upload a picture to use the service. After providing some additional information, users can try on different pairs of sunglasses to see how it looks on their face. 

Customers can save their favorite styles and colors while the Size Advisor will recommend the best fit using the measurements from the scan. Ray-Ban also allows customers to customize their glasses, making it one of the best online shopping experiences that combines AR and product personalization

2. Virtual Fitting Rooms for Clothes

Amazon, the global shopping powerhouse, filed a patent for a virtual reality mirror. While the company isn’t providing these experiences yet, they are looking to develop a display system that allows a customer to try on any item of clothing virtually in their homes.  

Gap has been working on its own AR dressing room since 2017. While the app isn’t available yet, the retailer wants to use virtual try-on technology to reduce product returns. Amazon’s approach requires additional hardware, but Gap believes that putting AR experiences on mobile phones is the future. 

3. Augmented In-Store Shopping with Nike

Nike lets customers gather information about items in their physical stores. A person can scan an item and receive more details about the product. Beyond just scanning items for pricing information, the shoe brand is investing heavily in phygital experiences

To demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility, customers can trace a product through Nike’s supply chain to see how and where it was made. They also recently created NFTs for sneakers that customers can buy for their metaverse avatars. 

Future AR Use Cases for Ecommerce Brands

No discussion of AR would be complete without talking about the metaverse. While the term isn’t new, the metaverse vision of the future of retail is drastically different from the science fiction novel it originates from.

The retail version of the metaverse will see a blending of real and digital shopping experiences. Shoppers will be able to buy real items and wear them digitally or vice versa. Advertisers can create VR experiences and have customers engage with the brand digitally. 

Here are some of the major use cases that AR experiences give ecommerce brands. 

1. In-Store Navigation

Retailers that have a large physical footprint can use AR to help shoppers find items quickly. Lowe’s already gives customers the shortest route to a product when they visit the department store. Additionally, the company is launching a Measure Your Space app to help customers plan a redesign of a room. 

The app can measure rooms even if they aren’t rectangular or have dimensions that are harder to calculate. This allows customers to create better estimates during their redecorating and renovating projects. 

2. Brand Engagement

Starbucks showed what’s possible with engaging AR experiences from their holiday cups. When customers view their cups through the mobile app, the scenes come to life on their phones. This is in keeping with the brand’s seasonal marketing campaigns to increase engagement and drive up sales during certain parts of the year. 

Brands can use this type of gamification to drive up sales and create loyal customers. Any type of advertisement or marketing campaign becomes more engaging if the viewer feels part of the experience. Retailers should investigate the potential of AR for gamified shopping and advertising experiences to see where the biggest benefits are for the brand.

3. Live-Stream Shopping

Another great use of AR for brands is creating interactive and augmented live streams of shopping trips. This is already big in China and continues to grow in popularity across the globe. “Shoppable” live streams let other shoppers follow a person during a shopping trip and discuss the different items with others online. 

Combing these live events with AR technology can help brands make the entire occasion interactive, fun, and profitable. Retailers can add virtual try-on, product personalization, and AR views of items in a customer’s environment during the live stream. 

Bring Augmented Reality Experiences to Your Customers with ConfigureID

To get started with AR experiences for your brand, you can use ConfigureID’s product personalization platform. Rich and engaging visuals help drive up conversions, while including AR as part of your ecommerce experiences will attract more visitors to your site. You can use AR ecommerce experiences to increase the appeal of your products, gain a loyal following of shoppers, and let your visitors share their co-creations with their online social networks. 

If you want to build better shopping experiences using augmented reality in your ecommerce store, schedule a demo from ConfigureID today. 

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