The world of today is one where we want to experience everything that is around us. Right from shopping online to virtually visiting a new place on planet Earth, experiencing it with our five senses brings a different kind of joy and realm to our hearts. With that being said, as technology is slowly progressing, we are slowly getting closer to a reality where tech innovations like mixed Reality will create a massive impact on eCommerce and other industries, and in this article, we will discuss just that. However, first, let us understand what exactly mixed Reality means.
Mixed Reality in the simplest of terms can be described as the merge of real and virtual worlds to create an alternate environment for the end-user. In the new environment created by mixed Reality, virtual and real objects coexist at the same time and interact with each other to empower the user with unique abilities. The technologies that are currently being used to render mixed Reality are AR or Augmented Reality, VR or Virtual Reality as well as Immersive Technology.
Now that you know what Mixed Reality exactly is let us talk more about how it will create an impact on the eCommerce industry.
E-Commerce, from the very beginning of its inception, is an ever-changing beast. Right from giants like Flipkart and Amazon to small-time players, eCommerce platforms have always adapted new technologies earlier than other industries, thus allowing them an edge over others. But even so, in a recent study, it was found that more than 77.24 percent of shoppers still abandon their cart before they checkout, and this is the segment of the audience that AR and VR along with Mixed Reality technologies aspire to capture. Mentioned below are the top 3 dynamics where eCommerce will experience the most amount of change thanks to the implementation of these technologies.
With the help of Mixed Reality, retailers can create virtual showrooms within their existing applications and platforms. These virtual showrooms will be able to provide an experience that is closest to the customer, actually visiting a physical showroom and trying out new products. Although the implementation of virtual showrooms within existing eCommerce platforms may sound new to many, a few companies have already made advances in this domain. One of the most popular examples being that of Lowe�s Holoroom. With the help of this technology, users are able to see all the products they want to shop from the comfort of their home and also visually experience how all of them will work in synchronization. Although the number of retailers who are currently testing out this technology is not publicly available, the best use case for this product is in the Home Furnishing industry, where a user can see how the product will look and feel in their own house.
Not only does the application of this technology, allow the customer to feel how the product will actually look post-purchase, but it also allows them to make a better judgment if a particular product will be a just investment or not.
In continuation of being able to view products in one�s own environment, the implementation of Mixed Reality will also allow customers to virtually visualize all the products they see online. I order to make this happen, AR and VR are combined into a single application, which then allows the user to overlay products in their physical surroundings virtually.
A prominent example of a retailer who has already implemented the use of this technology is IKEA with the launch of its AR catalog. A customer just needs to download the accompanying application on their smartphones and then scan the products in the catalogue to see them overlaid on their screen. IKEA has offered a wide array of choices to customers, starting from light fixtures all the way to couches, futons as well as beds. The user can use the various features available in the application to virtually place in the products in their surroundings and make a choice if it is the right investment for their home.
Although AR technology is continuously becoming mainstream in 2019, its surprising and intriguing factor to consumers has not yet been lost. In a recent survey, conducted in early 2019, consumers reported that they find brands which use AR as being more forward thinking and technologically updated, thus making them more attractive. This clearly shows that the use of AR can make your brand more visible to the average consumer.
For example, international shoe brand, AirWalk released a campaign in mid 2019 where they used AR to create an invisible pop up store. To visit this store, users needed to download AirWalks AR applications and point the camera at a street corner. This was done to promote the limited launch of AirWalk Jim and the brand earned a media coverage of more than 5 million USD in just 5 days.
The use of AR technology by brands and manufacturers worldwide is earning them more recognition and more sales in the long run. With its superior customer engagement capabilities and mission to radicalize the retail industry, this technology is here to stay and now is the time to implement it in your business.