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AR And Online Shopping: Achievements And Forecast

The 2017 year can be for sure called the year of AR. If in 2016 the only talks were about entertainment side of AR (Pokemon Go, Snapchat, etc), the following twelve months were marked by the all-around invasion of this high tech in every sphere of life. And one of the first and most recognizable examples was augmented reality implementation into the online retail.

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Augmented reality has brought out the online shopping to the brand new level, with high expectations for long-term development. Among all positive impacts, created by the existence of AR mode, we want to highlight the following:

Create an engaging buying experience. Today's online shopper become more confident in using high technologies. Even more, 61% of consumers prefer the web stores are equipped with AR. Augmented reality helps the users to see product virtually the same way as in the real life. It equates the experience of buying via the internet to making a purchase in the in-store.

Increase conversion rates. Despite the high attendance of the online store in comparison with any brick-and-mortar store, convention rates are still very low. The average number varies from 2.4% to 3.1. Augmented reality can solve this problem:

* 71% consumers would shop in retailer more often if they offered augmented reality;

* 40% are ready to pay more for a product previously try it via augmented reality (source Retail Perception).

Reduce return rates. When the user knows exactly what he/she is buying, there is no need to return the product. With the help of augmented reality, the clients get the immersive experiences and the necessary spatial knowledge about the purchase.

Improve brand image. Augmented reality can upgrade brand in the following ways:

* Gives new options to visualize the brand;

* Helps to create a breathtaking content;

* There is a popular idea, that AR can increase the empathy in the audience, which leads to a deeper, more authentic connection with consumers.

Modify or customize selections. AR provides an opportunity to select color and other metric characteristics of the product.

Visualize or understand products and features. Augmented reality helps online shoppers to interact with a product as like they were in the physical store.

Achievements of AR in online shopping

The success of augmented reality in 2017 shows us that consumers are more willing to use it than ever before. Ikea, Amazon, Sephora - each one made significant renewal of their apps by implementing AR mode. Although according to specialists’ forecasts AR and online retailers are at the starting point of cooperation, everyone agreed that this collaboration has tremendous growth potential.

AR mobile applications market research revealed the following trends among consumers:

* 29% think online shops should invest more in AR and VR implementation;

* 29% would like to use AR for preview the product usage before purchase;

* 33% are going to try AR mode to understand the actual size of the product;

* 25% prefer to use AR for customization choice (color, design, size, material).

Thus, the third part of the online shoppers is ready for buying with the help of Augmented reality. This rate even higher in China, where 50% consumers claim they already use AR or VR at least once a week.This explained by the fact Chinese market is oriented more for mobile experience among the other highly developed countries.

Currently, the customers can experience AR in online shopping in two main ways:

# 1. Virtual Try On. Before this feature appeared, online shopping had a large drawback- it could not provide users with a fitting room. But now shoppers can virtually try on shoes, clothes, jewellery, glasses, etc. Modern technologies give also the chance to see how new furniture will fit your living space.

# 2. Advanced Product Description. The product image is not always the most important. The potential customers spend more time to gather necessary information about the characteristics and usage, buyers rating and competitor comparison. The augmented reality can make this process more convenient, quick and useful.

Forecast of AR in online shopping

What we can say about the future of AR in online retail with 100% confidence is that henceforward it will be an integral part of the online shopping. To be more detailed, we outlined our believes and predictions in the following theses:

#1. Varied AR devices - making purchases online will become available not only through AR app via the smartphone and tablets, but, most likely, also by the smart glasses and AR headsets.

#2. New forms of use - Virtual Try-On made its job by giving the opportunity “Touch-and-Feel” the product, 3D visualization of items made the online consumers more confident in their choice. We expect that the further AR development will bring possibilities to the customers to interact with the virtual item in a more advanced way.

#3. Widen the range of products - Retailers of make-up products, furniture and clothes already got the positive revenue from the AR. We believe that in the nearest future almost every product will be presented with the help of augmented reality.

#4. More AR companies - Of course, IKEA, Amazon, eBay have the resources to become the first to implement AR in their online shops. But since AR development becomes more affordable, soon we can see that even the smallest online retailers would be offering next-level experience to their clients.

Get more information about the augmented reality cost.

#5. Diversified seller-buyer relationship - AR made the product designing more easier and with greater opportunities for innovation. But what if the shoppers could use AR in the same way? As a result product customization will grow to the maximum and the buyer will become, as it were, the part of design team.

Whatever form the AR development will take in online shopping, we are sure, it will be a win-win for both sellers and buyers.

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