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Augmented Reality (AR) Impact During the COVID-19 Lockdown



Augmented Reality is here to stay, and enhance the shopping experience, yet, during a “stay at home” order, the technology is making it easier for people to purchase items that would regularly be a retail (brick and mortar) purchase to be an online one.

Augmented Reality Enablers

With Smartphone penetration into the population of the world, it allows all users to download an App or visit any website from anywhere. With the power of a computer in your pocket, this unlocked the ability to process video, photography, and interact with software that can enhance your reality.

Shops that have digitized their products into computer models, with color, texture, and can real-time factors in environmental facts such as the lighting in which the model is being inserted into are ready to take advantage of AR.

Augmented Reality APIs, Apps, Plugins, and various other software are now available for eCommerce giving you the reach for adding this technology into your store.

Why AR is more important during a lockdown?

Given restrictions on both the individuals and businesses, the only allowable and safe way to operate and continue to do business is online. Take a furniture store, where pre-pandemic would habitually be a physical retail experience – now it can be a virtual purchase with delivery at your door. The likes of IKEA have taken the steps to give users the ability to make informed decisions from their own homes.



Source: IKEA

What Products are ideal for AR?

Some products are better suited than others. Generic products that are commodities in the market are less suited as people are very familiar with their form factor and utilization. On the other side of the spectrum, products that are sensitive to size/color/texture and utility/function would benefit in the use of AR to give the user a visual perspective and confirmation of how the product can fit their lifestyle.




AR and the Marketing Funnel

While traditional 4P’s of Marketing are the cornerstone of any business, AR adds a new dimension to all areas of your Marketing Funnel. AR can significantly increase engagement from Advertisements in Social Media, allowing for user interactions with the products/models in user environments giving the audience visualizations and testimonials of experiences with diverse lifestyles factored in. An eCommerce purchasing experience that can range from a virtual wardrobe try-out, furniture placement and visualization, or finding/navigating your store’s various product categories will give a unique, differentiated purchase experience that reinforces confidence in the purchase decision and set expectations of the product delivering upon arrival.

AR/VR Trend in eCommerce

According to Medium (source), with 66 clients being surveyed, 40% would buy more with Virtual Reality, with 63% finding the Shopping Experience to be enhanced.

Source: https://medium.com/scapic/here-are-the-3-ways-ar-is-changing-the-ecommerce-industry-9abf6b54a214

Conclusion

AR gives a richer digital experience from Advertising, Shopping, and sharing your experience through Social Media. When being restricted during a Pandemic lockdown, AR brings those virtual experiences to be shared and engaged with all the while businesses without the capability will have significant barriers in offering the same level of confidence to an online shopper. If you believe you would like to explore VR in your store – feel free to reach out to us at wish@thegenielab.com

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