What’s Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is a technology that overlays a virtual image on the user’s view of the real world, enhanced with computer-generated graphics. Although the augmented reality has been around for a long time now, it was Android and iOS smartphones, which come fully equipped with GPS, camera and AR features, that increased its popularity. AR can be experienced both through headsets and smartphones’ displays.
Why is AR Important For an eCommerce Business?
Augmented Reality gets the customers involved in learning about and using the product through multi-sensory engagement. It fills for the lack of interactivity and presence in the shopping experience. It provides customers with a meaningful idea of how the product works, feels, and looks in their home by sharing relevant and useful information. Moreover, AR assists in their purchasing decision. Last but not the least, AR results in a better understanding of the product which turns into shorter downtimes, increased productivity and higher brand loyalty.
The largest retailer, Amazon, has used AR technology in its apps, but only in a form of stickers designed in somewhat cartoonish way. But, in the recent years, many retailers like IKEA and Target, have made AR implementations, especially for buying large items that are difficult to imagine how would they look in a home atmosphere.
Amazon’s AR View Feature
Recently, Amazon decided to use the AR to its full potential and introduced an innovative feature – Augmented Reality View as a part of their iOS shopping app. This feature allows customers to visualize online products in their own living space, just by using their smartphone camera. The AR View enables a 3D preview of a wide range of products including electronics, furniture, home decor, toys, and more.
To try the feature you would have to possess an iPhone 6S or a newer version of the smartphone. The feature itself is easily accessible. Firstly, you have to tap on the camera icon on the Amazon app and choose ‘AR View’ from the menu. Then, you’re given the opportunity to choose from several categories such as ‘bedroom’, ‘kitchen’, electronics’, or ‘top picks’. Once you choose your item, the app prompts you to point your smartphone camera towards a flat surface and then you can move and rotate it to see it in full 360-degree view. You can easily move the item to another part of the room without having to exit the interface or reload the item.
Augmented reality gives you a sense of the product dimensions and color. And this definitely gives a push to the indecisive buyers, as it reduces confusion and doubts, and encourages sales. Amazon app has a high potential to finally push AR into the mainstream of online shopping. The ability to make a well-informed online purchase is not a challenge anymore-it’s reality. And this certainly enhances Amazon’s efforts to catch customers’ attention before the holiday shopping season.