Try Before You Buy: How Augmented Reality Changes Shopping Experience

Try Before You Buy: How Augmented Reality Changes Shopping Experience

No matter the pandemic, 46% of customers prefer shopping in person rather than online. Doesn’t sound promising for eCommerce, right? 

But why? Despite the fact that we live in a digital era, many people still prefer shopping in stores over online because they like to view, touch, and interact with a product. What does that mean for online retailers? That means that retailers have to continuously add new and sophisticated technologies to their websites and apps to convince shoppers to buy the goods even unseen. Once a nice-to-have feature, AR technology today has an infinite potential to attract more shoppers who will buy even without seeing products in a physical store.

Ecommerce websites have a huge room for improvement in terms of AR, including the way products are displayed, their descriptions, and overall customer-service interaction. That’s why more and more brands are talking (and actually implementing) try-before-buy (TBB) experience into their overall marketing strategy. 

Try before you buy experience in design
Try before you buy experience in design

Why Add AR Technology to Your Marketing Strategy? 

Imagine you are shopping for furniture. And you just found a piece you immediately fell in love with. But then you get thousands of questions popping up. Will it fit into your space? And will it be good next to your coffee table? This is where a try before you buy experience powered with AR  can make a difference. Many retailers today choose AR technology to make it easier for customers to make up their minds. But there are even more advantages your business can get. So, why exactly do you need to add try-before-buy experiences to your strategy? Here are our top five reasons:

AR visualization in action
AR visualization in action

Try-before-you-buy shopping reduces returns

The sad truth is that 30% of all products bought online are returned, and retailers are actively searching for ways to reduce this number. AR technology can help retailers by providing an engaging digital experience called try-before-you-buy. Adding this digital experience where customers can try on the products before buying helps them feel reassured that it fits them and their needs. Plus, after trying the product, the chances that a customer will return the product are much lower. 

Try-before-you-buy shopping leads to a faster purchasing journey

42% of customers think AR will help them make a decision faster and shorten the time for browsing and making a purchase. AR solutions for eCommerce allow shoppers to visualize items in real time, just from the comfort of their homes, so that the customers see how the products will look in their space before purchasing. As a result, the minimization of the guesswork encourages quicker purchasing decisions. 

Try-before-you-buy shopping builds a connection with customers

Did you know that 95% of decisions are made subconsciously? By interacting with a product and experiencing it in their homes, customers create a strong bond with that very product. And once customers like how the product looks in their home, they build an emotional connection with it even before it’s purchased. An emotional connection with a brand is a path towards brand loyalty and repeat purchases, no matter how much competitors try to lure your customers away. 

Try-before-you-buy shopping enhances the shopping experience

AR technology allows shoppers to study all the nuances of an online product closely in real time. IKEA, a famous Swedish furniture brand, was probably the first company that switched from print to digital AR catalog that helps customers see how different furniture items will fit your room. The immersive and interactive nature and personalization of AR technology have transformed the way people shop for good. As a result, today, 43% of customers say that they will be okay if they never shopped in a physical store again, and 73% believe that a great number of future shopping will happen online.   

Try-before-you-buy shopping reduces the number of abandoned baskets 

More than three-quarters of customers in both the UK and USA use their shopping baskets as a wish list without finishing the purchase. About 15% of these abandoned baskets had goods worth over $100, which is a huge revenue that retailers are missing out on. What’s more, only 24% of shoppers abandoned their baskets in real life, compared to 76% who often do it online. How can AR technology help with this problem? AR technology provides a shopping experience similar to in-store shopping, bringing more benefits of a physical shopping basket to a virtual one. 

Leveraging AR Technology with WeAR Studio

Where to start? And where to find a trustworthy company to get my AR project rolling? These are the typical questions we receive from our clients. Look no more as WeAR Studio is a full-cycle development agency aimed at solving business problems with the help of XR technologies. With 80+ projects done, we help our customers to:  

  • Increase brand awareness

AR technology is a powerful marketing tool to raise brand awareness and create impressive brand advocacy. Its use cases go beyond entertainment only — it is an excellent weapon in the conversation between a brand and its customers that creates an entertaining experience and generates buzz. 120,000 app downloads, 9,000 karaoke sessions, and 300,000 liters of gas sold — these are the results we got after the development of the AR app for OKKO company, a popular Ukrainian gas filling station network. Our goal was to improve brand awareness and increase sales during the Christmas holidays. And we did it great. 

  • Remove the uncertainty about buying decisions 

A virtual store powered with AR is an excellent way to present your products and kill the customers’ doubts and hesitation. Our project for ALLO, the biggest electronics retailer in Ukraine, is a clear example of it. Virtual environment for exploring 800-item catalog of 3D models — this app helps its users to try products in their real environment and makes customers’ decision-making process easier and faster.

  • Be a step ahead of your competitors

Who doesn’t want to be a step ahead of the competitors and closer to the customers? AR technology is a great tool to improve your market position, woo your customers, and bring constant business growth. Even ordinary chocolate gets an entirely new meaning with a bit of augmented reality. Just look at the chocolate bars from our project done for FairTrade. After AR activation, they tell customers about the values their producers put behind each of them.

Wrapping Up

The digital era has created a new type of shoppers who prefer personalized and immersive shopping experiences. AR technology makes it possible for a customer to engage with a product just like in a physical store by implementing the best of eCommerce — comfort, visualization, and the ability to ‘feel’ the product.

We live in a highly competitive world where the winner is the one who isn’t afraid to risk, experiment, and expand their opportunities. Aren’t you one of those businesses? Get a competitive advantage and stay ahead of the curve with AR technology. 

Make a step towards AR with a free consultation. Just drop us a line at hello@wear-studio.com

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