How Augmented Reality is going to impact the future of eCommerce
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How Augmented Reality is going to impact the future of eCommerce


Where are the Pokemon? Where are they all? Well, thanks to Pokemon Go 2016 was the year the world started paying attention to augmented reality. So what is augmented reality? Augmented reality or AR enhances the physical world around you by overlaying virtual elements such as text, image, or video and seen through displays such as the HoloLens, through Google Glass, and more commonly through the camera view on your smartphone. AR fits into three categories: information overlay, virtual objects, and digital packaging. Let’s speak about each of those just quickly. The best way to explain information overlay is to provide the example of the British Museum that partnered up with Samsung to create an AR app to provide its visitors with additional information about the objects around them. A good example of virtual objects is IKEA’s AR app, which allowed its users to see how specific furniture looked inside of their home and also allowed them to resize that furniture to see exactly how it would look in real life. For digital packaging, Starbucks had a campaign a few years ago where their customers could download the Starbucks AR app, point it at a coffee cup, and see a cool animation. So how is AR going to affect the marketing world? Well, the biggest impact is going to be seen in eCommerce because people are going to be able to try things out in the comfort of their own home and that’s going to remove a lot of the barriers and friction to purchasing online. That’s powerful. On top of that, eCommerce retailers are going to be able to get a lot more insight into their customer’s shopping habits. For example, an online fashion store is going to be able to see what products are being tried on, how long they’ve been tried on for, and whether they’re being shared across social media or not. That information can then be used to improve the performance of the entire online store. So where is it all going in the future? AR is going to be the future of eCommerce and if you’re not using it, you’ll be left behind. Plus, combining AR with AI based advertising optimisation is going to take eCommerce advertising to the next level. So what can you do now? Well, be curious about AR. Download and test new apps so you can really start to understand how companies are engaging with their audience through AR. If your business supports it, leverage and bounce off the back of already successful AR apps such as Pokemon Go. And if you’re really feeling up for it, invest in your own AR app because that will really set you apart from the competition. Where are those Pokemon? I can’t see them anywhere. Hmmmm.

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