According to a recent survey, 55% of consumers still prefer to shop in stores because they like to see or test out products in real life before actually buying them. However, with the “new normal”, it is not safe to go out for shopping. That is why companies are starting to incorporate the virtual reality experience to the buying process. With these previews, potential customers can see an item of clothing on a photo of their body, preview how the furniture will look like in their room, and even size themselves to ensure the fit of the product.
Though it may be a new technology to the public, a lot of people are also wondering how this works and how they can benefit from it.
Below are some AR strategies that can effectively benefit retailers now, and can be a vital product marketing tactic in the future.
- Mobile previews on e-commerce sites
This strategy includes a mobile e-commerce website visitor finding a product they are interested in, opening a camera when tapping an AR preview button, and viewing how the product would look like in a certain space or body. If a potential customer likes what they see in the AR preview, they can just exit the preview and proceed in checking out and purchasing the product without setting foot in a physical store. It can also eliminate a few friction points that could halt a purchase like going to the store and not finding the right size or color.
- Virtual mirrors
AR mirror technology works by standing in front of a screen in selfie mode and then seeing an overlay of how products in the store’s catalog will look on you in the right size and your desired color. This virtual experience will allow you to order the product or send yourself the link for it so you can come back and order it later. This minimized the friction by having to wait until the item comes back in stock. The virtual process also allows you to see products that the store sells and are not available in physical stores because of seasonality or space-related limitations.
There are also virtual mirrors where the camera and software can measure measurements and skin tone of a customer’s face. The customer can then tap different makeup items on the screen to see how the products will look on their face without actually trying the product.
- Social media filters
Instagram and Facebook have been actively taking steps to provide more commerce leverage using this technology. Facebook started making AR filter ads in Facebook Ads last 2019. These ads allow users to test out products in their Facebook Stories and News Feed. Users will then try the filters and post it. Then, other social media users tap through their friend’s Stories or content and notice a Story with an AR product in it for them to experience. These are more appealing to customers now than seeing an influencer posting about a dress or makeup item, visiting the e-commerce site, and then doing added research to see the right shade.