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Augmented Reality & Interactive Shopping

By Expert Author: Sarah Campbell

Augmented reality is the newest e-commerce trend that is also creating immense opportunities for interactive mobile shopping. Retailers are now using AR technology to educate customers on various products so that they can make well-informed purchase decision anytime and anywhere. This technology even helps customers to get recommendations and advice from friends on social channels, read reviews and compare price on a real-time basis. Better yet, many retailers are using augmented reality to allow customers to see how for example, the new couch or the coffee table would look in their living room. In fact, possibilities are endless with AR technologies.

When it comes to displaying the information for offer better servicing, AR technology is a game changer. Instead of the traditional and classic displays, which are static, this technology displays text, images and video content onto the given real world objects on the screens of your mobile phones and tablets.
There are several augmented reality apps available in the market, facilitating mobile commerce. Besides, many other platforms are working to integrate AR technology into their m-commerce apps. The main aim of these apps is to make mobile shopping more interactive where consumers can interact with products and virtually receive information, before making their purchase decision.

One of the recent success stories of augmented reality in interactive shopping is the 2013 IKEA app that visualizes 3D images of the company’s furniture and serves digital content and video to buyers at a real time. Such apps will help consumers to make better purchase decisions. And it is just not IKEA, many other tech-savvy ecommerce enterprises and retailers are using augmented reality apps to demonstrate their offerings. In fact, this is a smart of marketing as well. Companies can run their video campaigns by simply using images that come alive on screen, triggering the interest of the viewers. All the users need to do is download an augmented reality application and take a picture of a given product using the camera of their smartphone or tablet. The app will provide the related information that the buyer is looking for right on the screen of their mobile device virtually anytime and anywhere.

AR technology offers various benefits to ecommerce and m-commerce industry. To begin with, retailers can reach out to more customers and push products in a better way to increase sales. It brings shopping environment to the consumer instead of customers going to the store physically. Retail augmented reality also helps in increasing brand awareness. It enhances traditional print ads with interactive functions, providing more number of opportunities for retailers to promote their products.

Another major advantage of AR technology in retail sector is its ability to engage customers. Shoppers can interact with products to receive required information virtually. They can even share the products of their choice on social media sites asking for the opinion of their family and friends. This provides a way for word-of-mouth marketing that every business loves to take advantage of.

The retail industry, including both e-commerce and mobile commerce market, has just started to experiment with augmented reality. The technology has huge potentials due to its ability to take purchasing experience of the buyers to the next level.

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