How Businesses Can Leverage Augmented Reality (AR) To Improve E-Commerce Customer Experiences

Learn how businesses can leverage augmented reality (AR) to improve e-commerce customer experiences, boost sales and grow the shop

By Claudio Pires
Updated on October 10, 2023
How Businesses Can Leverage Augmented Reality (AR) To Improve E-Commerce Customer Experiences

As the e-commerce landscape becomes more complex and accessible, brands constantly seek new ways to provide memorable shopping experiences that captivate their target audience’s attention. Today, a new revolutionary technology can help brands achieve just that. Learn how businesses can leverage augmented reality (AR) to improve e-commerce customer experiences and boost sales.

Augmented reality (AR) is a new game-changing technology that enables brands to provide unique customer engagements by seamlessly blending reality with the online world. In this guide, we’ll share more about this innovative solution and how augmented reality in e-commerce creates various opportunities to improve customer experiences.

What is augmented reality (AR)?

AR technology infuses the physical and digital world by seamlessly integrating elements like texts and 3D images with real-life objects or spaces. It involves a device, primarily a smartphone, to add visuals and sounds to a live capture of a person, object, or any physical area. 

AR combines various technologies to achieve its unique effect. Among them is depth tracking. AR heavily relies on this technology because it accurately measures and understands the distances between objects in the real world. Through this technology, AR apps can interact with the physical environment realistically or precisely. 

Another crucial technology that AR depends on is mapping. Spatial mapping helps AR apps recognize real-world environments and align virtual objects or information. That means they help ensure the seamless integration of virtual elements. 

Other vital technologies involved include computer vision and localization. These and more allow apps to obtain, analyze, and send data to achieve that interactive experience. 

Meanwhile, many still confuse augmented reality with virtual reality (VR). However, AR and VR differ in various ways. For one, VR is a computer-generated environment that emulates real-life scenes and objects to provide an immersive digital experience. 

VR produces simulations, while AR offers digital integrations into a physical environment. Moreover, the devices used also differ between the two. Online users can experience AR using smartphones, while VR requires special equipment like a headset. 

Using AR To Improve E-Commerce Experiences 

Today, e-commerce businesses can maximize AR in many ways. From social media filters to customer service integrations, these are some of the best examples you can try. Learn how businesses can leverage augmented reality (AR) to improve e-commerce customer experiences and boost sales.

Using AR To Improve E-Commerce Experiences 

Social media filters for businesses leverage augmented reality

Over the past few years, social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Tiktok, and Facebook have developed features for businesses to build their brand’s creative AR filters. 

For a long time, brands have generated face filters that online users can play with. Now, there are randomizers, where users can select which character, object, or category fits them. There are 3D objects that users can integrate into their environment using their cameras. Plus, they can play mini-games with face gestures and touch responses. 

These filters allow online users to understand their desired brands better. They’re also helpful for promoting an existing or upcoming product in a more interactive and entertaining way.

Virtual try-on and showrooms

Virtual try-ons or try-before-you-buy integrations are among today’s most revolutionary AR features. As the names suggest, they allow users to visualize themselves using or wearing a product through AR, making it a perfect solution for retail brands like beauty and clothing. 

Through smartphone cameras, online users can take live videos of themselves testing out a product. With AR mapping, apps can recognize a person’s facial or body features, allowing them to overlay any selected item seamlessly. 

Virtual showrooms also work the same way. Only this time, users use it in their environment instead of trying it on their face or body. With AR, potential customers can visualize where a specific item would fit in their space perfectly. 

Providing these experiences to online users allows them to gauge whether your products fit their lifestyles. Through this AR solution, potential customers will take a shorter time to decide, making the buying process quicker. Plus, it reduces the chances of customers returning their items since the AR integrations help them make solid decisions. 

Additionally, these experiences help enhance an online store’s personalization features. Allowing customers to mix and match will help create a tailor-fit experience that encourages a stronger connection between the brand and its customers. It’s one of the critical components of reducing customer churn and improving retention. 

Interactive packaging for businesses leverage augmented reality

AR packaging is another unique solution many popular global brands utilize. It lets customers know more about a product by scanning a QR code. This code, when accessed, will provide information displayed in text, graphics, video, animation, or interactive game form.

For instance, when a customer scans your QR code, you could lead them to an interactive game where they can play to win or provide creative 3D graphics or videos that offer an entertaining product introduction. You can play with many concepts to create an impactful AR packaging integration.

These integrations enable potential clients to understand the products better. Providing something creative, like the examples above, will encourage them to seek additional information about your brand. Learn how businesses can leverage augmented reality (AR) to improve e-commerce customer experiences and boost sales.

Customer service experiences: How businesses leverage AR (Augmented reality)

Excellent customer service is key to delivering better brand experiences. Today, various AR solutions help businesses offer unique and innovative customer support and after-sales services. 

For one, many AR apps now allow customers to report malfunctions. Customers will simply hold their cellular phones to the broken item, view the parts in real-time, and make a report to service agents. 

Meanwhile, there are AR apps that equip customers with the necessary knowledge for self-service support. These platforms provide valuable resources like product manuals and FAQs as overlays whenever customers point their smartphones at an item. 

Some provide installation or assembly instructions to help customers build their newly bought products. These integrations allow customers to skip going through pages and pages of instructions and go straight to the task. 

These solutions enable brands to address and resolve issues immediately. Because of that, customers become more satisfied with the brand and confident about the many experiences they offer.

A More Interactive Customer Experiences Online

AR is a revolutionary solution that enables businesses to create meaningful experiences for existing and potential customers. 

Leveraging various applications and content forms will allow brands to develop a unique e-commerce experience that helps engage the target audience and convert them into customers. Plus, embracing these new technologies enables brands to stand out from their many online counterparts, which is crucial in today’s aggressive digital landscape. 

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.