Out of every marketplace, there is none more popular and important on which to establish a presence than Amazon. However, successfully establishing a presence is easier said than done. Because of COVID-19, competition on the world’s leading marketplace is fiercer than ever. To make it today’s fast-paced digital world, sellers need to set their product listings apart from the rest. This is where augmented reality comes in. In this blog, we aim to highlight the importance and practical use of AR for Amazon sellers.
Why Your Amazon Business Should Be Using Augmented Reality
Shopping has been an important and highly emotional part of our society for decades. A core part of the retail experience has always been the physical aspect of browsing, holding, inspecting and ultimately buying products. With the emergence of online shopping, buying products is now possible without ever leaving your home. However, many people agree that the physical act of shopping carried an emotional attachment and connection to their products, something that has since been lost with online shopping. Yet, the future of ecommerce looks brighter than ever.
Augmented reality is possibly the largest advancement in product imagery since the dawn of modern advertising. While still a relatively new technology, brands are already seeing its massive potential. By importing pre-created, custom 3D models, sellers can create exciting customer experiences that shoppers interact with using their smart phones or PCs, from any location. Instead of wondering what products look like in person, customers can now use Amazon’s View in Your Room feature to “try” them out virtually in their own homes.
AR is useful for more than just product imagery. One of the biggest challenges to overcome in the digital age is the spreading of misinformation. Many product listings on Amazon do a great job of giving shoppers everything they need to know to make a purchase. In reality, the vast majority do not. On top of saturating the market, a staggering amount of product listings are untrustworthy due to a lack of information, product imagery, or other forms of communication on the seller’s part. When customers do purchase these products, many return them because of these very reasons. Returns not only lower your conversions and cost you more money to restock, but they break customer trust in your brand.
Not only can it dramatically reduce return rates and unsatisfied customers, but augmented reality is also cost-effective. Created using 3D models, AR saves sellers the time and resources that would otherwise be spent hiring photographers, equipment and studio space to produce outdated product photography.
People will never forget the physical aspect of walking into a retail store. It’s likely something that can’t completely be replaced. However, the goal of online retailers shouldn’t be to replace in-store shopping, but to create something better. Future experiences powered by augmented reality may be so good, that shoppers won’t care to walk into a store again.
The Numbers Behind Amazon Augmented Reality
Interest in augmented reality is growing, with a projected value of over $18 billion by 2023. If this number doesn’t impress, allow us to break things down further:
40% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products if AR is a part of the shopping experience (Lumus Vision)
72% of consumers purchased items they weren’t planning on buying due to AR (ThinkMobiles)
71 percent of consumers would shop with a business more often if they used AR (ThreeKit)
In December 2020, Amazon had close to 3.1 billion desktop and mobile visits, a significant increase from 2.909 billion since November 2020 (Similarweb)
48% of U.S. consumers visit Amazon.com at least a few times a week, and 89% of U.S. consumers visit Amazon at least once a month (Feedvisor)
89% of U.S. consumers are more likely to buy a product from Amazon than other online stores (Feedvisor)
With Amazon being the most used marketplace in the world and AR being easily accessible to anyone with a smart phone, utilizing both is essential for any retailer to succeed in this day and age.
According to eMarketer, 83.1 million U.S. consumers are using augmented reality every month—that’s one-fourth of the entire American population.
The Future of Augmented Reality
Amazon is committed to continue to integrate augmented reality into its platform. Along with the aforementioned View in Your Room feature, the company has rolled out a Room Decorator to virtually design a space before making a single purchase. Amazon also has plans for an AR mirror that will dress shoppers in virtual clothing. As the world embraces more smart technology, the innovations will keep coming.
Brands that don’t want to get left behind should consider embracing augmented reality as soon as possible. However, getting started is easier said than done.