The absolute winning point of Ecommerce lies in its convenience factor. It allows users to make a purchase from a variety of options, with a single click of a button. As it follows, the customer service is also different from the bricks and mortars setting. E-commerce companies use the online channel to deliver a customer experience (CX) supplementing the lack of human representatives. To enhance this experience, it is beneficial to involve AR support in eCommerce.
The convenience that we stated earlier does not extend as well to after-sales customer service. Customers have to reach out to physical stores if the delivered product needs to be assembled, installed, or repaired. The other alternative is that an assigned agent comes at their doorstep to help them with the same. This challenge causes a lag in customer service and augmented reality can help bridge that gap.
Table of contents
- What is Augmented Reality(AR)?
- Benefits of Augmented Reality
- What is AR support?
- Augmented reality support in eCommerce
What is Augmented Reality(AR)?
Augmented reality uses technology to superimpose information and effects like graphics, visuals, and text on the world that we see. It is often confused with virtual reality (VR), which replaces reality with an artificial computer-generated environment to interact with. AR appears in a direct view of an existing real environment with digital animation and sensory projections.
Taking a business example, online eyewear Lenskart enables users to try glasses on realistic 3D models of themselves just by clicking a selfie using their webcams and phone cameras. Successful instances like these can be replicated to integrate augmented reality in e-commerce.
Benefits of Augmented Reality
Powered by artificial intelligence, the ability to create this human-machine process has immense potential to improve outcomes. AR helps organizations in their self service initiatives which calls for initial capital investment. It does not have recurring employee expenses like salaries for customer service agents. As a result of automation, a smaller support team is required and the need for outsourcing your support function is eliminated. This substantially brings down costs and enhances customer experience.
AR helps to visualize an idea in a personalized manner. Take an example of any eCommerce website which sells home décor. The customers can access their smartphone cameras to bring their home setting in a frame and place home décor objects virtually to understand how they would look. This allows customers to visualize products and modify their purchases accordingly.
Quick identification of solutions
It can help an individual assemble a product or resolve a product issue. Interactive digital elements can be superimposed while placing the product in the camera frame. These elements can explain the step by step assembly process of an item and take the user through the possible sources of any persisting problem, thus reducing field visits & overall cost to serve.
Unique user experience
It provides the opportunity for consumers to make well informed buying decisions at their convenience. Augmented reality in eCommerce can add value to a buying process because the customer is self-reliant while making an online purchase.
As per statistics, 78% of people who’ve experienced augmented reality actively prefer these virtual experiences over video content.
What is AR support?
When it comes to offering technical support to customers, a growing number of companies have discovered that augmented reality support is the perfect solution. To explain support here, it is the assistance expected when there’s a problem in consumer reality. When a customer gets a new gadget delivered, he is faced with the reality that the new device is not operational. The gadget needs to be assembled and installed, which is where augmented reality fits in technical support.
It can be used to create product manuals, and clearly show customers the actions they need to perform on their current reality. It can also provide remote assistance where the agents can provide a sequence of actions virtually and assist the customers. Augmented reality customer service can use virtual elements to add markups to the image the customer sees. This can guide them to position, assemble, and fix the components of the product.
“As per a research, a typical field visit for setup, installation or troubleshooting of technical devices costs between $70 to $100”
Organizations can save millions of dollars in SVC (Service Visit Cost) by implementing a successful AR strategy for assisted as well as digital channels.
Augmented reality support in eCommerce
Onsite support is the gold standard of the past. In the current ecosystem dominated by e-commerce, augmented reality is revolutionizing customer service. Popular examples of augmented reality in eCommerce are the successful furniture stores like Pepperfy.com and IKEA Place.
Apparently, 61% of online shoppers prefer to make purchases on sites that offer augmented reality technology for the following reasons:
Try before they buy, even online
This feature is useful across a nonexhaustive list of industries that sell through e-commerce. Apparels are hugely sold online, and a virtual trial room backed by AR can increase the sales of the brand.
A realistic view
Instead of simple product images, AR can showcase realistic versions of products. This enables consumers to gain a true sense of the size or scale of those products which increases engagement and improves buying confidence.
Electronic consumer products are delivered in a nonfunctional condition. Either their parts need to be assembled or the product needs to run an installation. A virtual product manual using AR can superimpose steps for the installation of the product and assist the consumers.
Boosts your brand
Including augmented reality features in an e-commerce platform makes it look advanced and updated. Every aspect of an online store can be transformed into an offline store experience with the help of AR. It can also boost the brand as a premium brand as customers view items in AR as more valuable. This translates to a higher price for the same products and increases sales.
Augmented reality in eCommerce activates visual memory of the brain better with its interactive digital elements. This increases the buying confidence of customers as they are no longer deceived by images. Immersive technology can showcase a brand’s products and services in a new light.
AR benefits the business by saving on operational expenses while continuing on its mission of providing exceptional service. These include costs of printing service manuals, translation costs for each manual, expenses of repeated agent visits, and customer service training costs.