Amazon has been experimenting with AR for a while now. While other companies’ efforts have been hit and miss, Amazon consistently proves that AR can be used to deliver unique online shopping experiences. Let’s look at what Amazon is doing with AR and how you can implement the same features to create more engaging interactions for your online customers.
What is Augmented Reality
Augmented reality uses your phone’s camera and screen to enhance what you see. In the case of Amazon’s AR feature, you can search through thousands of items and view them through your phone as if they are physically on your countertop or in your living room.
For example, let’s say you’ve found a new lamp you like the look of, but you’re not sure if the color is right for your decor. Tap on the lamp icon while pointing your phone at your nightstand to place a virtual copy of the lamp. You can move and rotate the lamp to view it from every direction and walk around it to see how it looks from different angles. Likewise, you could do the same with a coffee maker you are not sure will fit on the countertop. Without augmentation, the only other options you have for deciding how well the lamp will go with your other furniture is to use your imagination or buy it and physically place it in your room. If it turns out to be the wrong size or color, you have to go through the hassle of returning it.
Furniture is particularly troublesome to purchase online, but AR removes many challenges, such as knowing whether a chair will fit in a corner. The traditional means of buying furniture meant you would have to grab the tape measure and head to the store. With Amazon’s AR app, one only needs to point the phone at the space you have available, and the AR app will do the rest. Customers can confidently order new furniture, knowing that it won’t be too big or small.
Amazon Is Using AR to Make Deliveries Fun
In preparation for Halloween this year, Amazon rolled out another AR feature customers could use to add some fun and extra engagement to the online shopping experience. Delivery boxes arriving at their destination had printed images that sprung to life when customers fired up an Amazon AR app on their phone. The promotional video shows an image of a customer drawing a face on a blank pumpkin. They then scan the QR code to activate an interactive 3D pumpkin on their screen. It’s a fun, lighthearted way to use AR, but it has powerful implications for branding as a whole.
Amazon is effectively engaging with the customer even after the transaction is complete. The funny images created by their customers are sure to get uploaded to social media and shared online, which will only do great things for Amazon’s reputation in the marketplace. Use AR to leverage your own e-commerce business!
How to Use AR to Leverage Your Business
Amazon may be the world’s largest retailer, but they don’t have a monopoly on using AR. There are many ways brands big and small can leverage AR in building their brand. For instance, virtual try-on solutions can show a shopper how new earrings and a necklace will look. A beauty salon can provide virtual makeovers that show how their products will look once applied, and preview placement allows shoppers to view how new furniture will look in their home without visiting a showroom.
Some retailers are cleverly duplicating the in-store experience by using AR to project a range of products onto the shopper’s wall at home, delivering an experience that is similar to browsing the aisles of a store. Consequently, there’s no other technology like AR that offers the opportunity to create a unique online experience that enhances the value and convenience of your e-commerce business. Next, explore what your e-commerce visual marketing strategy should be about.
All photos by s4svisuals on 123RF.