How AR is Changing the Online Retail Experience


More people are using shopping apps than ever before. As more and more retail shopping has moved online, customers are finding that it is more convenient and that it can be a way to find more options than they ever could at a brick-and-mortar store.

While the online retail eCommerce experience does have its advantages, it isn’t perfect. Some parts of in-person shopping are hard to replicate on a phone. To address this, many of the world’s largest retailers are starting to implement Augmented Reality (AR) during the process of ecommerce app development.

The Benefits of AR in retail industry

There is no denying that shopping from your phone is convenient. You can find what you need, pay for it and then wait for it to be delivered to your home. This can save a lot of time and make it easier to purchase the things you need and want. 

As good as that may sound, there is still something to be said for being able to see a physical product before you buy it. Pictures often don’t provide a good representation of the real thing. You also have additional issues when it comes to items like clothing. Buyers want to be able to see the item in person and they might need to try it on to make sure it fits.

This is one of the ways AR can be beneficial to a retail app. AR can be used to provide a more realistic representation of a product or it can create a virtual fitting room experience that can give shoppers a better idea of how an item will look when they wear it.

With this type of AR feature, the retail app can help customers get past an important point that would have made them hesitant to purchase. Additionally, you are providing a better experience to the shopper.  When a customer can see how something will look they will feel better about the purchase from the beginning. 

Retail eCommerce Apps that Use AR

One of the early examples of this in action was the DressingRoom app from GAP. This app works by allowing users to virtually try on clothes using mannequins with different body types. You pick the body type that is closest to yours and then start trying on clothes. If you find something you like, you can buy it right from the app.

A newer example of this is the See My Fit app from ASOS. This app works in a way that is similar to the DressingRoom app. With this app, you can select models of different sizes and heights to find one that is the best match for your body type. When you select an item, the app digitally puts it on the model and you can see how it fits. 

Beyond GAP and ASOS, dozens of retailers have integrated AR features into their apps. You can find AR features from companies Nike, Home Depot, L’Oreal and IKEA. Apple’s Next Big Thing: AR Glasses are something to watch out for.

AR can be a real difference-maker in the world of online shopping. It not only helps retailers provide a better experience, but it can also attract attention and bring more customers to your brand. It isn’t an absolute necessity to have AR in a retail app today, but the future could be hard on the businesses that fail to adopt this technology.