How AR Can Solve Problems

Technologies in E-Commerce

The growth of e-commerce has given retailers the opportunity to interact with and build lasting relationships with customers in a completely new way. With the emergence of COVID-19 within the last year, having a reliable e-commerce platform has proven to be even more important as the amount of people shopping in-store has decreased significantly. As technology continues to progress and foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores decreases, it is important retailers implement platforms that will generate more revenue for the business and deliver the most value to their customers. In 2020 one of the most important tools for all businesses was having mobile application touchpoints with their customers, which is supported in a ThinkByGoogle article saying 82% of shoppers typically do mobile research before going into a store. This may sound intimidating to retailers, especially small businesses, but with the growth in accessibility of online marketplaces on applications such as instagram, shopify, etsy, etc. it has become easier than ever to reach your customers where they spend the most time. 

Returns: The E-Commerce Killer

One of the biggest issues retailers face from the advancements of e-commerce, is the increasing amount of loss companies suffer from returns. According to CNBC in-store purchases see a return rate of 5-10%, while online purchases see a return rate of up to 40%, a nearly 30% difference. This is a significant issue for retailers as they have become expected to cover shipping costs and continue to deliver superior customer service however, new technologies aim to help retailers solve this trillion-dollar problem. As someone who shops online frequently, one of the most frustrating aspects of it is playing this “guessing game” with sizing and trying to eyeball how pieces of clothing are going to fit me. 

How AR Can Solve This Problem

In order to combat this issue it is essential that retailers shift their focus on delivering some type of Augmented Reality solution to help them mitigate losses experienced from online returns. These technologies may seem like they are years away however, Apple recently released the iPhone 12 and with it came the LiDAR scanner which uses lasers to determine how far away objects are and create a 3D style mapping of that object. This technology will be incredible for the development of AR technologies and will help propel the industry forward as a whole. As the demand for e-commerce continues to grow, it is important that retailers continue to leverage emerging technologies to generate revenue and deliver value to customers. Over the next few years, I believe we will see the continued prominence of mobile applications as a force for driving revenue for retailers and the use of AR technologies to deliver in-store customer experiences from the palm of your hand.

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