How Can Augmented Reality Enhance the Customer Experience in the E-commerce Industry?

Technological innovations have brought great variation in the shopping experience of people. From offline to online, further different browsing options at various sites have made it easy for people to make purchases just by sitting at their place. However, the sensory experience was still a big challenge, which made replace and return more prominent.

Well, with Augmented Reality in the queue, things are no longer the same. With this technological advent, people can actually sense their products. It allows customers to experience the services or preview their items and acquire in-depth and comprehensive information about their items of choice—from the comfort of their homes.

According to the report, the augmented reality industry is expanding and is worth $30.7 billion, with roughly 810 million active smartphone users.

What is Augmented Reality?

AR (Augmented Reality) is a technology that overlays a computer-generated image over the user’s real-world perspective to give them a more accurate representation of reality. This entails incorporating digital data (sounds, pictures, and text) into the user’s current surroundings.

The idea is to blend the virtual and real worlds and offer the user a sense of seamless integration. These virtual assets might be in the form of 2D or 3D images, music, films, and so on.

“I do think that a significant portion of the population of developed countries, and eventually all countries, will have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day. It will become that much a part of you.” 

— Tim Cook

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: What Is the Difference?

Augmented reality and virtual reality are two concepts that are sometimes used interchangeably since they have many similarities but also some variances. Virtual reality (or VR) requires the user to wear a headset with earbuds that totally replaces the actual environment with the virtual world. Virtual reality aims to remove the user from the current world as much as possible. 

Quick Tip: Although virtual reality has business uses in product creation, teaching, architecture, and retail, the bulk of VR applications are now centred on leisure, particularly gaming.

Augmented reality, on the other hand, combines the virtual and real worlds. Most apps use the screen of a smartphone or tablet to do this, with users directing the phone’s camera towards an area of interest and the screen displaying a live video of that scene. The display is then filled with helpful data, such as servicing instructions, navigation data, or diagnostic data. 

Quick Tip: AR is more commonly used in entertainment applications, but now it is also being used for providing expert assistance, transforming shopping experiences and predictive maintenance. 

Augmented Reality in E-commerce

AR has piqued the curiosity of investors, businesses, and the general public in recent years, particularly when Mark Zuckerberg purchased Oculus. Many web companies, such as Sony, Samsung, and Google, are now investing heavily in augmented reality.

E-commerce is expected to take a huge leap with this technology as augmented reality can bridge the gap between conventional brick-and-mortar retailers and current e-commerce companies. Customers may see the product as they would see it in person using augmented reality. It’s a breakthrough that gives online shopping a more genuine feel while also increasing e-commerce sales by enhancing the shopping experience.

This [Retail] is a sector where AR is revolutionising the way we shop by bridging the gap between digital and physical worlds. A radical store re-invention will offer retailers new ways to increase convenience and personalisation, and consumers the opportunity to experience re-envisioned shops. 

–Muchaneta Kapfunde

The Benefits of Augmented Reality

Here’s why augmented reality is more important—and how they’re already helping early adopters.

Personalized Experience

AR allows customers to see how items appear on them. They show what sizes might fit them, or illustrate the real size of a product in their area, as well as other features that address the issues with online shopping. Instead of seeing mannequins wearing the items in an online store, buyers can view themselves in all of the ensembles to evaluate which ones would look best on them.

Reduced Return Rate

AR offers consumers the unique option to test before they purchase since it provides an immersive experience with 3D visualizations, virtual try-on, and product demos. As a result, augmented reality technology aids in the battle against high return rates by allowing customers to make an informed purchase, resulting in a decrease in return rates.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

AR’s immersive experience allows e-commerce firms to not only interact with new customers but also to create a long-term and trusted relationship with them. This technology helps boost consumer interaction with e-commerce firms, leading to increased sales.

High Conversion Rate

It is one of the most notable advantages of augmented reality in e-commerce. If users have a clearer picture of the product they are going to buy, they are more likely to convert. Augmented reality in e-commerce allows store owners to provide a more immersive and engaging product experience, which leads to higher conversion rates.

Those who browse sites that use augmented reality (AR) technology are more likely to make a purchase. So, bring it to your store and leave the rest to us. 

Role of ANS Commerce

At ANS Commerce, we assist businesses in enhancing their brand’s position through higher sales. We assist organisations in focusing on their core competencies while also delivering other services such as performance marketing, marketplace management, warehousing, and fulfilment. We give e-commerce consultancy for the brandstore through technology interventions so that they are aware of the present gap and may use the best industrial practise to optimise the funnel.

We also assist businesses with our core product, Kartify, which provides the foundation for establishing an online presence without any hassle. You can request a DEMO now.

Upcoming Supply Chain Technology Trends That Can Amplify Your E-commerce Business

The pandemic exposed many ongoing and hidden issues in the logistics industry. Therefore, companies are now looking for ways to transform their supply chain models. One of those ways is to invest in new technologies for achieving higher efficiency. Businesses can no longer ignore the benefits technology offers to supply chain and business management. With proper data collection and centralization, trends like AI and blockchain can assist businesses to shape up and boost efficiency.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has simultaneously disrupted the supply chain industry, re-emphasized its significance, and created completely new goals and opportunities.” 

5 Supply Chain Technology Trends That Can Supercharge Your Business

1. Automate with artificial intelligence

artififical intelligence

Automation has been a growing trend in almost every industry for the past decade. The continued success indicates that it will only get stronger in the future. Recently, artificial intelligence(AI) is being leveraged for automation in the supply chain industry. AI algorithms can automate basic operations such as inventory management, delivery, and more by crunching past data. This saves a lot of time and eliminates the possibility of errors, resulting in higher efficiency. It also frees up the human resource to execute more complex tasks. 

The potential of AI is quite vast, it can be used to identify patterns in data and deliver valuable insights. They can be used, for example, to forecast product demand shortly. With artificial intelligence, logistics operations can become more efficient and accurate. 

Quick Tip – Automation is not limited to just manual tasks inside the warehouses. Companies are now investing billions to make driverless truck deliveries a reality. Although it will take years before being implemented industry-wide, issues like driver shortage and sustainability concerns will keep driving the demand. 

2. Boost transparency with blockchain

Over the years, blockchain has been called “the biggest breakthrough” and also “just hype”. However, it has proved its significance in multiple fields; the supply chain is one of them. 

The primary use of blockchain has been to facilitate transparency because obscurity in data sharing often harms a supply chain. Blockchain facilitates more transparent and accurate tracking in the supply chain, businesses can digitize physical assets and develop a decentralized record of all transactions, making it easy to track assets throughout the supply chain. It is completely immutable and incorruptible, making it more secure than the cloud. 

Blockchain can assist businesses in reducing fraud, especially in high-valued goods. It can assist them in understanding how raw materials and finished goods are passed through each subcontractor and reduce profit losses from counterfeit and gray market tradings.

“Blockchain is an open ledger of transactions distributed among computers in a particular network. Everyone on the shared blockchain has complete access to that ledger, thus, enabling complete transparency”

With the wider adoption of blockchain, logistic operations would become more transparent and efficient. 

3. Settle payments with smart contracts

“Smart contracts are computer protocols that automatically verify, control, and execute an agreement. The terms of the agreement are directly written into the lines of codes, therefore, eliminating the need for a middleman. The code controls the execution of transactions, which are trackable and irreversible.”

The tides of automation will not stop at AI and robotics, smart contracts have emerged as another technology to achieve it. They are transaction protocols that are meant to execute when certain conditions are met. In SCM, it could be used to automatically generate an invoice when the shipment reaches the destination or conducting financial transactions between the concerned parties. Smart contracts are being used to settle payments using cryptocurrencies. They remove the need for arbitration from a trusted party, making the process much faster.

4. Improve operational efficiency with digital twins

digital

Computer modeling in its current form never takes into account how products wear out and are replaced, how they become obsolete, or how owners modify them to suit changing needs. Digital twins enable interacting with the virtual model of product or part just like one would with their physical counterparts.

In the supply chain industry, a digital twin is a virtual supply chain replica that consists of multiple assets, warehouses, logistics, and inventory data. It has gained so much popularity in the industry because it offers improvements in technical and computational capabilities. It supports the entire value chain, from designing and construction to commissioning and operations. For instance, it can be used to collect product and packaging data and use the information to identify potential weaknesses and recurring problems to improve future operations. The technology can also be used to create accurate 3D models of the warehouses and experiment with layout changes or the addition of new equipment to see its impact, risk-free. Delivery networks can leverage the technology to provide real-time information to improve shipping and delivery. 

Are you looking for a warehouse? Check out these tips to choose a warehouse that suits all your business needs!

Quick Tip – We handle the complete ‘pick-pack-dispatch’ process & manifestation of the B2C orders with strict SLAs, thereby, leaving you free to focus on product development and customer acquisition. Request your free DEMO now!

5. Increase supply chain visibility(SCV) with IoT

Gone are the days when static SCV data was enough to satisfy customers and carriers. Nowadays, the demand for real-time SCV data has risen exponentially. Now, the question arises, how can companies obtain this real-time data? The answer is simple, through technology, specifically the Internet of Things(IoT).

With IoT sensors attached to shipment, companies can retrieve data required to track the location and condition of the goods along with the security of the shipment. It can provide real-time information like temperature, humidity, shock, and more for better shipment management. Also, it can boost efficiency by providing information about the machines, including predictive maintenance requirements, within a warehouse. 

How Can We Assist You?

These SCM trends are still in their early stages of adoption and are not implemented actively. However, If you’re someone who’s looking for logistics solutions, ANS Commerce is the right place for you. We manage warehousing, supply chain execution across channels and offer return management with JIT flexibility. We have warehouses in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi NCR to offer seamless logistics solutions to our clients. Request your free DEMO now!

What can you expect from ANS?

  • Scale and knowledge – Extensive TPL network and marketplace partnerships facilitate better response and costs 
  • Flexibility – Custom solutions for optimized storage and seamless integration with client OMS and WMS 
  • End-to-end support – Manage all pieces of logistics by tapping order checkpoints including reliable return and refurbishment

The logistics industry stands amidst unprecedented times, but the future holds great promise. Adopting these innovations gradually will assist the industry in facing the challenges and help businesses achieve greater operational efficiencies.