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AI, AR, and the Future of E-commerce: A Glimpse into the Tomorrow’s Shopping Revolution

Updated: Feb 9

With the advent of AR for E-commerce, the retail landscape is undergoing an exciting transformation, and providing consumers with an immersive and interactive shopping experience like never before is the goal.



An electric board demonstrating AI written on the motherboard


In this blog, we delve into the almost mystical realm of AR, AI Future of E-commerce, exploring how it is shaping the future of online shopping, the ins and outs of shopping in AR, and the pivotal role Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays in this revolutionary journey. Read on!


AR for E-Commerce: Redefined Shopping Experience

Augmented Reality (AR) is, quite literally, taking over the world and in fact, according to Statista, the number of AR users in the world is expected to reach 1.73 billion by 2024.


But the question of how to shop in AR still remains a mystery for a lot of us. Let us give you a sneak peek: Imagine you're sitting on your couch, scrolling through an online store, and with a simple tap, your living room transforms into a virtual showroom.



AR experience for the consumers in a phone


This is the potential of AR in E-commerce. The integration of Augmented Reality technology into online shopping platforms has opened up a world of possibilities, bringing products to life in the virtual space.


How to Shop in AR:

Shopping in AR is an intuitive and engaging process. By putting your smartphone or AR glasses to use, you can visualize products in your real-world environment before making a purchase. For example, if you're in the market for furniture, AR allows you to see how that sleek sofa or stylish coffee table would fit into your living room.


Virtual try-ons for clothing and accessories are also becoming increasingly popular, enabling customers to see how a particular item looks on them before adding it to the cart.

Moreover, AR navigation within virtual stores adds a layer of excitement to the shopping experience.



Enabling location for accessing AR features


With the help of AR markers and geolocation, users can effortlessly navigate through aisles, explore product details, and receive personalized recommendations based on their preferences.


An increasing number of retailers today are releasing AR applications to help you find the right products, such as Target, Sephora, and Nike. Both Apple and Android users can easily use these apps.

  • Target offers the possibility for customers to view products digitally in their homes through its app. “See it in your space” is a feature that allows customers to see the different furniture pieces of their own living room, on 3D display, similar to other AR furniture shopping apps.


  • A virtual artist is available for Sephora's innovative mobile app. To allow customers to experiment with products digitally, Virtual Artist uses facial recognition technology. The customers can scan their faces and they will be able to try on different shades of makeup using the app. Products can be bought quickly and easily if a customer likes the simulated look. One can also take makeup tutorials within the app.


AR being used to demonstrate the prices in the Augmented Reality


  • Nike’s AR feature “Nike Fit” enables customers to get a real size of their shoes. All users need to do is point their phone camera at their feet and the app will determine the size of their shoes to enable the functionality of the app.


The Future Scope of AI in AR for E-Commerce:

While AR enhances the visual aspect of online shopping, the integration of Artificial Intelligence takes personalization and user experience to new heights. AI algorithms analyze user behavior, preferences, and purchase history to offer tailored recommendations, ensuring that each customer's journey is unique and satisfying.


AI-powered chatbots also play a crucial role in AR E-commerce. Picture having a virtual shopping assistant at your fingertips, guiding you through the store, answering queries, and providing real-time assistance. These intelligent bots not only streamline the buying process but also contribute to a more personalized and human-like interaction.


Additionally, AI is instrumental in optimizing AR applications for various devices. Whether you're using a smartphone, AR glasses, or any other AR-compatible device, AI ensures a seamless and consistent experience. This adaptability is key to the widespread adoption of AR in E-commerce, as it caters to the diverse preferences and devices of modern consumers.


Enhancing Customer Engagement:

AR in E-commerce is not just about making shopping more convenient; it's about creating memorable and shareable experiences. Imagine being able to share a virtual try-on session with your friends or seeking their opinions on how a particular piece of furniture complements your space. Social sharing features embedded in AR apps amplify customer engagement, turning shopping into a social and collaborative activity.



A man shopping in a general departmental store


Moreover, brands can leverage AR to gamify the shopping experience. Interactive quizzes, AR scavenger hunts, and virtual rewards create a sense of excitement and keep customers coming back for more. This blend of entertainment and shopping aligns with the evolving expectations of the tech-savvy consumer.


Challenges and Solutions:

While the potential of AR in E-commerce is vast, it's essential to acknowledge and address challenges for its seamless integration. One significant challenge is ensuring that the AR experience is accessible to a broad audience. This requires optimizing applications for various devices and internet speeds, providing a smooth experience regardless of the user's tech specifications.


Furthermore, the development of high-quality 3D models for AR visualization can be resource-intensive. However, advancements in AI-driven 3D modeling tools are making this process more efficient and cost-effective, enabling businesses of all sizes to leverage AR in their E-commerce strategy.



Isometric design for a #D store created for AR


Conclusion:

The convergence of AR and E-commerce is not just a technological advancement; it's a paradigm shift in the way we shop and interact with products online. The immersive and personalized experiences offered by AR, coupled with the intelligent capabilities of AI, are redefining the future of retail.


As we look ahead, the synergy between AR and AI will continue to evolve, creating more sophisticated and tailored shopping experiences. From virtual storefronts in your living room to AI-powered shopping advisors, the possibilities are limitless.


The future of AR in E-commerce is not just about making transactions; it's about creating connections and transforming the way we perceive, choose, and buy products in the digital age. As users, we shall buckle up for a journey where the boundaries between the virtual and physical worlds blur, and the shopping experience becomes a thrilling adventure in the palm of our hands.


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