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Augmented Reality’s First Killer App VTO's

Updated: Mar 6, 2019

Credit from Alan Smithson

By the end of 2019, there will be over 2 billion Augmented Reality (AR) enabled smartphones in the world. Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore are powering new ways for retailers and brands to engage with consumers to help them make better, more effective buying decisions. From trying on glasses to seeing what products will look like in your home, virtual try-on’s (VTO’s) are quickly becoming AR’s first killer app.

“In the future, e-commerce penetration is projected to grow from approximately 10% today to greater than 40% in 2026” — (World Economic Forum, Future of Retail 2017)

Virtual Try-On’s are a new form of augmented reality that put products into context for the buying consumer. As we move to mobile-phone based e-Commerce, retailers, brands and manufacturers have new opportunities to connect with consumers and gain far more information about their buying patterns than print alone could ever do.

VTO’s in certain product categories are seeing a direct impact on bottom line sales. Home Decor VTO’s like IKEA’s Place app or Shopify’s 3D platform are already seeing increases in sales and decreases in returns.

Retailers now have the power to understand the customer journey a little more clearly with digital tools such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality (XR). The data captured by VTO’s goes deeper than any other medium to date. From geolocating the consumer to heat maps of product views to cloud maps of their actual space, the retailer has unprecedented access to the consumer information and in turn, ways to make the experience better.

“It could eventually be that you put in contact lenses and you don’t need to look at a phone anymore. We’re really right at the beginning of the big bang with AR and understanding just how it can make everyday life better for people.” — Michael Valdsgaard, Leader of Digital Transformation at IKEA

The idea that consumers can now try products in their home or on themselves, goes beyond novelty to become a transformational way they purchase things. From sunglasses, jewelry, watches, makeup and shoes to furniture, housewares and backyard renovations, VTO’s are the best way for consumers to make better buying decisions.

With more than half of all internet traffic coming from mobile combined with the fact that mobile eCommerce is growing at an unprecedented rate, AR seems like the perfect storm for retailers.

Consider this: In 2014, mobile commerce made up only 11.6% or $33 billion of the U.S. e-commerce total but is forecasted to reach $284 billion, or 45% of the total U.S. e-commerce market, by 2020.

Recently, Facebook partnered with Michael Kors to showcase their new 3D programmatic ad campaigns that use advanced facial tracking augmented reality to let you try on a pair of glasses right from your Facebook feed. Snapchat, the preferred social media platform for under 25-year-olds has also entered the game with AR campaigns with Nike and others.

There are already tons of great examples of brands utilizing Augmented Reality (AR) for retail and e-commerce. This is only the very beginning of this technology and we can help you discover more

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