Augmented reality is an added value in virtual shopping environments, according to research by the VUB and Uhasselt. Anyone who sees something in AR, has a stronger connection to the item and will buy it faster.
Augmented reality replaces touch
The surge in augmented reality will give retailers new opportunities, according to VUB professor Malaika Brengmann, who collaborated with UHasselt. It was already clear that ARE helps involve consumers, helps them remember a brand and helps them gain faith in a purchase, but now it seems shoppers get an actual sense of ownership.
Consumers actually think they own a product when they see it in AR compared to when they see it on a laptop or smartphone, because of augmented realiy’s more tactile properties: it has technology that can virtually project images or information onto the real environment with a smartphone camera for instance.
When people touch products, they get the feeling that they already own it somewhat, which leads to faster sales. Seeing how that is not possible online just yet, researchers believe augmented reality and virtual reality may become the alternative solutions for online and omnichannel retailers.
Better suited to chair than to vase
A designer vase and chair were shown to a panel in three different ways: on a laptop, on a smartphone and in a mobile AR app, which allowed the users to place the object in a domestic environment. In the latter, the sense of ownership was considerably higher, particularly for the designer chair.
Material products that are more complex to grasp and require touch and other senses, have a strong ally in AR to give online shoppers the same sensations they may get from a store experience. This could prove beneficial to clothing, shoes or furniture.
The vase is easier to grasp by looking at it and augmented reality did not have that much of an effect on it. Simple or visually fathomable objects do not require touch as much and consumers do not care as much about whether these appear in real life, in AR or on a picture.