Blog: E-commerce

How AR and VR are Transforming E-commerce

December 20, 2018 - by Manan Thakkar

Customer satisfaction, brand awareness, sales process efficiency… with technology steadily making inroads into the e-commerce space, retail businesses are seeking new and innovative solutions to enhance these aspects and stay ahead of the curve. By integrating existing e-commerce stores with immersive technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), retailers are looking to make shopping experiences more intuitive, friendly, and satisfying. These technologies are bringing about a breakthrough in the e-commerce industry and changing the way businesses function.

How AR and VR are Transforming E-commerce

Role of AR and VR

According to reports, an appalling 78.65% of shoppers abandon their carts before completing a purchase. This shows that retailers need to do a lot more to persuade customers to go ahead with the items in their carts and make the payment. Emerging technologies like AR and VR have the potential to reshape the world of retail.

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In fact, several major investments are being made to develop powerful, technologically advanced AR and VR products for the e-commerce market. According to CCS Insight, by the end of 2018, AR smart glasses was worth $1.2 billion and an estimated 24 million VR devices will be sold globally. Here are some notable transformations that AR and VR are bringing to the e-commerce industry:



For any business, getting products out in the market is critical. However, selling products is as important as engaging customers in new forms of marketing or advertising techniques. Several e-commerce giants and small startups are engaging customers through virtual experiences. With AR and VR, retailers can:

  • Build innovative marketing campaigns to capture customer attention and influence attitudes and behavior.
  • Build awareness of brand attributes and offer customers the chance to virtually experience the benefits of those attributes for themselves.



With comfort and efficiency becoming critical factors in e-commerce a notable impact VR and AR has on e-commerce is the convenience it brings to consumers, and to retailers. Moreover, it significantly cuts down the time spent searching for products and making payments and allows more people to accomplish a host of tasks in shorter time frames. Traditionally, people would go to physical stores to try and experience products. However, AR and VR are completely changing this dynamic, allowing retailers to:

  • Create virtual showrooms and allow customers to explore products from the comfort of their homes without having to visit a retail store
  • Provide virtual landscapes of projects and enable customers to experience all the features and capabilities first-hand.

Cost Savings


Besides cutting down on time and adding convenience for consumers, AR and VR are also capable of cutting down customer costs. With the ability to visualize any product of their choice, the saying “try before you buy” couldn’t be more appropriate. With AR and VR, customers can now know if their purchases are the right match to what they need even before they buy it, instead of discovering it only after they’ve bought the product. Using AR and VR, customers can:

  • Stand in their living room, put on an AR headset, flip through a catalog and make more informed purchase decisions.
  • See what they want, in the space they want it to be, instead of traveling to retail stores and flipping through product descriptions and dimensions.

Real Life Simulation


Perhaps one of the most significant benefits AR and VR offer to the e-commerce industry is the ability to create an immersive experience, capable of simulating real life. Although VR and AR have long been recognized for their developments in gaming, the same technology when applied to virtual stores can offer customers truly immersive experiences. Using AR and VR:

  • Customers can not only shop for products online through real-life interfaces, but also try products virtually.
  • Retailers can overcome physical limitations and offer access to every product feature, ultimately drawing more customers into the sales funnel for higher conversions.

What the Future Looks Like

Despite the capabilities that AR and VR offer to the e-commerce industry, not many e-commerce companies have adopted these technologies. While the technology is still new, it makes sense for retailers to make the most of this transformative technology and offer unmatched experiences to customers while trying to outperform the competition.

Retailers can create virtual versions of their brick-and-mortar stores and take their online stores to an entirely different level – either as an exact replica of their physical store or as a fabricated environment over which they have complete control. Retailers can design the space as they like it and continuously modify it to meet fluctuating customer trends and product preferences. These features extend the shopping experience beyond simple reality; it is a heightened version of reality and an immersive experience.

Maximize Sales

Immersion, engagement, and impact are just some of the reasons why AR and VR are becoming buzz words in the e-commerce world. Forward-thinking organizations and some of the world’s leading e-commerce giants are leveraging the power of VR to deliver amazing experiences and achieve a competitive edge.

With a recent study deducing that consumers are more likely to buy from brands that use immersive technologies to market themselves, AR and VR can enable customers to explore virtual showrooms, touch, feel, and experience products, and give them a compelling reason to visit your online store –completely transforming the shopping experience. Whether you offer a 360-degree video catalog or you’re just offering an engaging digital experience, AR and VR will enable shoppers to immerse themselves deeper into the e-commerce experience and enabling the potential for fast growth and accelerated sales.

Learn more about maximizing the effectiveness of your e-commerce with emerging technologies.

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