Skip to main content

Tech Commentary: How Augmented Reality is Changing Online Shopping


The rapid evolution of e-commerce has created a consistent channel for retailers and brands, giving brick-and-mortar stores a run for their money. Still, many vendors have yet to create engaging, timely experiences throughout the buyer’s journey.

Mobile shoppers have overtaken desktop visitors to reach 61% of the total e-commerce traffic. But conversions are still 63% lower for mobile when compared to desktop, according to a 2016 mobile commerce study from Unbxd. Augmented reality (AR) is the new age innovation that is filling this gap and (already) providing real benefits for both retailers and shoppers. To see an infographic on how AR will help change online shopping, click here.

Augmented reality is a technology that layers virtual objects or holograms on top of your existing environment in real-time. AR has always been anticipated to change the way people see the world around them, but it will also revolutionize the way we shop online. Innovation in e-commerce is quickly advancing, and augmented reality is in a position to bring a physical presence to online shopping.

When shopping online, a customer cannot touch or feel an item, see how it works, nor get an idea of how it looks in their home. The loss of this interactivity and presence in the shopping experience leads to uncertain buyers and abandoned shopping carts.

In terms of retail, AR is providing a true value for merchants and consumers with this new arena of augmented reality shopping, or A-commerce. Imagine the last time you were shopping for a television and wanted to see what size would fit best on your dresser; or how the color of a rug would look in your new apartment. A-commerce is providing a never-before context to help inform buying decisions and no-risk purchases. All the while increasing conversions and reducing returns for retailers online and offline.

As e-commerce has evolved, technology has also advanced to help overcome the challenges that consumers endure with the online retail experience. Just as the future of e-commerce continues to shape, augmented reality will have a huge impact in how customers buy products online.

Dennis Williams is content marketing manager at Augment.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds