Hi, I’m Sarah, and I’m excited to talk about how augmented reality is changing the face of ecommerce. As a technical writer with experience in creating documentation for software and consumer electronics products, I’ve seen firsthand how technology can transform the way we shop online. Augmented reality, in particular, has the potential to revolutionize the ecommerce industry by providing customers with a more immersive and interactive shopping experience. In this article, I’ll explore the ways in which augmented reality is already being used in ecommerce, and how it could shape the future of online shopping.


The introduction of augmented reality (AR) technology has revolutionized the way in which companies are interacting with customers. Increasingly, e-commerce businesses are leveraging this technology to create more immersive and engaging experiences for customers. From virtual try-on options to interactive product tours, AR is changing the way customers interact with products.

In this article, we explore the ways in which AR is transforming the e-commerce landscape:

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is a term for a type of interactive technology that overlays digital imagery over real-world physical environments. It can be used to build highly realistic simulations of three-dimensional objects like buildings, monuments, or automobiles that appear in a live video feed from a smartphone or desktop camera. It can also be used to animate videos with characters and objects from viewable environments.

Augmented reality has the potential to transform the way people buy products and interact with brands online. eCommerce retailers are using AR in various ways:

  • for virtual product tours
  • virtual try-on’s of apparel items and shoes
  • interactive video games integrated with an eCommerce website
  • and more

AR can provide users with an immersive shopping experience unlike anything seen on traditional websites. By providing shoppers with an opportunity to interact more intimately with products they’re considering purchasing, it can help businesses increase conversions and gain additional insight into customer preferences. With its enhanced interactivity, AR helps bridge the gap between physical locations (like stores) and digital shopping experiences (like websites). Additionally, augmented reality can help customers visualize products in their home environment before making a purchasing decision – something that wasn’t possible before this technology arose.

How is AR being used in e-commerce?

Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging technology that is rapidly changing the e-commerce space. It allows retailers to simulate or recreate the in-store experience through virtual, three-dimensional visuals of products, rooms and spaces. AR enhances e-commerce by allowing customers to see how a product fits into their existing living space or existing decor, and helps them make better purchasing decisions.

AR is used in e-commerce to visualize product details, color changes, shape alterations and size comparisons within a customer’s specific environment. AR also plays an important role in eliminating any guesswork by giving customers a more accurate idea of what they are buying. For example, most consumers are familiar with furniture shopping online but can’t assess its actual size until the item arrives at their doorstep. With AR technology, customers can get an exact measurement of any object’s size before making their purchase decision. This helps them make more informed decisions when shopping for large items such as furniture that requires assembly or floor planning which might not fit properly into their home environment without prior measurements being done accurately using AR tools available on the retailer platform.

Customers who find retailers offering augmented reality solutions also gain a better understanding of how products will look like in real life as compared to just viewing it through a 2D image format on their computer screens or mobile devices. This enables them to make more visually appealing choices when it comes to selecting the right type of product for their requirement – eliminating the need to travel from store to store while shopping just within one virtual experience provided through an effective retail platform equipped with advanced AR features.

Benefits of AR in e-commerce

Augmented Reality (AR) is quickly emerging as a powerful force in the field of e-commerce. With the help of AR, e-commerce businesses can provide customers with a realistic shopping experience, allowing them to virtually try on products, view product catalogs, and even visualize products within their own homes.

Let’s look into the benefits of AR in e-commerce and how it is revolutionizing the industry:

Enhances the customer experience

One of the most important ways in which AR is changing the face of e-commerce is in the customer experience it offers. With AR, customers can test products virtually before purchase, which can help them decide whether a product is worth the price or not. This helps create trust between customers and retailers, and it also helps customers save time as they do not have to physically try out the product to get a feel for it.

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In addition to virtual product testing, AR can provide customers with an immersive experience while shopping online. Consumers can attend events virtually, or meet with company experts while exploring a store virtually from the comfort of their own homes. Moreover, with AR technology customers can easily try on clothes and accessories without having to leave their homes or even go into a fitting room. As more people become familiar and comfortable using augmented reality technology for shopping, it will continue to become an integral part of e-commerce.

Increases sales and conversions

Augmented reality (AR) is drastically transforming the e-commerce sector. By simulating a more realistic and augmented version of the real world, AR is enabling businesses to create more immersive and engaging shopping experiences for customers.

One major benefit of AR in e-commerce is that it has increased sales and conversions. By providing customers with the ability to view a 3D representation of a product or experience it in their own space through a mobile device, companies are able to allow customers to make better-informed purchase decisions which increases their likelihood of making a purchase. This can lead to increased sales and conversions as customers have less doubt about their purchase decision due to being provided with incredibly accurate product visuals as well as other useful information such as reviews, videos, and demo choices.

Additionally, customers are also now able to “try” before they buy which helps heighten customer satisfaction with their purchase decision by providing them with greater peace of mind knowing that they made an informed choice when making their purchase.

Improves customer engagement

The use of augmented reality in e-commerce has the potential to revolutionize traditional shopping experiences by allowing customers to digitally interact with products like never before. As customers can try out products virtually, it helps increase engagement and rebuild trust among consumers. This technology also enables retailers to simulate their physical stores on their websites, thus giving them a chance to provide educational content to their customers. By providing an immersive experience of product understanding, retailers can attract customers’ attention and keep them engaged while they make decisions.

In addition, augmented reality is used for virtual try-ons in the world of e-commerce, which allows customers to virtually try on clothes at home before purchasing them. Retailers benefit from this as it can dramatically reduce the amount of product returns and exchanges due to size discrepancies or mismatching colors—something that is often seen with online apparel shopping. Furthermore, virtual try-ons are proven to drive greater conversion numbers and encourage more people who would not have made a purchase at conventional stores due to shyness or insecurity about their looks, thus increasing overall sales for businesses.

It also allows retailers and businesses alike to show off the features of their products directly on website pages so that consumers can better understand what they’re buying without leaving the comfort of their own screen. Using 3D models as representations or animated gifs of product use cases adds additional credibility when advertising a new product in an online setting and encourages customers who are seeking more information before they decide whether or not they want it or not.

Examples of AR in e-commerce

Augmented Reality (AR) has been rapidly gaining traction in the e-commerce space and has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. With more retailers incorporating AR into their platforms, customers can now experience products from anywhere in the world.

With that said, let’s dive into some of the examples of how AR is changing the face of e-commerce:

IKEA Place

IKEA Place is an augmented reality app developed by IKEA that lets customers virtually “place” items of furniture in their homes. The app is powered by Apple’s ARKit, and uses 3D and true-to-scale models of products to give customers a clear idea of how their furniture would fit into the space they have available. IKEA Place offers a variety of products, ranging from sofas and armchairs to beds, office chairs, storage solutions, textiles and home accessories.

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By using the app, customers can see precisely how a product fits into their room before purchasing it. They can also use the app to get room inspiration in which they can place various pieces of furniture together to create new looks for their homes. What’s more, through IKEA Place’s integration with Apple’s Siri voice assistant technology, customers can even ask questions about specific measurements or product details just like they would if they were shopping in store. Furthermore, once customers are happy with the way their furniture looks in their virtual space, the process has been simplified even further – allowing them to skip steps such as measuring and ordering – ensuring customers with a seamless buying experience right from within the app.

Sephora Virtual Artist

The retail cosmetic industry is heavily influenced by the notion of “try before you buy,” so it should come as no surprise that the beauty giant Sephora developed an augmented reality based application for their mobile and desktop sites. Sephora’s Virtual Artist app allows users to virtually try on different shades and varieties of makeup products, such as lipstick, eyeshadow, and blush.

Further, users can even share their looks on social media platforms to garner feedback from friends and family. With this application, customers are able to see exactly how they would look with different products without having to leave their home or visit a physical store. This convenience has enabled Sephora to increase customer satisfaction while minimising costly returns or exchanges due to incorrect shade selection.

As a result of this success, many other e-commerce companies are beginning to incorporate AR solutions into their mobile sites.

Amazon AR View

Amazon’s AR View feature, launched in 2017, enabled consumers to preview products before purchase. It is available on both the Amazon mobile app and the Amazon website. Upon selecting a product, users can tap ‘View in your Room’ to launch the Augmented Reality experience.

The process uses either the device’s microphone or its camera to create a 3D scan of the user’s room. It then places a 3D version of the selected product wherever it has been placed by the user onscreen. This helps shoppers understand how large (or small) an item is and also if it matches other items in their home such as furniture pieces, wall colours and more. The 3D scanned image also allows customers to get a better view of how an item looks from all angles, helping them make an informed purchase decision before buying.

Currently, even though Amazon’s AR View works for over 10 million products across almost 30 categories including furniture, electronics and tools – only iPhone owners with iOS 11 and higher can use it. There is no information currently on when this technology will be extended to Android users as well as desktop browsers like Chrome or Safari yet.

Challenges of AR in e-commerce

Augmented Reality (AR) has the potential to make a huge impact on the e-commerce industry, as it provides customers with a more immersive experience for shopping. However, there are several challenges to deploying AR in e-commerce that must be considered.

In this article, we’ll explore the challenges that brands are facing with the rollout of AR in their online stores:

High cost of implementation

The high cost of AR solutions is one of the major obstacles to the wider adoption of AR technology in the e-commerce sector. Specialized hardware and development software are expensive, and they are only available to a few leading companies, leaving smaller players in the market with limited access to these solutions. For example, Apple’s ARKit technology requires specialized software worth thousands of dollars, which can be a major barrier for startups looking to integrate such solutions into their platforms.

Furthermore, the technology requires complex coding and takes an extensive amount of time and resources to develop. Companies must allocate additional resources for staff training and ongoing maintenance since AR solutions need regular monitoring in order to remain up-to-date with changing trends and customer needs. This requires firms to invest heavily in both financial resources as well as human capital for operationalizing a successful implementation strategy.

Technical limitations

Technological limitations have been a major obstacle for the successful integration of Augmented Reality into e-commerce. Many existing technology solutions are inaccessible for most customers, as they require powerful hardware and cellular connections with high speeds. In addition, insufficient automation in the development of products and lack of graphical user interface (GUI) in current solutions have resulted in a complex user experience that is not always intuitive or user friendly.

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Another technical challenge is making cutting-edge AR features accessible to all users, including those with low-end mobile devices. As AR depends heavily on visual effects implemented through marker recognition, processing power and available bandwidth become limiting factors when using certain graphics technologies on mobile devices. Mobile developers must find a way to reduce memory usage while maintaining superior usability and performance so that customers can take full advantage of the benefits offered by Augmented Reality applications.

Lastly, the implementation of immersive experiences introduces questions related to privacy and data protection as users often share video streams or pictures with third parties during their virtual journey. Developers must implement strict policies to protect customers’ data while allowing them to freely use available AR tools without any hassles or risks.

Low adoption rate

The adoption rate of Augmented Reality (AR) technology in the e-commerce industry remains relatively low. This is largely attributed to the fact that consumers are unfamiliar with the technology, coupled with its current high cost of implementation. In addition, many retailers lack resources and the necessary technical expertise to enable their store with AR applications. Furthermore, there is often a security risk associated with using AR applications, which leads to customer privacy concerns that can hinder adoption.

In order for AR to reach mass market acceptance within e-commerce, retailers need to focus on customer education and providing examples of practical application. This will build confidence in the capabilities of this new technology and inspire companies to invest in its integration into their customer experience offerings. Additionally, organizations should strive toward making decentralization possible by amending IT policies and enabling security protocols in order to ensure a safe environment for customers using AR apps.

Ultimately, by making further advancements in cost reduction and streamlining deployment processes without sacrificing security or privacy standards, this will help propel adoption of AR into the mainstream e-commerce market.


In conclusion, augmented reality is proving to be an invaluable tool within the ever-changing world of e-commerce. Already, the technology has empowered companies to create innovative user experiences, increasing interaction and engagement with customers. Not only can customers see how a product looks in their environment first hand, but they can also make more informed purchasing decisions thanks to AR’s ability to provide richer context and advanced visuals.

Additionally, AR helps businesses save time and money by allowing for fewer physical mockups and reducing time spent in post-purchase customer service calls due to improved product accuracy and visibility. Through timely investments into this technology, both e-commerce businesses and their customers alike can reap rewards well into the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is augmented reality (AR)?

A: Augmented reality is a technology that overlays digital content onto the real world, usually through a smartphone, tablet, or AR headset.

Q: How is AR changing e-commerce?

A: AR is revolutionizing e-commerce by allowing customers to preview products in their own environment before making a purchase, providing a more immersive and interactive shopping experience.

Q: What types of products can benefit from AR in e-commerce?

A: Any product that customers would like to see or experience before purchasing, such as furniture, clothing, makeup, home decor, and more, can benefit from AR in e-commerce.

Q: What are the benefits of using AR in e-commerce?

A: AR in e-commerce allows customers to visualize products in their own environment, leading to higher customer satisfaction and reduced returns, as well as increased engagement and brand loyalty.

Q: How can businesses implement AR in their e-commerce strategy?

A: Businesses can implement AR in their e-commerce strategy by developing AR apps or integrating AR into their existing mobile apps and websites, as well as partnering with AR companies to offer AR experiences to their customers.

Q: Are there any drawbacks to using AR in e-commerce?

A: The main drawback to using AR in e-commerce is the need for high-quality 3D models and images, which can be expensive and time-consuming to create. Additionally, some customers may not have compatible devices or may not be comfortable with using AR technology.