The face of retail is drastically changing, and customer experience is more important than ever. This is how customer experience will look in 2030.
Immersive technologies like 3D product images, augmented reality, and virtual try-on are making their way into a growing number of online shops. Individual brands and large e-commerce platforms now support embedding immersive content into product pages.
Interest in immersive tech for online retail makes sense: Bringing innovation to online shopping is an effective way to improve the overall customer experience.
With retailers focused on optimizing shoppers’ digital experiences, the technology’s popularity will keep growing.
Immersive technologies benefits: Getting real offers big business boosts
Let’s explore how immersive content boosts CX in e-commerce to ultimately drive more conversions and sales.
Some of the top benefits of immersive technologies include:
- A better CX, thanks to the ability to visualize purchases
- Bridging the gap between online and in-store shopping
- Reduced product returns
- More sales and conversions
- High customer engagement and satisfaction
A huge drawback of e-commerce is the lack of physical contact with the desired product. An online shopper doesn’t have an opportunity to examine an item from different angles, try it on to ensure that it fits, or explore the quality and materials in detail.
Flat photos of products in an online catalog don’t provide all the information needed to make an informed purchase decision. As a result, when shopping online, a consumer often doubts whether the product will actually meet their expectations and decides against ordering it.
Immersive content like 3D product images help online shoppers by allowing them to view and compare products with realistic dimensions, colors, and settings.
According to Cappasity’s research, 3D product visuals improve product perception by 23% and increase purchase intent by 29%.
Augmented reality (AR) allows shoppers to place items in a real-life environment and visualize their purchases. This kind of remote product demonstration is effective for most any product category, from apparel to furniture.
Virtual try-on, in turn, provides shoppers with a chance to try on a product before buying it without having to step into the store.
Providing consumers with immersive technologies has the power to bridge the gap between offline and in-store shopping, improving product perception and supporting purchase decisions.
What will the metaverse customer experience look like? Here, we explore examples and ways brands can benefit.
Increase customer satisfaction and reduce returns
Inability to inspect a product in detail, like in a brick-and-mortar store, leads to frequent returns in e-commerce.
In fact, returns account for almost 30% of all sales and, on average, 35% of respondents say that the discrepancy between the photos seen online and the resulting product is the main reason for returning an item.
Unlike flat images, immersive content accurately sets customers’ expectations for a specific product, and consequently, the buyer is less likely to get disappointed with their purchase.
Marketing metrics often overlook the high rate of e-commerce product returns, which is extremely costly to retailers. As global e-commerce continues to grow, the amount of returns is expected to cost retailers more than a trillion dollars a year.
Immersive technologies mean better CX, engagement, and sales
Today’s consumers have distinct shopping preferences. Considering that many modern shoppers now value experiences over things, e-commerce brands must focus on turning an online customer journey into a memorable and engaging experience to meet their ever-changing expectations.
Immersive technologies like 3D product images and augmented reality improve CX, bridge the gap between in-store and online shopping, and boost sales.
Immersive technologies have proven to be an effective tool to engage with consumers and foster strong connections with them.
For example, after embedding immersive content into its website, the Argentinian brand Jazmín Chebar improved customer engagement and, consequently, the amount of time shoppers spent on a product page.
The time a consumer spends exploring an item on a product page directly influences their purchase decision. According to Google Benchmarking, the average time on a product page for e-commerce websites is 38 seconds. However, purchase probability is at its highest when a consumer spends around 50 seconds on a product page.
Cappasity’s study revealed that 3D product images increase the time a consumer spends on a product page by 15-40 seconds. With interactive 3D product images, Jazmín Chebar managed to not only increase customer engagement, but boost online conversion rates.
Overall, immersive technologies help brands bridge the gap between in-store and online shopping, making e-commerce more convenient and reliable for consumers. A smooth, engaging customer experience has a direct impact on conversion rates and helps e-commerce businesses stand out from the competition.