Discovery and consideration are in a different place than before the pandemic. With less access to in-person touchpoints, consumers started exploring technology like augmented reality (AR) for their shopping needs. Brands have since launched new experiences to cater to consumer demands, but preexisting implementations also saw upticks in usage.
Many brands and retailers are now investing in means to test out products from afar:
These assistive selling technologies don’t just provide unique experiences when the customer is physically distant from the product being sold; they are also being increasingly sought out in brick and mortar.
“A virtual try-on with a smart mirror, when coupled with POS data, gives retailers insight as to which products are converting at a higher rate and which are not, providing opportunities to optimize merchandising and buying decisions,” said Jeremy Goldman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence and author of our recent report, “Ecommerce and Retail Customer Experience 2021.”
Although the pandemic drove the rising popularity of these types of experiences, sheer convenience means we’ll see more of them in the future. These technologies have the unique benefit of appealing to both consumers and retailers alike: Consumers can experience products on their own terms, while retailers get access to context-rich data minable for business insights. Ultimately, businesses should assess whether AR and remote video can serve as discoverability and sales aids. In many cases, the answer is yes.