Amazon adds augmented reality into its app
By April Berthene - Nov 7th, 10:34
Amazon lets shoppers view thousands of products in 3-D, most of which are home furnishings products.
Amazon, No. 1 in the 2017 Internet Retailer Top 500, announced the new feature Nov. 1 in conjunction with its holiday shopping promotions. The feature uses Apple Inc.’s ARkit technology, which allows shoppers to see how thousands of products look in the context of their home before purchasing them. Product categories include living room, bedroom, kitchen, home office, electronics, toys and games, and home décor.
“AR view helps customers make better shopping decisions by allowing them to visualize the aesthetic and fit of products in their own living space,” Amazon wrote in announcing the new feature. Amazon declined to comment further.
To use the tool, shoppers need the Amazon app and Apple’s iOS 11 operating system on an iPhone 6S or later. The AR technology allows shoppers to view to-scale objects on the screens of their smartphones.
Here’s how it works: In the Amazon app, a shopper taps on the camera icon next to the search bar. From there, a menu appears that displays different features the shopper can use with her smartphone camera, such as barcode scanning or product search with an image. In the menu, the shopper taps “AR View” and the smartphone’s camera will launch and walk the shopper through a series of steps to see the product in 3-D. She directs the smartphone at the area in her home where she wants to see the product and then taps the screen and the item appears. She can move and rotate the product with her finger.
Home goods retailers have been among the first retailers to test augmented reality, as the feature lets shoppers see how large, high-ticket items would look and fit inside their home. Other retailers such as Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (No. 25 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500), Wayfair Inc. (No. 16), Overstock.com Inc. (No. 30), and home furnishings marketplace Houzz, have implemented augmented reality into their iOS apps well.
“This gives [Amazon] the opportunity to help consumers visualize products, especially these larger purchases,” says Julie Ask, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc. She doesn’t expect the feature to have much of an impact on sale and conversion in the short term but believes the concept is good in the long term. As the technology advances, consumers will likely see more augmented reality pilots and creative, she says.
“There’s no reason not to work out the kinks while consumer expectations are low,” she says. “The bigger challenge is consumer awareness of the technology or feature, and the ease of use.”
Sucharita Mulpuru, also a retail analyst at Forrester, isn’t sure that augmented reality will have a large impact on e-commerce sales, as she is sceptical that the augmented reality product’s colour and size accurately render on the smartphone.
“AR in retail tends to be a ‘nice to have,’ not a ‘must-have’ for shoppers,” she says.
Copyright © 2017 Vertical Web Media
Sainsbury’s is playing the long game
21/11/2017 - 13:34
Sainsbury’s management appeared unphased after emerging as the underperforming grocer this quarter. Should investors be worried? In the short term, Sainsbury’s may struggle, but they have solid long term prospects.
Shoppers set to spend over £10bn in this year’s Black Friday bonanza
21/11/2017 - 11:47
Higher prices and increased retailer participation will drive Black Friday spend this year with total sales over the period set to rise 3.8%.
This year’s Black Friday promises to be ‘best ever’
21/11/2017 - 11:26
Economist Mike Schussler said he expects to see large numbers of consumers spending on Black Friday despite the dire economy.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday 2017 reflect growing digital evolution and appetite for seamless digital experiences
21/11/2017 - 11:16
With digital transformation initiatives permeating everything business does, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period this year is expected to illustrate just how far online retailers have come in embracing Availability.
What are South Africans expecting this Black Friday
21/11/2017 - 11:03
We’ve all heard the stories about Black Friday in the US - all the latest goods at crazy low prices - but are South Africans experiencing the biggest day on the shopping calendar in the same way? Kevin Tucker, Founder and CEO of PriceCheck, Africa’s most popular comparison and discovery service, says there’s no doubt about it.