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Try Before You Buy with AR

Google pushes AR in a bid to boost online shopping

Burberry are making use of Google's new AR shopping feature

Google is using augmented reality (AR) and 3D technology to augment online shopping experiences. In a recent blog post, Google announced their new focus is to bring products to life, especially through AR, to allow consumers to try before they buy–whether that's beauty products, furniture, or new clothes.

A New Dimension for Online Shopping

According to research by Ipsos and Google, over 90% of Americans already use or would use AR when shopping. More over, 98% of those who have used AR while shopping found it to be helpful. Thanks to this combination of AR and real time 3D, online shopping is getting another dimension.

By pairing visualization technology and AR, all you'll need is a device with a camera. Imagine you're online shopping for furniture–now you can tap the handy 'AR' button and view what that object will look like in your living room and how it matches the rest of your décor. These 3D AR objects will even drop shadows, and don't be surprised to see them affected by lighting.

This will be essential for people struggling to decide whether a piece of furniture will fit in their room, or if a particular color or pattern will complement their existing interiors. This has a big potential to reduce return rates and improve both shopping experiences and customer satisfaction.

Dolling Up Digital Shopping

But it's not just interior design getting a makeover, as cosmetics and beauty will also be hugely improved. Consumers can try before they buy online, again with nothing more than a cell phone–as long as it has a functioning camera. Users will even be able to use a selfie to see how different cosmetics look–no more 'skin-matching' needed.

As the tech titan's entry into the cosmetics and beauty industry, google's new AR endeavor is much-anticipated. A market research company has estimated that the global cosmetics and beauty product market is going to be worth $47.7 billion by the end of this year. Adding personal care products, the estimate balloons up to $87.13 billion in revenue combined.

The e-commerce industry's push for AR will be a boon for beauty businesses, boosting customer retention, satisfaction and revenue, and it will likely have the same effect on other sectors. Still, we shouldn't be convinced that this spells the doom of in-person shopping. Google is also using AR technology to help people find products in physical stores and access better information about items.

For example, shoppers can use their smartphone to scan a product's barcode, and Google will provide them with information about the product and where they can find it in the store through 3D visualization. So not only will in-person shopping become more convenient, but online shopping is set to be a lot more immersive–and helpful, all thanks to AR.