Cloudy Social

Level Up Your Game With Hardware Gear for Total Gaming Domination

Augmented Reality in Ecommerce: Benefits and Use Cases for Different Industries


Credit: OyundariZorigtbaatar under CC BY-SA 4.0 – no changes were made to the image

Article Credit: Leo Hawkins

Ever since the debut of the internet, ecommerce has offered an innovative and convenient way to shop without having to visit physical stores. Today, it’s still going strong thanks to continuous innovation. With Big Data, ecommerce sites can pull up tailored product recommendations. AI even allows buyers to search for items by simply using their voice.

One innovation that particularly stands out is the integration of augmented reality (AR). This technology superimposes digital elements onto real-world environments, helping improve various tasks and enhance ecommerce outcomes. As a result, Future Market Insights reports the AR shopping industry will be worth $58 billion in just the next 10 years. Here’s why.

How AR Benefits Ecommerce

To ensure a customer’s loyalty, it’s vital to grab their attention and keep them engaged from the time they’re made aware of your product to when they decide to make a purchase. AR’s interactive nature does just that by providing an interactive shopping experience that’s fun to explore—and the more users spend time on a site, the more likely they are to check out the items in their cart. What’s more, AR implementation in ecommerce is still not mainstream. Sites that use this emerging technology are more likely to stand out from their competition, which can help expand their existing customer bases.

Finally, AR helps businesses provide more information about their products. There are many instances of consumers not getting the product they expected, like this piece from 7News showing a British woman receiving a top several times too large. Such instances may prompt customers to return items.


By showing users interactive 3D renderings, buyers know what they’re getting before it’s delivered—reducing returns and maximizing profits.

How AR Improves Ecommerce Tasks in Various Industries


AR applications can improve ecommerce at all points of the customer journey. That includes the awareness stage, which brands usually conduct through online marketing. Here, this emerging technology’s interactive features can create a buzz and virality that gives companies an edge and ensures potential buyers go on to check out their products.

Today, this use case more commonly manifests in the use of social media AR filters, an effective method given that these filters are already a common staple on platforms—starting with the dog ears and nose on Snapchat and evolving to Instagram’s now hefty filter library. Even major brand names are in on the trend. Nike’s “Just Do It” and Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke Virtually” filters, for example, help further strengthen brand awareness. AR can even be used to introduce products to new regions. That’s what happened when L’Oréal Garnier marketed its new skincare products to untapped customer bases in Northern Europe—with an AR filter that allows users to open a serum bottle and enter a serene spa scene.

Product Trials And Placements

Arguably the most critical AR application in ecommerce helps customers try products before purchasing them. It’s especially helpful for industries that offer items you typically need to see in person to get the right fit. One such industry is eyewear. Buying the wrong kind can lead to a poor user experience where glasses and sunglasses are too loose or tight—or come in a style that looks good on its own but not with the buyer’s wardrobe.

That’s where online retailers innovate with virtual try-ons. Case in point, Eyebuydirect allows users to purchase glasses online from various brands with discounts and 24/7 customer service, which are key to the ecommerce experience. However, what makes it stand out is the virtual try-on feature that lets site visitors use a camera or pre-existing image to “wear” various glasses frames. From here, additional on-site measurement guides and options for prescription lenses further ensure the right fit.


This use case proves that if they use AR correctly, even industries that offer such products can provide a more convenient online shopping journey that closely emulates its physical counterpart.

Customer Service

The customer journey ends once the user receives a product—but with AR, it doesn’t have to. Complex items that need confusing manuals to build can frustrate consumers and lead to adverse e-commerce experiences that affect brands. Buyers may instead turn to and build relationships with what they believe to be more reliable sources, as exemplified by the 2022 Layerise article Why Customers Prefer Google and YouTube Over Your Paper Manual.

AR eliminates that problem with the interactive user manual. This innovation is proving especially useful in the furniture retail industry. Industry leader IKEA uses AR to make the assembly process easier for their products: through a phone camera, its app overlays life-size instructions on how to build its furniture pieces right on top of areas in a user’s home. By using AR to give customers all the information they need in one place, businesses can better encourage them to make further purchases in the future.

E-commerce has long been a convenient alternative to physical shopping, and AR is making it an even bigger and standout choice for modern consumers. Want more posts like this? You can learn more about emerging technologies here on Cloudysocial.