Shoppers eager for e-commerce benefits from AR and voice
- Consumers are keen to use technology that enhances online shopping experiences, according to the results of a new survey from digital marketing agency adtaxi, which reported that 66% of respondents purchase something online at least once a month, and 52% of e-commerce shoppers spend as much or more online as in physical stores.
- Augmented reality (AR) is presenting a bigger opportunity for commerce. While 10% of respondents said they have used an AR app, 67% of those people said they would never shop in a store again if AR made that possible.
- The use of voice assistants are on the rise for e-commerce, with 24% of the survey respondents saying they have used one to make a purchase. Privacy, however, is an issue for respondents, as 64% said they are concerned about voice-activated smart devices spying on them. However, 46% said this concern would not stop them from purchasing one, according to Adtaxi.
These days, shoppers want their e-commerce activities to be easy, seamless and fast. Retailers adopting an omnichannel model encourage this online sales growth, Evan Tennant, national director of e-commerce at Adtaxi said in comments sent by email to Retail Dive. "Retailers adopting the web-rooming mindset; treating all sales channels equal, making returns easy, offering buying online with the option to pickup in store, easy mobile checkouts and more personalized content have all contributed to this growth in online consumer confidence." he said.
Mobile apps are becoming more popular for e-commerce than SMS text messages. Sixty-five percent of the sample said they’ve used mobile apps for shopping, mainly because they are easy to use, as cited by 51%, and save time, said 19%. But 82% of respondents would not consider receiving text messages from brands, even if they are personally relevant. "Mobile apps allow the merchant to weave storytelling and marketing into one branded interface, providing the consumer with the best experience possible," Tennant said. This allows merchants to offer a variety of promotions, technology and personalization to the consumer.
For now, voice assistants are regarded by consumers as best for "lightweight" purchasing decisions, like items from a grocery list kept by the voice-assisted device, Tennant said. Ordering toothpaste, relish and coffee isn’t hard for consumers to embrace, but buying a sophisticated item, like a major electronic device such as a large-screen TV, is another matter. Most assume they have to give up some privacy to learn, explore and shop on the web, but a device that can potentially record personal conversations and use that data to predict consumer behavior is not something people will accept.
Augmented and virtual reality technologies offer a new level of convenience to shoppers in overcoming an old obstacle to online shopping: the fear of something not fitting. The technologies boost shoppers’ confidence in purchasing decisions. “AR has come a long way in the last 18 months. I expect to see many online retailers offering full VR suites of capabilities within the next two years that only increase consumer confidence in online purchases,” Tennant said.