Augmented reality and the future of eCommerce

The trend toward more use of augmented reality is not just occurring in the brick-and-mortar world. Top eCommerce providers also have opportunities to leverage AR capabilities in their online operations.

The following is an overview of how eSellers can integrate augmented reality into their businesses, along with insights on the potential AR holds in the future of eCommerce.

Offer Visual Merchandising

The inability to provide a tangible visual-merchandising experience is one of the greatest deficiencies of eCommerce relative to brick-and-mortar stores. Even with images and video, you cannot give customers a genuine three-dimensional perspective on how a particular product fits into their lives. That is, you cannot do so without AR.

AR technology now enables your customers to create computer-generated objects that provide insight on the appearance of a solution within their home or office. Furniture buyers often prefer to go into a store to see what a sofa looks like. With AR, they can project the piece of furniture into the space it would occupy to see how it fits and looks in the actual setting. In some ways, this scenario is better than seeing the piece of furniture sitting in a staged display in the store.

Social Media Filters

Social media filters are a simple but profound way in which eCommerce providers have been leveraging augmented reality for a while. Most recognized on Snapchat, social media filters allow providers to design and distribute branded image backgrounds that users can share with selfies.

Social filters are known for benefits of authenticity, as your brand can align itself discretely with a user’s natural inclination to share clever images with friends. You can promote with geotargeting on Snapchat for as low as $10 with a branded filter.

Virtual Aisles

The in-store experience is one reason that some shoppers prefer to visit stores. Thanks to AR technology, eSellers can overcome this obstacle by creating virtual stores. You can create an app that allows a user to shop virtual aisles and actually identify products on shelves just as they would in a brick-and-mortar environment.

A simple click-to-buy feature allows users to easily add items to their shopping carts without having to exit the virtual aisles.

Virtual Goods

Augmented reality allows creative eSellers to engage in the sale of virtual goods as well. Just as virtual currency is valued in mobile gaming, tech-savvy consumers are enamored with the ability to afford virtual goods that replicate expensive physical products. The popular mobile car-racing game CSR2 allows players to project images of cars owned in the game. This example illustrates the possibilities for expansion within virtual eCommerce in the coming years.


The growth of augmented reality is only going to continue as companies continue to advance the technology and create unique ways to leverage it. Top eSellers can overcome common disadvantages of competing with brick-and-mortar counterparts by integrating AR into their business. Your customers enjoy the opportunity to utilize new technology and blend the convenience of home-based shopping with visual merchandising previously restricted to stores.


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