Here at Magentity, we’re always looking to better our offering to our customers and try out the latest technology, but we like to do it with purpose and not for vanity. Don’t get us wrong, we like higher click through rates and lower bounce rates as much as the next digital marketing agency, but in order for us to build a lengthy relationship with our clients, we need to prove our worth. And ultimately, we need to be making sure we’re improving our client’s bottom line. How can we do this? Enter, Augmented Reality…
Compete on the big stage, against sleeping giants 💪
Both Retail and Health and Beauty Industries have implemented augmented reality (AR) as part of their web offering, yet still some of the big players are yet to have implemented virtual try on functionality on their websites. So, is it even worth doing? If some of the big brands aren’t implementing it as part of their strategy, then there is no point in an SME’s implementing it as part of theirs, right? Wrong. Data is indicating that there is a longing for AR within online retail settings, in fact HubSpot state that a staggering 75% of consumers are now expecting retailers to offer an AR experience. So, to put it bluntly, if you’re not embracing AR there is a chance you’re not satisfying 75% of the market, and that goes for the big players to
Not only this, but some of the big brands that have yet to take advantage of AR are practically inviting you to steal their market share. But why are they not embracing it? MD Jason Russell believes it could be due to the size of the companies holding them back: “I’ve worked with a number of high-profile retailers over the years, and what many of them share in common is their slow adaption to changes in the market”. Jason went on to explain that lengthy approval processes can be at fault for this: “When you’re a market leader, you have to try and be an innovator in creating great experiences for your customers but also reactive to new opportunities. You also have to protect the brand, because that’s what has got you in that market leading position. It’s very difficult to be react to opportunities quickly enough whilst considering the potential downfalls upon the brand. This careful consideration of the brands offering tends to slow them down with multiple sign offs and lengthy approval processes. It can also boil down to finances, and whether or not they feel it is financially viable and in alignment with the brand. In some cases, it isn’t”.
Rich media = Rich Conversion Rates 🤑
They say the proof is in the pudding, and we will often testify. Leading Opticians and makers of designer optical glasses and sunglasses, Cutler and Gross, chose Magentity as their digital web development & ecommerce partners, and following analysis of the market we decided to implement this new technology which ultimately led to a generous helping of conversions.
On average, Cutler and Gross have seen a staggering average of 100%+ increase in conversions thanks to Virtual Try (VTO) On functionality on the website. Some months seeing almost 300% increase in conversions, when VTO was used by a site visitor. But don’t take our word for it! There are many other brands that have took the leap into AR and made decent conversions, for instance; L’Oréal saw their conversion rates triple following the introduction of their ModiFace software which allowed users to try on make ups with AR. Papa Johns also saw their conversion rates increase by 25% following the introduction of an AR campaign.
“We wanted to find a flexible solution for virtual try-ons and for Cutler and Gross – Virtooal Magic Mirror ticked all the boxes. It’s great because it plugs in to Magento 2 so seamlessly and it’s really good value for money when you compare it with other solutions on the market. Whats more their customer service is excellent as well and they have refined some of their solution to fit into Cutler and Gross’ sku requirements. Could not be happier!” – MD Jason Russell on the implementation of Virtooal Magic Mirror.
There are also a multitude of other rich media options that you can include on your website that’ll increase conversions, and one of the more established forms of tech which has been widely adopted is 360 photography. 360 photography truly does give the user an access all areas to your product, which can massively reduce purchase hesitancy. As we mentioned earlier, the proof is in the pudding, and 360 photography certainly delivered some excellent results for Cutler and Gross. Following the introduction of 360 photography, that requires taking a picture every 10 degrees of a pair of glasses – so 36 shots per pair, Cutler and Gross saw huge increases in conversions since launch of this additional feature on the product pages. The technology we used here was built into the Magento theme (Claue), so no additional cost at all – a massive reason why we prefer Magento as an ecommerce platform (but that’s another story!).
Yet again, we’re not the only ones to have seen the benefits of 360 photography on conversions. Tool supplier Grainger also saw leaps in the use of 360 photography, with a mammoth 46% increase in conversions following the introduction of it.
AR and 360 photography are lockdown proof and an antidote to returns
The multitude of lockdowns over the past 18 months really shone a light on those whose digital efforts exceeded the rest of the marketplace. It also saw an increase in online sales, and with it, an increase in returns. As we mentioned earlier, it’s incredibly important to look at the client’s bottom line, rather than vanity metrics. Returns have been a massive bug bear for many retailers, and a high percentage of returns can turn that nice looking conversion rate into a not so nice vanity metric. This is the beauty of virtual try on functionality, as stats have shown that it has massively reduced the return rate of some major retailers. Shopify reported a 40% decrease in returns thanks to AR, whereas Macy’s managed to keep their return rate below 2% thanks to virtual try on technology.
With the potential of future lockdowns looming, making this technology available provides a seamless experience for your customer. Ask yourself as a retailer, why do we let customers try on clothes in-store? It’s to make a seamless experience for the customer and also reduce the chance of returns. Fitting rooms allow the customer to see whether their purchase fits and/or suits them. Lockdown will prevent this, so subsidising fitting rooms with AR and 360 technologies can help both the customer and the retailer. These technologies can be an antidote to returns.