5.2 visualize an enhanced view. These make the customers

5.2
Benefits of Augmented Reality

5.2.1 Provide
in-store shopping experience through e-commerce

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Augmented reality is a platform that
offers a useful experience and incredible value to be delivered to the shoppers
and adds value to the procurement process. Augmented reality in e-commerce
visually brings virtual products into real physical environments for user
interaction which particularly provide the users with an in-store shopping
experience and interactive buying experience, regardless of their location,
through the superimpose 3D models in various spaces by the devices. Retailers
of all stripes have adopted augmented reality to alter where and how they sell
the products regarding the goals of their companies and the needs of customers
as more consumers opt for an authentic and enhanced digital shopping experience (Mekni &
Lemieux, 2014).

These offer the customers an opportunity
and amazing indoor experience at home to interact with digital renderings. For
instances, customers can visualize the products of IKEA in real-time at home, such
as furniture, through the available application provided in the smart devices. The
users can physically move around in their environment to see how the products
fit in their space from different viewpoints and move markers around in their
environment to move the virtual products to different locations in their
environment to help them make their buying decisions. The customers can save
the time in their online shopping process by narrowing their choices without
any doubts (Pantano, 2014).

 

 

 

 

5.2.2 Enhance user
confidence level for buying decisions

Augmented reality in e-commerce offers
higher confidence level to the shoppers with high-fidelity prototype in order
to speed up the process compared to those who experience online shopping with a
traditional e-commerce system (Sa & Churchill, 2012). It is extremely vivid
and presents the products in a real scale efficiently relative to the
environment and provides the capability to them to see the fitness of the
online products in the real environment through the views from different
perspectives. Augmented reality applications enable augmentation of a product
by scanning it with a smart device that can visualize an enhanced view. These
make the customers have much more correct judgments with the evaluated products
information such as color and size and determine whether the products can match
very well in the real world (Javornik, 2016).

Augmented reality in e-commerce assists
to motivate purchasing decisions by the customers by providing additional
information in real time in a defined position or in a specific environment
which do not require them to step out from the home and look for products. Real-time
information and details such as price of the actual physical product are
available to be viewed either through a computer or a smart device after
retailers have integrated augmented reality into their online stores. This is
an effective alternative way of physical store which can let the customer to
try out their desire products such as shoes, clothes, furniture, and cosmetics from
different angles and views although they cannot hold the physical products on
their hands. These will not merely boost the sales in order to gain higher
profitability and customer loyalty but also will reduce the possibility of
products return in reverse logistics1.

5.2.3 Cost and time savings

Augmented reality has been implemented
by most of the companies in e-commerce for supporting virtual prototyping that
minimize the number of physical prototype construction which is costly and
time-consuming (Hendriks, Blok, & Kahlhofen, 2015). The cost of entry
for augmented reality in e-commerce is relatively low. Retailers do not require
huge monetary investments on the technology to implement augmented reality
compared to large and interactive screens of technologies such as digital
signage and touch points in storefront windows due to augmented reality in
e-commerce can be mainly supported by a smartphone with the installed mobile
applications. These can be an incentive for both small and huge retailers with
smaller budgets who have adopted mobile technologies with augmented reality in
e-commerce without hefty price for attracting their customers driven by their
expectation to figure out entertaining elements and supporting tools that able
to enhance the quality of online shopping experience and customer satisfaction (Pantano, 2014). 

In addition, augmented reality has been
implemented, especially in retail industries, to save a lot of costs in
expanding business to new locations without building any physical branches or
stores. Virtual stores have been set up to replace the physical stores in order
to save the cost of real-estate payment. The customers can walk through virtual
aisles, select items by tapping on the screens and adding the desire items to
the cart2.

 

 

                   

5.2.4 Novelty to
retails

Incorporating augmented reality is an
immediate way for retailers to stand out from the pack through the
technological innovations and developments. Those retailers that reap the
biggest benefits of augmented reality will be the ones willing to invest
resources early and fully commit to the technology in the real world. Augmented
reality in e-commerce allows the retailers to gain visibility and prestige that
can be spread through word of mouth in order to increase the sales and customer
value (Pantano, 2014).

The retailers who have adopted augmented
reality in e-commerce is able to differentiate and distinguish themselves from
the competitors by allowing the shoppers to visualize and try the items or
products in real time in their actual size and environment before making an
actual purchase. Customers are anxious for the breakthrough that will finally
remove uncertainty from the buying process such as poor photo availability. The
shoppers will conduct online shopping more if they are able to interact with
the products virtually. The retailers not only can retain their existing
customers but also can attract new customers (Pantano, 2014).

 

5.2.5 Product
customization

Augmented reality in e-commerce allows
the customers to customize their products by offering a fully personalized digital
shopping experience. Augmented reality has the potential to deliver these
personalized services to the masses. The users are strongly desire for this
sort of digital customization, whether it be an app that allows them to test
out different color combinations of the products. Updated information on
consumers’ behaviors in terms of both purchases and accessed products which
able to memorize both visualized products that have purchased and also do not
purchased by the consumers can be obtained easily in specific databases
integrated with informative systems that support the access to
consumer-computer interactions. These are useful for retailers to extract
knowledge about developing customized selling strategies and advertising as
well as understanding market trends about the factors that influence consumers’
decision making process (Pantano, 2014).

 

5.3
Limitations of Augmented Reality

5.3.1 Intense
Competition

To offer long-term value to the
customers, most of the companies have to face the challenges to design an
effective and usable service for gaining the competitive advantage. Between
physical and online marketplaces, intense competition is being waged within
most verticals. Some organizations feel pressured to create their own unique
take on augmented reality. They might find it makes sense to invest in smaller
companies to do the work for them. For instance, Sephora app has employed
ModiFace technology to allow the users to take a selfie and then apply a
variety of cosmetic products to their faces (Sa & Churchill, 2012).

 

5.3.2 Continuous technological
advancement

The hardware or device used for
augmented reality system in e-commerce should be small, light, has long-life
battery, fast and easily portable to display graphics to face the mobility
challenges due to the system has to deal with mass amount of useful, accurate
and reliable information in reality in order to filter the information and
expose it in a convenient way by discarding useless data (Mekni & Lemieux, 2014).

Lack of flawless working tracking
technologies for capturing and detecting the face region, movement and position
of the users and objects will lead to unsuccessful augmented reality devices to
be functioned well. Real-time processing can slow down the performance of
augmented reality applications. The users are unable to imagine usage scenarios
effectively if there is too little interaction. Challenges derive from smaller
screen sizes on smart devices that offer reduced objects for content
presentation and interactive elements (Sa & Churchill, 2012). Accurate tracking
is very important in augmented reality system due to tracking error may cause
an obvious misalignment between virtual and real objects in the real
environment (Rabbi & Ullah, 2013).

Moreover, technologies for perfect
virtual product display is a crucial requirement to face the visualization
challenges which include display issues, contrast, resolution, brightness, and
field of view. For instance, color display between augmented reality and the
actual product should be same that there is not allow for any color
differences.  Hence, continuous
improvements of technologies have to be carried out resulting in perfect
functionality of augmented reality in e-commerce for convincing more customers (Hendriks, Blok, & Kahlhofen, 2015).

 

5.3.3 Social
Acceptability

        Learn to use
the applications that related to usability of augmented reality devices is
challenging for the new users especially for the senior citizens to find
interaction features and interaction paths cumbersome. A lot of the users, even
savvy smart-phone aficionados, are not aware of what services and applications
are available regarding augmented reality in e-commerce which indicated low
discoverability. In addition, the customers unclear about the value of offering
services and applications regarding augmented reality in e-commerce beyond
immediate entertainment due to low interpretability of the users about those
values (Sa & Churchill, 2012).

5.3.4 Security

        Augmented
reality applications in the smart devices allow the users to access and view related
public information of the desire objects at anytime and anywhere. Privacy could
be challenged by the users who share personal information to the public that
showed transparency in order to gain ease of use or maximum convenience of a
product or service. Augmented reality mobile systems should be privatized and
do not provide the ability of sharing information that displayed information
should not be viewed by others unless get the permit from the users (White, Schmidt, & Golparvar-Fard, 2014).

 

1
Refer to http://www.cillium.com/pdf/Augmented_Reality_and_Retail_Shopping.pdf

2
Refer to http://www.cillium.com/pdf/Augmented_Reality_and_Retail_Shopping.pdf