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Augmented reality set to enhance e-commerce experience

30 March 2017 - 08:52 by Mike Price

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Online retail giant, Amazon, is seeking to revolutionise the way consumers shop online once again with the introduction of augmented reality (AR) technology.

This is according to sources quoted by the New York Times who claim that the firm is working on combining AR with e-commerce so that people can get a better idea of how products they buy will fit into their homes before they have even arrived.

Observers have described the use of this tech as being similar to playing popular video games franchise The Sims, albeit using real world locations. Shoppers will be able to add large items including sofas, kitchen appliances and tables to their homes thanks to a virtual overlay, presumably through the use of smartphones or VR headsets.

The clear aim behind this is to make sure that customers are more likely to commit to buying bulkier items via safe shopping online, rather than stepping back from making a purchase because of lingering uncertainties left by the current e-commerce experience.

Speculation suggests that this could also hint at Amazon’s intentions to launch its own VR headset, perhaps with a gaming angle in mind, which would also tie in with its retail ambitions.

There are even rumours of Amazon’s plans to open bricks and mortar stores which would sell furniture and appliances, presumably in order to make it easier for the firm to supply them to shoppers who are unconvinced by the AR tech.

Of course, Amazon is well known for producing own-brand electronics, including the Kindle e-reader and the Echo speaker, so it would not be out of the ordinary for it to embrace new parts of the market, especially if they offer the prospect of improving its retail sales as an impressive side effect.