Global Market Insights predicts that the augmented reality market will nearly double in size by 2024 with the vast majority of companies utilising some form of augmented reality to connect with and engage their customers.
Formex Watches, a Switzerland-based watchmaker that sells only online, is embracing the technology, which allows its customers to see what different watches and straps look like on the wrist before they buy.
Raphael Granito, Formex CEO, says that AR has evolved considerably since Pokémon Go grabbed our attention in the summer of 2016, demonstrating how keen consumers were to embrace this new technology.
The rapid and ever-increasing growth of online shopping is giving traditional bricks and mortar stores a run for their money. But despite all the upsides to ecommerce it does face a particularly uphill challenge and that is how to sell a product that a potential customer cannot interact with or see how it might fit them or look in their home.
This is where a well-designed augmented reality app perfectly complements the online shopping experience. According to Invesp Infographic at least 30% of all online purchases are returned, so AR that enables the customer to try before they buy can contribute to better purchasing decisions and therefore reduce returns.
Formex Watches were confronted by this issue when Mr Granito moved the business from a bricks and mortar operation to a completely online business model.
Wanting to enhance the online buying experience for its customers, Formex developed an app that projects a realistic image of their watches onto the user’s wrist.
This gives a real-life “feel” and look that the customer is wearing one of their timepieces and allows them to interact with the product. The customer is able to try out all their models with different watch bands and lets them see the watches from any angle. This kind of interaction brings to the online experience some of the sensory elements involved in making a purchase that used to only be available in the ‘real’ world.
Mr Granito says he found people are still hesitant to buy watches without having had them on their wrist. “This led us to develop our app so that customers can get a feel for our watches and therefore place their order with confidence,” he adds.