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Augmented reality v. virtual reality. Which one is better for my website?

When it comes to e-commerce, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are both game-changers. The new technologies are transforming the way that people shop both online and in-store. They are quickly becoming an attractive selling point for consumers who have grown weary of traditional retail marketing.

AR and VR have their own benefits as it relates to online shopping. They add a certain wow factor to the experience that draws customers in and convinces them to make a purchase.

Both systems can enhance the buying process and their capabilities are being hailed as the future of online shopping. Let’s explore how AR and VR can improve your website.

What is Augmented Reality?

A lot of people use the terms AR and VR interchangeably, but the two are quite different. They each feature unique qualities that make them ideal for e-commerce purposes.

The technology used in augmented reality can take images, sounds, text, and other information and superimpose them on the world we interact with every day.

Think about Pokémon GO, for example. This mobile app uses augmented reality as part of the game to place Pokémon creatures in your current surroundings. As you look through your phone screen to try and locate these elusive critters, it appears as though they are actually in the room with you.

Augmented Reality in Ecommerce

When it comes to e-commerce, AR has several benefits including adding exciting features and interactive tools to your website. Here are some of the ways that AR technology on your website can support customers in their purchasing decisions: 

  • Help customers visualize what your products will look like in their homes
  • Allow customers to “try on” products like clothes, makeup, or jewelry before they purchase
  • Visually show your product in detail to go along with the other product information provided 

Make sure that your AR capabilities are compatible with both mobile and desktop to enhance your SEO ranking. 

What is Virtual Reality?

Unlike AR, VR does not involve the use of our actual current environment. Instead, the technology focuses on employing our five senses to emulate our surroundings. 

For example, VR headsets are a popular technology in gaming, since players can immerse themselves in the worlds of their characters. Virtual reality technologies use three-dimensional, computer-generated conditions to mimic our real world. 

Virtual Reality in Ecommerce

Virtual reality can also provide numerous added benefits to the online shopping experience. Customers can interact with your products from the convenience of their homes, which will have a significant impact on their decision to buy. 

VR technology offers several benefits to your website:

  • Allows you to create virtual showrooms to highlight specific products. It also gives customers the opportunity to virtually test your products before purchasing
  • Let’s you create a virtual version of your stores
  • Removes the hassles of shopping in person

Make sure your VR capabilities are mobile-friendly for users on-the-go.

Is AR or VR Better for my Website?

AR and VR technologies function differently. It would be incorrect to imply that one is better than the other since they actually complement one another. They can be blended to create the ultimate customer experience on your website, allowing users to interact between the real and virtual world. 

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