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In 2018, View in My Roomers, one of the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2018, will be connecting perception and reality, merging digital images with physical space. Consumers will be able to visualise products before they try or buy, both in-store and online.

The arrival of even more sophisticated smartphones in 2017 gives View in My Roomers access to greater functionality, including augmented reality (AR) technology. AR has a wide range of applications in industries and has a great deal of potential in the mainstream consumer space. Consumers are already using AR to try on beauty products or access tutorials at Urban Decay or Sephora. IKEA Place, an AR app, enables consumers to see true-to-scale 3D models of IKEA furniture in their rooms whilst Dulux Visualiser enables consumers to see how their walls would look painted in their colours.

According to a study amongst 15–69-year-olds, conducted by Ericsson ConsumerLab across France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the US, 25% of early adopters believe consumers will be exploring travel destinations through AR by 2018.

The use of AR technology on sites such as Snapchat, for Facebook stories and in games such as Pokémon Go has fostered awareness of the potential capabilities. View in My Roomers want AR incorporated more widely to create immersive experiences. According to a survey conducted by LEK Consulting, 80% of respondents were keen to use AR technology to visualise products digitally in their homes. The rapid uptake of high-performance phones is expected in 2018, as more consumers upgrade and smartphone makers race to incorporate AR technology into their new generation devices.

Bridging the Gap Between Perception and Reality

Internet shoppers able to have a “real” view and dispel any uncertainty may be more likely to proceed with purchases. Consumers can be prone to abandon purchases, particularly for big-ticket items. SalesCycle’s Q3 2017 Remarketing report states that the global cart abandonment rate for this quarter was 78.4%; up 1.5% on the previous quarter. One of the reasons is that consumers struggle to see if a product is what they really want.

For items such as clothing or accessories, consumers who are undecided on what size or colour to buy, often order multiple options and then return the unwanted items. This is a frustrating way to shop, and costly for businesses. AR improves the consumer experience, providing a more lifelike view of the items and facilitates operational efficiencies for businesses by potentially reducing return rates.

‘Try Before I Buy’

In 2018, View in My Roomers will increasingly look for immersive “try before you buy” online shopping experiences, bringing the benefits of in-store shopping into the home.

More retailers are releasing apps for their online shops, due to pressure from customers for more streamlined mobile shopping. Those that incorporate AR technology should expect an uplift in online traffic. View in My Roomers will use apps enabling them to design and decorate rooms without the need to measure rooms or try paint colours on walls before making choices.

In 2018, AR-enabled devices will go mainstream. Apple released its ARKit and Android its new ARCore app in 2017. Retailers are using these to launch their AR platforms. Ikea entered the AR technology space in 2017, launching its Ikea Place app to give consumers online shopping with “real” visibility of many of its furniture products in their homes.

Clothing companies have incorporated AR online shopping apps. Gap’s Dressing Room app allows consumers to choose clothing from its online store and see how it looks on models using generic sizes. In the future, movement towards real body sizing, possibly using online mannequins, will give a more realistic experience for View in My Roomers. In November 2017, Amazon introduced an online real-life product visualisation app called AR View. As these corporate giants make this investment, more companies are expected to follow suit. Companies will also benefit, gaining further insight into and unique data on View in My Roomers’ homes, body types and sizes; not just their buying preferences and habits.

To learn more, download Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2018.

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