Forget tape measures – and even your iPhone’s built in measuring tool – now shoppers can see easily if electrical goods and home appliances will fit into their homes with AO.com’s new AR tool being built into the company’s shopping app.
Online electricals store, AO.com, has launched cutting-edge augmented reality so that customers can see what a product will look like and if it will fit in their homes. AR, which is being introduced on product pages across AO.com, means customers can check whether that dream TV really will look good on the wall without ever leaving the couch or having to download a separate app.
The new functionality, a first for the online retailer, promises to be a real game changer for people looking to purchase electricals online. Whether it’s deciding on the correct size television for a space, checking the colour of a range cooker next to existing kitchen units or ensuring that an American fridge-freezer will fit through a front door, AR will offer customers the opportunity to truly choose the right product for them. AO.com plans to roll this functionally out across the full site, on all product pages as well as across more specific buying guides.
The functionality will be available on the Samsung 55” TV as of today. Customers with an iPhone 6 or above will be able to try this technology by simply clicking the ‘view this product in your home’ button on the product page.
David Lawson, MD of AO.com says. “Augmented reality means customers don’t have to use their imagination or a tape measure to figure out if a product will look right or fit in their home. One of the most common reasons for a product to be returned to AO is because it didn’t fit in the space it was intended for. With augmented reality, customers will now be able to put a product in their home and decide whether it’s the right one for them, meaning they get the product they want quicker and more easily. We have some really exciting developments planned for this technology and hope to have it available across the whole site by the end of the year.”
To mark today’s launch, AO.com’s first augmented reality installation is happening in Waterloo station in London, which promises to bring a fully interactive AO shopping experience to commuters visiting the station over the next two weeks.
AR is certainly something that consumers like. According to research by Gartner, 100 million consumers could be using AR to shop both online and in-store by the end of 2020.
The analyst suggests that AR, along with VR (virtual reality), have moved 15 to 30% further along the Gartner Hype Cycle in 2018 and that 46% of retailers plan, according to a 2018 Gartner survey, to deploy either AR or VR solutions in order to meet customers expectation of both service and the shopping experience.
However, IRUK Top500 research suggests that in 2019 some 2% of Top500 retailers deployed AR in their mobile apps, with retailers from Argos to DFS and Ikea enabling shoppers to see what items from furniture and televisions to Lego models would look like in the user’s home. AO.com now joins this growing throng.