Table of Contents

Augmented Reality

[2022] Increase holiday sales this season - a guide for every ecommerce store

Team Avataar
Team Avataar
November 22, 2022
minutes read

If you've shopped online, you may have taken advantage of holiday season sales. Similarly, if you're a retailer, this time of year could be crucial for you to increase holiday sales and boost profits. However, it can also be one of the most challenging phases to prepare for.

Some common concerns that retailers face while trying to increase sales on eCommerce websites during the holiday season are:

  • High cost of customer acquisition
  • Low product satisfaction
  • High return rates

Given that categories like electronics jumped more than 100% in online spending last year over the pre-Christmas week, you’ll need to offer your customers the best possible experience. Augmented reality (AR) can help you achieve that. AR can enable shoppers to envision what a product may look like in their home or office. This helps them feel confident while making a purchase, which leads to higher conversion rates, increases satisfaction, and helps build long-term customer value.

Plus, with AR, you can offer interactive experiences that will make your store stand out from the competition, which may help increase holiday sales.

Before we examine the benefits of using an AR tool for eCommerce this holiday season, let's look at some statistics about online sales during holidays.

Holiday Online Sales Statistics

Even after online shopping exploded over the last two years, there was still room to grow last holiday season. A study from Mastercard found that U.S. eCommerce sales increased by 11 percent from the 2020 to 2021 holiday season.

These holiday online sales numbers were quite low, compared to the previous years. In total, eCommerce sales have now jumped more than 60 percent since 2019 as shoppers were forced inside their homes.

Driven by an influx of independent merchants flooding onto the platform, sales on Shopify from the start of Black Friday to the end of Cyber Monday were more than $6.3 billion in 2021.

Interestingly enough, retail sales also increased year over year, meaning merchants may have to prepare for increased demand in both brick-and-mortar locations and online stores.

Augmented reality, then, offers a perfect solution, as AR in retail is also helping boost customer confidence, increase conversion rates, and minimize return rates. Clearly, retailers can use AR to increase holiday sales through their online and physical stores.

Additionally, with the advent of in-store AR, your supply chain and inventory management challenges become a thing of the past. Customers can engage with infinite aisles to see the entire product catalog right in front of their eyes - even if it’s out of stock - and order it to be shipped when it becomes available.

How to Prepare Your eCommerce Platform

Wondering how to increase sales on online stores during the holiday season? When preparing your eCommerce platform for the holiday season, keep the following things in mind:

Get ready early

42% of shoppers are preparing to buy gifts earlier this season. This behavioral change is driven by skyrocketing inflation rates and could affect retailers who aren’t prepared for an early sales rush. However, for those who are prepared, this could be the golden hour to increase holiday sales.

Test the infrastructure

Next, make sure your website can handle an increase in traffic. This means testing the site speed and ensuring that your host can handle the load. You don't want customers getting frustrated and leaving because your site is taking too long to load.

Streamline your store

To increase holiday sales, make sure your product pages are clear and concise, with high-quality product photos and videos. This is especially important if you're selling things like furniture or home decor, as customers want to be able to see what they're buying. Allowing customers to view products in their space with AR helps them make an informed buying decision, which increases sales conversions and can help increase holiday sales.

visual represantation of flower flask in th edining table with the help of mobile

Ditch the tape measure

Finally, use a tool like augmented reality to give shoppers a better idea of what your products look like in real life. This can be especially helpful for products such as furniture items, where customers need to know if it will fit.

They no longer have to jot down numbers and start measuring. With AR, they can simply pull up the AR using their phone camera and see the product right in their personal space!

3d placement of white chair with mobile on christmas

Benefits of AR in Online Shopping

Now that we've looked at some key statistics and tips for preparing your eCommerce store, let's examine how augmented reality can help you increase holiday sales.

Informed buyers

One of the main benefits of using AR is that it allows shoppers to get a better idea of what they're buying. This is especially important for products like electronics, and furniture items, which can often look different in your home than in 2D pictures.

With AR, shoppers can see the television in their house before they buy it. This helps them gain a better sense of how it will look with the rest of their decor. As customers are more likely to buy something if they know they'll be happy with it, your business can use AR to increase holiday sales.

Higher confidence

In addition to helping shoppers make informed decisions, AR can also increase buying confidence. This is because AR allows shoppers to interact with products before they buy. This can help reduce anxiety about making a purchase, which can work wonders to increase holiday sales for your business.

machine 3d visualization with mobile

It also boosts satisfaction, which can drive lifetime value by making more customers return for an additional purchase down the road, or pass along positive reviews about the experience. 

Higher Conversions

Another huge benefit of using AR in online shopping is that it can increase conversions. By allowing your customers to see what a product looks like in real life before they commit to buying it, you can reduce the number of abandoned carts and increase sales.

In fact, AR is expected to increase conversions by a whopping 94%, meaning that if you're not using it, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to increase sales this season and beyond.

Lower return rate

As a result of the increased buying confidence, shoppers are less likely to return items they've purchased.

Holiday returns have been a huge problem for years. The National Retail Federation estimated that 13.3 percent of all merchandise sold during the 2020 holiday season was returned. That accounts for a whopping $101 billion worth of goods. 

By lowering the return rate, AR can significantly boost the net revenue for small and large online retailers.

One study found that size concerns alone account for 52% of all online product returns. This can easily be minimized with AR solutions. 

Increased return on investment

It's not just confidence in a single purchase, though. AR solutions, like the one offered by Avataar, can add value to a shopper's experience, increase holiday sales, build brand loyalty and boost customer lifetime value.

With interactive content, you can educate shoppers on your products in a fun and engaging way. 

This is valuable not only to first-time customers but also to those who are familiar with your brand and want to learn more about your offers. Interactive content can help turn one-time buyers into lifelong fans.

Freedom from clutter

With an out-of-the-box 3D and interactive AR solution for your Shopify and BigCommerce stores, Avataar helps you elevate your customers' buying experiences. Single-click integration allows you to quickly convert your 2D catalog into 3D models, and publish an interactive AR experience on your product page.

With an AR shopping solution in place, you can offer your customers an unmatched shopping experience that keeps bringing them back to your store and helps you increase holiday sales this season

3d visualization of lamp in a room with the help of mobile

Benefits of AR in Physical Retail

Benefits of AR don’t just limit to enhancing online shopping experience. These solutions are now being used in-store as well, giving some added benefits and leveraging your eCommerce supply chain management to boost conversion rates and increase holiday sales at retail locations.

Infinite aisles

The rush of holiday shoppers combined with this year's supply chain troubles, can often leave your shelves empty and the stockroom barren. However, with infinite aisles, your out-of-stock products can also be viewed through AR right in the store. This allows customers to view and purchase any product in your catalog, even if it's not physically in the store.

3d visualization of washing machines in a showroom on tab for black friday sales

This is a great way to increase sales, as customers are no longer limited by what they have in front of them. They can find the perfect gift for anyone on their list, without having to worry about whether you have it in stock. It also reduces the likelihood of them going to a competitor's store to find what they're looking for.

Experience zones

For some people, going to a mall and seeing the surrounding products is part of the fun.

AR experience zones allow customers to build an entire room around them, see how their renovated kitchen could look, or evaluate how a new piece of furniture may look in their living room. You can give them the feeling of a showroom and bring your products to life.

This is a great way to offer your customers a more immersive shopping experience, get them excited about your products, and help increase holiday sales. It can also help build brand loyalty, as customers will remember the positive experience they had at your store and be more likely to come back in the future. The speed of technology may soon bridge the online-offline divide, allowing customers to bring their homes with them to physical stores and use AR to place products in their living space while evaluating different products in the stores.

Final thoughts

As you can see, using AR for your eCommerce store can help increase holiday sales this season. Augmented reality not only provides an interactive and unique shopping experience, it also increases conversion rates.

So if you're looking to give your customers the best possible experience—and increase holiday sales for your business—consider using AR this holiday season and don't be left out in the cold!

We asked our partner, Verbal+Visual (a Shopify Plus agency that works with leading brands such as Jonathan Adler, Kuiu, The Sak, and others), to share some tips for retailers as they prepare for BFCM:

“As you finalise your BFCM strategy, don’t forget: the holiday shopping season is not just about a month of increased sales—it’s about building brand equity for a whole year’s worth of growth. If you connect with your customers and reward them for engaging with your brand, you’ll find yourself ringing in the New Year with a whole new group of enthusiastic brand ambassadors."

Read more about holiday planning from Verbal+Visual here.

Frequently asked questions

How can retailers increase sales this holiday season?

Holidays are around the corner and a great time to sell more. As a retailer, what can you do differently to get maximum footfall and increase your sales? Here are a few tips: 1. Get ready early 2. Test the infrastructure 3. Streamline your store 4. Ditch the tape measure with 3D catalog

How AR Can Boost Sales by Transforming Your Customer Experience

AR can transform the buying journey for shoppers. AR enables customers to see an accurate representation of the product by allowing them to view it from all angles using their phone camera. Customers can experience the look and feel of a product by placing it in their environment and make the right purchase with features such as colour change and dimensions. This improves the customer's understanding of their purchase and leads to fewer returns. With Avataar’s complete and easy-to-use AR platform, you can turn your 2D product images into lifelike 3D products in minutes, not days. With all the time and resources saved, you can allocate your time to other tasks.

How Augmented Reality Can Help Your Brand boost sales?

There are several ways AR can help your brand increase sales and acquire new customers. By providing an immersive shopping experience, AR helps eliminate indecisiveness and encourage customers to hit the ‘Buy’ button right away. With AR integrated into your product catalog, customers can try out your products in the intended environment and see if it meets their expectations. Such experiences are far more likely to convert a lead than conventional ways of online selling.

How Brands can Use Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality can be used across various industries to give customers a first-hand experience of the product or service. Here are a few examples how businesses can benefit from Augmented Reality. Ecommerce retailers can help customers visualize the product in the intended environment for a better shopping experience. Tourism businesses can use Augmented Reality to give clients a virtual tour of the destination before they even reach there. Retail stores can use AR to create infinite product aisles with no limitation of physical space or use Hologram-based sales assistants for product demos. Restaurants can use augmented reality to let diners see their dish virtually on the table before placing an order. Using AR in this respect can help diners decide what to order and how much to order, eliminating the element of surprise and complaints. Museums can display the same artifacts in augmented reality across multiple locations.

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