Retailers need to invest in ‘visualisation’ technology to boost online sales

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Almost half of shoppers would spend more online if they had access to technology that helps them to better visualise and understand how products work, without having to go in store to see them, according to new research.

The survey of 1,000 shoppers, conducted by e-commerce agency PushON, found that 45% of people would be more inclined to spend larger amounts online if technology was available that could help them better envisage products online before they buy.

Specifically, 40% of consumers would like to use Augmented Reality (AR) technology to test a product before they buy it, such as via an app that would allow them to place virtual images of products over a real-word view – this way, they can get a feel for how it will look in real life.

Technology seems to hold many of the answers when it comes to encouraging more people to shop online for higher-value purchases. Over half of shoppers (52%) think retailers should invest in technology that enables a better omnichannel experience, so the shopping journey is seamless in store and online.

Two-fifths (41%) would like to see improved online security so they know their money is safe when making expensive purchases – this would make people feel more assured to spend larger sums online. 32% would like to use online services, such as Artificial Intelligence chatbots, so they can get instant answers to their questions, and 17% want to see one-click online shopping to make checking-out easier.

PushON managing director Sam Rutley said: “Technology has been one of the main driving forces behind the transformation of retail over the past few years – it’s the reason we no longer have to just go into stores to buy products.

“By utilising technology, such as digital chatbots that can act as online customer service assistants or AR apps to help visualise products, retailers will be able to provide shoppers with the same level of service and information they would get in store. This will go a long way towards increasing consumer buying confidence through the higher levels of assurance this technology can offer, meaning they’ll feel comfortable spending more online.

“Technology is the future and retailers can’t afford to ignore the changes that are happening within the sector – particularly when consumers themselves have clocked on to the benefits of investing in it.”

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