December 13th, 2009 | 1 MIN READ

Augmented Reality: An Ecommerce Innovation To Watch

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Econsultancy recently announced the winners of its 2009 Innovation Awards. You have to "see" the winner in the ecommerce category -

Glasses Direct wins for its use of augmented reality tool that allows you to "try on" glasses virtually, and I have to say it looks pretty good, check it out: (email and RSS subscribers, if you can't see the video, click here).

Not only do augmented reality tools help customers make a more confident decision (and improve conversion rates), they also reduce returned merchandise by reducing the risk of ordering something that won't look good in real life.

Rich Relevance has a similar product for apparel called "Fashionista" which it demonstrated at the Summit in Las Vegas. There's no doubt Fashionista is an amazing technology and many of the younger female set will find this fun. But superimposing a 2-Dimensional outfit is not the same as trying on a garment -- I don't think augmented reality for apparel will have the same impact on conversion and return rates.

Augmented reality tools are one more stop in the never-ending quest to make online shopping more like offline, and offline shopping more like online.

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