To stem the tide of e-commerce returns, retailers need 3D, AR | Customer service


Rob Weaver, Chief Revenue Officer of Vertebrae, explains why more retailers than ever are turning to immersive commerce experiences that use augmented reality and 3D to enhance online offerings and how technologies are having a much wider impact on retailers. business results.

Returns have long weighed on retailer profit margins, and in the age of e-commerce, the net of reverse transactions has become a flood.

But merchants can take advantage of online support by using innovations in 3D and augmented reality to tackle the cause of returns and stem the costly tide.

Reimbursed transaction fees, lost revenue, returned unusable merchandise, and processing costs add up to more than $ 300 billion in returns, or roughly 8% of total U.S. retail receipts. Forecasters predict an even greater increase in returns in the wake of the global pandemic: To accommodate store closures and reopens, some retailers are temporarily lengthening the return window, while exponential growth in online shopping drives a Exponentially higher return rate – anywhere from 15-30% as of January.

To counteract rising return rates, some retailers have attempted to “count” the number of orders that customers can return. After all, around 20% of online returns are due to buyers who have ordered multiple sizes of the same item to try on at home, with the full intention of returning the rejected items.

But retailers would be better off tackling the root cause of this customer practice: the inability to size, hold, and purchase items prior to purchase. A recent Vertebrae consumer survey found that the inability to physically experience products remains the biggest barrier to shopping online, with almost 6 in 10 respondents concerned about item suitability and 58% missing the item. ability to touch or smell the products.

By allowing item views in detail and in real context, 3D and AR can address these concerns – and thus not only convince buyers to buy, but help them select the right item the first time.

Answer questions at key times on the way to purchase

Current mobile operating systems, social media platforms, and web browsers support built-in AR and 3D images, meaning buyers don’t need to interrupt product review and review. research to download an app before using immersive tools. Using modern design techniques, product pages can display 3D and AR assets based on buyers’ device types and screen sizes, providing consumers with every possible opportunity to view items in context and select the size or style appropriate to their needs.

Provide precise size and scale for virtual try-on

Not only modern smartphones and web browsers can support transparent viewing of 3D and AR assets, but those with a front-facing depth camera (like iPhones released in the past three years) can see virtual objects like glasses, hats and handbags dynamically mapped to their individual proportions, for a very accurate picture in size and scale, even when they move. Almost one in four respondents to the Vertebrae survey requested this feature to help boost their buying confidence.

Vertebrae CADDIS customer set up a virtual trial of their eyewear specifically to reduce returns, with co-founder Steve Genzler stating: The product is good for them, before we ship it. “

Allow virtual placement in physical worlds

Larger items, from luggage to lounge chairs, can also benefit from AR tools that help shoppers assess whether the size is right for their actual environment. Using AR, buyers can virtually place items in their home or on their patio and even walk around the life-size images to get a feel for the scale and assess whether the items match the style of the rest of the environment. , thus ensuring that there will be no unpleasant surprises when the delivery truck arrives and avoids the costly process of returning bulky items.

3D capabilities that allow buyers to reposition themselves and zoom in on virtual product renderings help them see features they might otherwise be missing. They can assess whether electronic equipment has the right ports, whether luggage closures are locked, or whether the hat brims are wide, ensuring that products meet their needs in great detail before placing orders.

AR and 3D are revolutionizing shopping with immersive experiences that provide crucial contextual cues to shoppers. Retailers can use 3D and AR tools to build trust, ensure accurate product reviews, and encourage purchase of the right items for shoppers, avoiding disappointment and the high cost of returns.

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