User Experience Innovation in e-Commerce
Businesses are always looking to optimise the user experience to give themselves a competitive advantage. This is especially true in rapidly evolving industries such as the e-commerce market. Nobody knows exactly where the evolution of technology will take e-commerce over the next five, ten, or twenty years, but for brands looking to strengthen their current day digital sales experience, the team at HoloMe is ready to provide you with the revolutionary next step in the advancement of online retail.
Through a strategic partnership with ASOS, a leading UK based online fashion retailer, HoloMe plans to put human holograms into augmented reality. More than 150 ASOS products will be showcased on digital models that have been projected into the real world through customers’ mobile devices.
Based on their reputation and track record of giving customers the most advanced and intuitive digital retail experience, it no surprise that ASOS is working with HoloMe to further revolutionize their online sales interface. The user experience (UX) offered by an online retailer is one of the key differentiators between competitors. Businesses want to provide the most convenient and user-friendly UX to steal market cap from other retailers offering similar products.
ASOS is a brand that understands the importance of UX. Their partnership with HoloMe provides a concrete example of ASOS striving to achieve an unmatched UX. The competition between firms attempting to build the strongest digital experience for their customers is the force behind much of the progress in online technologies.
To fully appreciate the advancement of online commerce and the impact HoloMe’s augmented reality technology is set to make, let’s first refresh our understanding of the e-commerce timeline.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
The year is 1991. Michael Jackson just released “Black or White,” Macaulay Culkin is starring in “Home Alone,” and your local news station just reported the launch of something called the World Wide Web.
At the time of inception, the creators of the World Wide Web imagined a future where the web connected scholars and served as a forum for high society. If you have spent any time online in the last 30 years, you know this isn’t exactly how the adoption of the internet played out.
Despite the divergence from its original intention, the creation of the world wide web has proven to be one of, if not the, most important developments of the last few decades. Fast forward to 1994 and Netscape has just released Navigator, which would become the first web browser widely used by the general public. This allowed for companies like Pizza Hut to begin offering a service called “online ordering”. This effectively gave birth to the e-commerce industry.
Early adopters of online shopping were met with all the joys of the web in the 90s: text-based product listings, dial-up internet, and computers the size of cabinets. Soon enough countless start-ups, based around websites, started to pop up and many companies began to develop an online presence – the dot com bubble was just getting started.
The following year Ebay was created and a small online book retailer named Amazon made their first sale.
Over the years, these two companies have dramatically evolved and supplemented much of their online UX with technologies and software designed to improve how users interact with their sites. In recent years, Amazon has specifically proven how the adoption of disruptive new technologies can generate massive growth for innovative companies.
The user experience that the World Wide Web offers has continued to improve in large part due to businesses adopting ground-breaking technologies and software that provide their users the best experience possible.
The advancement of the internet and online retail happened so quickly that it has taken less than twenty years (1994 – 2012) for online business-to-consumer sales to top $1 trillion dollars.
The reality of today’s e-commerce industry consists of billions of people around the world, browsing countless websites, sharing beautiful visuals, and making millions of high-speed transactions per day from mobile devices.
It has taken a great deal of innovation and R&D to give consumers the user experience present in today’s online shopping interface, but there is still room left to innovate. Although online retail has grown at a blistering pace, traditional retail continues to dominate e-commerce and accounts for over 85% of all retail sales world-wide.
For e-commerce to continue to steal market share from brick-and-mortar retail, further technology needs to be developed and adopted in an effort to bridge the gap between the in-store shopping experience and that of an online retailer – technology like A/R virtual models.
ASOS’s Role in the Progression of User experience
One of the largest advantages traditional retail has over e-commerce is the ability to gain a true understanding of the attributes of a product. This is especially true for the fashion industry, where customers care a great deal about the size, shape, colour, texture, and scale of the products they wish to buy.
As a trailblazer in the online fashion industry, ASOS has continually been working to reduce this discrepancy and generate an online user experience that is better than in-store shopping.
The goal of UX design is to create an efficient and all-around enjoyable experience for the end user. This can be accomplished in many ways but for ASOS, much of the focus has been on how customers view and interact with their products.
ASOS was one of the first brands to list their products alongside videos of models wearing the clothing for sale. ASOS discovered that by creating a more life-like UX, sales and engagement of products greatly increased.
The plan for ASOS to administer HoloMe’s AR technology provides another opportunity to analyse how improving the user experience results in an increase to customer acquisition and conversion, which are two strong drivers of sales.
What HoloMe is offering to businesses is an opportunity to create stronger engagement with consumers through the use of human models projected into the real world. Our brief discussion of the history of e-commerce highlights the advancement of online technology over time along with how beneficial it is for disruptive businesses to implement new technologies early on.
Adopting cutting edge technology, such as AR, not only helps a company’s bottom line by improving sales, but has the added benefit of branding your business as an innovator that is tirelessly working to bring customers the best experience possible.