Amazon is Struggling to Keep Up with the Swanky E-commerce Tech Market in Asia
The launch of AR/VR products can make it easier for Amazon to adopt e-commerce moderations in Asia
It is a world marked by the producers trying to entice the consumers in any which way they can. What better way to do it than to use state-of-the-art technology for an immersive experience! The enticement is at its best when the marriage takes place between the up-end tech and e-commerce, especially in Asia and its population. This is precisely what is happening now with the use of Augmented Reality (AR) in the consumer industry to convince potential customers about the products on sale and to grab the highly competitive tech market. The global e-commerce mega-firm Amazon has recently stepped into the world of AR to woo customers primarily to buy shoes, and also eyewear, and T-shirts.
To view the shoes, one has to open the phone camera and scan the QR code by using Amazon’s iOS shopping app (models7 and newer versions). The company promises to bring Android users into the loop soon in the tech market. With simulated screen images one can make every possible movement by wearing the shoes and can see them from various angles. Though not a sizzling tool, it provides scope to test different models and colors. Amazon suggests that the customers, including the ones in Asia, are free to use social media and send the images to their friends. There is a promise of some privacy in the sense that the customer-specific images are only stored in the customer’s device and Amazon does not upload or store them.
Amazon, however, is not the only one to bring AR into e-commerce. Nor is it playing a pioneering role in this regard. There are others in the fray like the counterparts of Asia like Alibaba and Shoppe. Snap is also putting AR quite aggressively on its retail radar. Its AR SDK (software development kit) is to bring catalog-powered shopping lenses into the retailer’s own product pages to allow their customers to virtually try on their clothing, accessories, shoes, and more. Initially, the feature works on iOS and Android apps, but Snap proposes to do it on websites soon to gain a competitive edge in the global tech market. Also, while Amazon only concentrates mainly on shoes there is an array of home and office products, including furniture, electronic goods, decorative items, games, and toys. This effectively means that for whatever reason Amazon has made a rather late entry to the show.
Another point worth noting is that the “Virtual Try-on Shoes” facility is now limited to the US and Canada. Asia, which itself is a huge market with rich states like Japan and South Korea and the world’s two most populous countries like China and India is left out of Amazon’s AR-retail market ambit. Several forecasts point out that the AR/VR industry and the allied market in Asia will grow much in the coming years. It has been predicted in the tech market that AR revenues will overtake VR (Virtual Reality) revenues in China by 2024. This is something that Amazon cannot afford to ignore. But with competitors around, it may be a struggle ahead for Amazon.
AR as an interactive experience of the real-world environment on a digital platform is gradually entering our everyday life from the hitherto domain of entertainment and this is proved by the way it makes its presence felt in the e-commerce market. If Amazon has to retain its high place in the expanding tech market it also has to take Asia into account. As it is said, better late than never!