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Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that overlays virtual elements in the real world. This creates an immersive experience that merges the physical and digital worlds. As AR grows, you can use this technology to reach your goals. You can increase customer experience and engagement and decrease dropout and return rates.

But, before going further, let’s take a step back if you don’t know this technology. After that, we can analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using AR applications, WebAR, and AR marketplaces.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is a technology that adds virtual objects to our environment. Users can interact with these 3D objects through the use of AR in a way that feels natural. Almost it would be by seeing the real items.

There are three different ways how users can use Augmented Reality. The first is through an application. Instead, the second one is through their browsers. And the last is through an AR marketplace. We are going to explain the difference in the following rows.

AR Application: A Standalone Experience

An AR application is a regular app that runs on a smartphone or tablet. The app uses the camera and sensors of the device to overlay virtual objects in the real world.

The degree of engagement and immersion offered by AR applications is one of their main benefits. Since AR applications may use all of the device’s features, including the touch screen, accelerometer, and gyroscope, they offer a high level of interactivity and can be very immersive.

Some examples are Pokémon GO and IKEA Place.

Another advantage is that, when compared to other AR technologies, AR applications can be more complex and feature-rich.

However, there are some disadvantages to AR applications. They necessitate downloading and installing the app, which takes time and space on the user’s device.

Web-based Augmented Reality — WebAR

WebAR is a technology that displays Augmented Reality content in the browser without downloading an app. It can be accessed via a URL link and run on any device with a camera and a web browser.

WebAR has the significant advantage of being accessible and capable of running on any device, which makes it more accessible to a broader range of users. For example, it also works with QRcode.

Because the users do not need to download an app or have a specific type of device, it is a convenient and accessible way to experience AR. But, WebAR, on the other hand, has some limitations. It has browser compatibility and device capabilities limitations, which can affect the quality and interactivity of the AR experience.

Augmented Reality
Image by vectorjuice on Freepik

AR Marketplace: A Great Opportunity for e-Commerce

An AR marketplace is a platform that provides a space for your 3D objects. You can upload your products and sell them to users using Augmented Reality experiences on their devices.

One of the critical advantages of AR marketplaces is that they provide a unique app for AR products to sell to potential customers. This can lead to a thriving AR ecosystem with broad benefits for you and the users.

An Augmented Reality marketplace offers you the advantages of an application, and users won’t bother downloading it. Why?

The why is what we can consider a “disadvantage”. Because being a marketplace, there won’t be just your products but also your competitors’ products in a single app. This can make it difficult for new e-commerce to stand out and be discovered by users.

But so, which option should you choose?

Choosing the Right AR Solution for You

Finally, each of the three AR solutions – AR applications, WebAR, and AR marketplaces – has advantages and disadvantages. Only your specific needs and goals will determine your best solution.

An AR application may be the best option if you want a highly immersive and interactive AR experience. WebAR may be the right choice if you want an accessible AR experience that works on any device. In the end, an AR marketplace could be the right platform for you to reach more customers.

Obviously, each of these solutions doesn’t exclude the other. You can combine them. For example, you can use WebAR and the AR marketplace to be more competitive.

Augmented Reality is growing fast and brings many benefits to e-commerce and business. These benefits include brand loyalty, customer retention, engagement, customer experience, improving sales, and reducing dropout and return rates.

In conclusion, you can learn more about Augmented Reality and how you can use it to enhance your customer engagement by downloading our free paper. Or, if you don’t know what solution to adopt, you can book a call with our team.

I'm Antonio Furioso the founder of Eyedex. I have a strong passion for Augmented Reality. I'm also a curious person that likes solving problems and knowing people's stories. If I can do something to help, just contact me!