The retail sector has transformed in the past few years. Retail stores are using modern methods to transform the retail experience. Both traditional retail giants and small retail stores have introduced several new methods and employed them to great success.
One of the ways they are changing the retail landscape is by introducing new technologies into the sector. Augmented reality is one of them.
Augmented reality is the technology that combines the virtual with the real. It overlays virtual objects onto the real world, which users can then view on a screen.
The technology has proven itself in several industries since its inception. The retail industry can now count itself as one among them. Retailers today are working with augmented reality app development companies to deliver interactive experiences to customers.
Augmented reality refers to technology that overlays 2D or 3D digital content such as sounds, visuals over physical real-world objects. As the word “augmented” suggests, AR involves enhancing actual real-world views with additional virtual content. Some of the well-known examples of AR technology in use are location-based games like Pokemon GO, filters on Snapchat, and shopping apps like the Ikea Catalog, all of which use smartphone cameras to place virtual objects over a real-world view.
Augmented reality in E-commerce
Retailers can offer the convenience of buying online while delivering certain aspects of the traditional store experience.
Retailers can develop AR applications of their own, in which they can showcase their products. At their homes, customers can augment these products onto their surroundings. Once they find a product they like, customers can visit a real brick-and-mortar store to see the said product first-hand and make the purchase. They do not have to roam around and try many different products. They’ll just have to walk in, see the products they already like and walk out with the product in hand.
Several companies are now implementing this approach. Among them is IKEA.
Using their AR application named IKEA Place, customers can augment various IKEA products into their living space. The augmented models will be true to scale, so customers can see whether a particular product suits their living space. Users can browse through and try several IKEA products before committing to a purchase.
AR is helping many businesses to offer the customer with a personalized experience touch while shopping. The user can shop without any compromise when it comes about interests and choice.
Moreover, AR is improving the shopping experience with virtual dimensions and colors of the products. AR can support users who are looking for help to find which item is best suitable for them.
Customers would prefer to have as much information about the products they are buying before making a purchase. They would love to get in-depth details of products, reviews from other customers, etc., before committing to a purchase.
Thanks to augmented reality, customers can now get the same informative shopping experience at retail stores. At the stores, customers can get in-depth details of the products they are interested in by scanning various markers placed around.
American Apparel is one company that has successfully implemented this. In some of their stores, customers can get details regarding the products in front of them, like various color variants, reviews from other customers, star ratings, etc., by just scanning markers on their smartphones.
In certain other retail stores, customers can try on various products virtually. Many of them are clothing stores, who have uses virtual fitting rooms alongside real ones.
Timberland and Top Shop are two among them. Customers can try on their various products by standing in front of a screen in their stores. The screen will then overlay clothes onto the customer’s body. Without trying on a single dress, customers can find the right clothes for them.
Augmented reality has also helped marketers to find new ways to reach customers.
As AR technology is relatively new, many ordinary people are unfamiliar with the wondrous capabilities the technology. So, when they see a marketing campaign that uses augmented reality, they are more likely to remember the brand or product.
The UK based distillery, The Glenlivet that has done just this. They added an AR marker on the box of their product ‘The Glenlivet Code.’ Customers will get a playable mini-game upon scanning this marker with one’s smartphone.
Uber and Pepsi are two other companies that have also used AR for marketing. Uber installed a screen in Zurich’s main station which showed augmented experiences to those passing by. Meanwhile, Pepsi installed a similar experience at a London bus stop. Both of them were warmly received.
The retail industry has been overhauling itself in the past few years. Technologies like augmented reality have transformed the retail experience into a much better one for everyone involved. With time, we’ll see even better augmented reality development being implemented in the retail sector.
Looking to create an augmented reality retail application? We, at Juego Studio, have a team of experienced AR application developers, who can create AR applications of all kinds. Using advanced development technologies like ARKit, ARCore, Vuforia, etc., we create augmented reality applications for multiple platforms.