Augmented Reality in Retail Transforming the Industry
Published September 25, 2023
Augmented Reality in Retail! A hot topic ruling over customers’ hearts and the bottom line of retailers.
Gone are the days when retail stores struggled to capture the attention and engagement of tech-savvy customers.
With AR, an immersive technology, online shoppers are experiencing hands-on retail demos with next-level personalization.
AR is a tech that mixes digital stuff with the real world. It lets people interact with and experience a cooler version of reality. By adding virtual images, info, or animations to what’s around us, AR makes things more interesting and useful.
You might have seen AR in apps like Snapchat, where funny filters are added to your face. Or you might have heard about Apple’s upcoming AR headset. However, the true game-changing experience lies in the integration of AR within the retail sector. AR in retail can make your online or physical store stand out. It changes the way consumers interact with brands both in the online and physical stores.
In this blog, we’ll look at the top benefits, challenges and how brands are making use of AR in retail. We’ll see how this cool tech can change how your customers shop.
Benefits of Augmented Reality in Retail
Augmented Reality (AR) has made a remarkable difference in the retail industry. It has provided easy ways of shopping for people who are engaged online as well as in stores. Here are the main advantages of using AR in retail that most people have noticed.
1. Enhances Shopping Experience
Augmented reality (AR) is like magic for shoppers. It lets them use their phones to see how things like furniture would fit in their homes before buying. This makes shopping fun and helps people decide what to buy.
Big stores like IKEA and Amazon use AR to make shopping easier. It’s not just about making shopping cool; it also helps your brand connect with customers who love technology.
In simple terms, AR in retail makes shopping better, and a good shopping experience is crucial for a successful retail business as digital transformation. You want people to enjoy shopping with your brand and remember it as a positive and easy experience.
2. Promotes Brand Loyalty
The saying “Out of sight, out of mind” rings true in the retail industry. To keep your brand on customers’ minds, create memorable experiences using the excellence of Augmented Reality. AR apps like Nike offer exclusive content and athlete promotions, sparking interest and loyalty. Integrating AR into retail creates unforgettable experiences, boosting loyalty and word-of-mouth.
Imagine customers attending virtual events and meeting brand ambassadors through AR/VR apps. This engagement builds lasting bonds. Using AR in retail can skyrocket brand awareness and loyalty.
3. Drives Better Engagement
AR adds a dynamic twist to engaging with your brand and products. This fosters ber loyalty.
AR can be applied through interactive packaging and in-store experiences, like Adidas’ AR game. Customers use smartphones to scan a code and embark on a virtual scavenger hunt, entertaining and deepening their connection with the brand.
AR is also potent on social media. Create shareable AR experiences to boost online presence and customer engagement. This not only generates buzz around your products but also builds a community among your target audience.
4. Increases Sales & Conversions
AR technology offers customers a virtual try-on experience, making shopping more enjoyable and impacting purchasing decisions positively. Social media platforms have embraced virtual try-on features, saving time and boosting customer confidence.
AR also excels at personalization, allowing customers to customize products with various options. A furniture retailer, for instance, can help customers visualize how items fit into their homes. This reduces hesitation and increases cart additions. Moreover, AR enables personalized product recommendations and cross-selling opportunities. Porsche showcases AR’s personalization prowess, letting customers create unique products.
5. User Content Personalization
Retailer personalize their content as per the customer choices. They make changes in their sales strategies to offer what users want. You might have noticed retailers showcasing things similar to what you like in many ways. There’s also something called VR or Virtual Reality that helps make shopping even better. When these technologies work together, they create really good shopping experiences with AR and VR.
6. Better Competitive Advantage
Standing out in the retail world can be tough. But, using AR technology can help you stand out and get new customers while keeping your loyal ones. Imagine how cool it would be for customers to use AR to explore your products. This makes your brand more exciting and shopping with you easier.
Even small stores can use AR now, thanks to platforms like Shopify. Using AR makes your store look advanced and cool, which attracts people who like technology. Soon, everyone will use AR to shop. And if AR is still not a part of your business strategy then you may stay back in the competitive race.
7. Sharable and Trackable Content
Happiness, assurance, and satisfaction often comes after getting positive reviews from others. AR-powered filters and shopping apps comes with the option of sharing photos on social media and in-app. Thus, making it handy to share the pictures with friends and family.
The feedback makes shoppers decisive about their product selection. If they are happy they tend to buy the product directly in-app. Making it as a powerful organic marketing tool that can help you drive revenue and generate brand awareness.
8. Contactless Experiences
Augmented Reality is a boon for both customers and retailers. Customers can save time, effort, and even money by virtually trying on products. This helps them visualize products on themselves before making a purchase. Eventually, leading to higher conversion rates and fewer returns, in turn, impacting retailers bottom line positively.
Snapchat states that 93% of its users are interested in using AR for shopping.
With such an amazing list of benefits, you must be all set to adopt augmented reality in retail stores but before you hop on this new trend, here is the list of challenges that you may face.
Augmented Reality Industry Challenges
1. Security and Privacy Issues with Augmented Reality
Privacy and security are big issues in the AR industry. This is because there are no clear rules for what’s allowed and what’s not in augmented reality. So, people can use AR for bad things, like spreading fake images or stealing information. For example, instead of trying on clothes using AR, someone could use it to put embarrassing images of you online. AR can be used to spy and steal your significant data.
One important reason for such problems is that people don’t realize the seriousness of the matter. Developers don’t take any major action to stop such issues until they turn into a big problem.
2. Poor Quality of Content & Use Cases
AR technology is growing fast, but it faces some big problems. Most AR apps you find are just simple tricks, and they don’t add much value. They are like a one-time show. One reason for this is that there aren’t enough skilled developers who understand how to make AR useful.
Another problem is that AR doesn’t always have a clear purpose. Many AR apps can do things that you could already do without them. AR should enhance what you’re doing, either by giving you better information or helping you do something easier. But making AR work well is tricky, and it often takes trial and error.
3. Absence of Proven Business Models
The popularity of Augmented reality is growing every day but people are unable to draw profits out of it except the gaming industry. The major reason is the lack of understanding of how AR can benefit their business. Startups and big companies are trying out AR ideas, but most of them can still make money without AR.
The most famous AR game, Pokemon Go, only made money because of its brand. When the excitement died down, people stopped playing. But there is hope in industrial companies. They have enough money to develop AR, and there are many ways AR could be useful, like in construction projects, checking for mistakes, monitoring construction progress, showing hidden infrastructure, and giving maintenance instructions. These kinds of AR applications could make AR more than just a toy and actually help make better products.
4. Absence of Augmented Reality App Design & Development Standards
Standards are like a common language for software. They help make sure that different software works together smoothly.
Why? The augmented reality is still at the new front where
Because Augmented Reality is still very new, and it’s changing and improving a lot. Without these standards, every Augmented Reality project is like its own unique thing that doesn’t easily work with others. This slows down the progress of the technology.
But don’t worry, we’re going to develop these standards over time. When that happens, it’ll show that Augmented Reality is really here to stay.
Top Brands Using Augmented Reality in The Market
Well-known companies are using Augmented Reality (AR) to improve online and offline shopping. They’ve come up with cool ways to make AR shopping enjoyable for users. Here are some companies doing great things with AR.
Adidas showed how technological innovation can be fun and useful. They introduced a cool AR feature during ComplexCon CA 2018. People could use their phones to find and buy the latest sneakers. They just had to follow the signs in some places and didn’t need to talk to anyone from Adidas.
When you think of furniture and gadgets shopping, IKEA stands out. They’ve got this cool AR tech in their stores. With it, you can use your phone to scan a piece of furniture and see how it looks in your room. It works for any room, from your bedroom to your garden. It’s a real-time and energy saver!
Topshop’s AR magic lets you try on clothes virtually in-store. Use hand waves to switch outfits on your digital reflection. It not only boosts your mood but also spreads joy to others nearby.
After downloading the app, you just need to hover your phone over the magazine as shown in the video and a scooter will automatically pop up. You can customize the vehicle as per your choice. You can change the colors, add/remove accessories, look for different styles, etc. Isn’t this a quirky use of AR marketing?
Sephora made a cool app called Virtual Artist that uses fancy tech to let you try on makeup using your phone camera. It also tells you what stuff you need to put on makeup. This app helps them sell more makeup, and people love showing off their makeup looks online.
The above blog clearly depicts the benefits of Augmented Reality in the retail business and its significance in the near future. Now, if you are planning to build a successful and robust strategy then, you need to think about how AR can improve customer’s shopping experience.
At Codiant, a well-known AR and VR development company, we’ve assisted many startups, small businesses, and brands in creating advanced AR and VR solutions for retail. With our top-assisted AR VR app development services, we have helped many clients take the competitive edge and achieve their desired goals.
Are you ready to embark on a new journey? Get in touch with Codiant to learn more about How AR/VR solutions can help you learn and elevate the new heights of success.
Ready to turn your digital dreams into reality?
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