5 Applications of Augmented Reality in the Retail Industry

5 Applications of Augmented Reality in the Retail Industry

August 29, 2019
by Andrew Denysov

Augmented Reality (AR), which involves blending interactive visual and computer projections into the real-world environment, is evolving. As software developers continue to refine Augmented Reality applications, the line separating virtual and real-life is becoming blurrier. According to Statista, the global market size of AR is estimated to reach $198 billion by 2025. Sooner rather than later, AR will be the reality. Augmented Reality is being implemented in gaming (e.g., Pokémon Go), education, healthcare, space, travel, real estate, marketing, among many more.

One of the industries that AR is shaking up is retail. Retail businesses that implement Augmented Reality are more likely to offer better customer experience than those who don’t. According to BRP’s Digital Commerce Survey, 48 percent of consumers are likely to buy from retailers that use AR. So, how can Augmented Reality improve sales in the retail industry and shape it? Learn this plus AR use cases for retail currently.

Fitting On Products Virtually

Augmented Reality helps businesses move customers along the sales funnel. By using AR, a brand can enable customers to try on different products virtually. It thus eliminates the need to visit the store in person. This application of Augmented Reality in retail can be seen in popular stores that sell makeup, clothes, shoes, and other wearables.

Fitting On Products Virtually

Most people are more willing to spend money on things they have tested on themselves. Therefore, AR works well with brands that want to increase their presence in the online market. An example of a brand that uses AR for this purpose is L’Oréal. Through its Makeup Genius app, L’Oréal customers can try out different shades of makeup on their faces virtually and even mix different products to see how they look before buying.

Visualizing Home Items

Knowing how a table or a sofa will fit in your home when you are buying it in person at a store is almost impossible. And here is where businesses can see AR impact on sales. Augmented Reality offers customers a way to see products at home before purchasing them.

Visualizing Home Items

The most famous example of this AR retail shop application is the IKEA Place app, which allows customers to preview how furniture will look in their homes in 3D. Other examples include Amazon AR and Magnolia Market (by Shopify).

Virtual Fitting Rooms

For many shoppers, fitting rooms are a nightmare, especially during busy seasons. In some cases, customers can decide to buy an item and try it at home only to return it due to a poor fit. Other times, they might choose not to buy because of the hassle lining up to use the fitting room.

Virtual Fitting Rooms

Augmented Reality can solve this problem. By incorporating virtual mirrors in retail, customers can see how outfits look on their bodies without actually trying them on. Timberland is an excellent example of a brand that offers virtual fitting rooms where customers can try out outfits for their collections without wearing them.

Accessing Product Information in Stores

According to new statistics, approximately 58% of customers use their phones to search for product information while in a store. 54% use their smartphones to check and compare prices. There is always some information that potential buyers can’t ask sales assistants.

However, AR can fill this gap. Using Augmented Reality shopping mall retail stores can provide important details like product description, color and size options, customer reviews, prices, etc. An example of this AR use is the American Apparel AR app. This app lets customers scan in-store signs and get information on the product, including reviews, pricing, and colors.

Building Brand Awareness

Augmented Reality is also in use in brand marketing and advertising campaigns to create more engagement, press coverage, and social media buzz. It’s already a proven way of increasing business reach. By using AR, brands are making their print ads, posters, store signs, and other ad materials more appealing and interactive. A big company that uses AR in its brand awareness campaigns is Pepsi, which placed AR-powered ads at a bus stop in London. The move enjoyed press coverage by The Verge and Forbes while its video garnered over 8 million views on YouTube. Other brands doing the same include Airwalk and Moosejaw.

Wrapping It Up

These are just a few examples of how AR is affecting and shaping retail. By 2022, it is estimated that there will be 1 billion AR users. Marketing, eCommerce, and gaming are the three industries expected to see the most impact from AR in the coming years. Augmented Reality retail statistics show that this technology will become commonplace in the next couple of years. By improving customer shopping experience with life-like visuals created by AR, customer satisfaction as well as sales increase. Want to implement Augmented Reality? Contact our team to find out more about AR apps specifics now.

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