In today’s digital age, it is vital for retailers to have an online presence. The increasing capabilities of our phones and tablets are broadening the usage of our smart devices, meaning that e-commerce is becoming more and more popular. Customers are no longer restricted to a computer screen at certain points within the day, instead, shoppers are on-the-go purchasing products anywhere, at any time they wish.
Augmented Reality (AR) has been slowly infiltrating popular websites and apps on our devices for a while now, but not all retailers have taken full advantage of the commercial opportunities AR presents.
As retailers struggle increasing footfall in their stores, forcing store closures, AR can combat this issue by bridging the gap between the digital and real world, encouraging your online users to get the full shopping experience by shopping instore. Using your brand’s app, AR can encourage your customers to interact with your store. Think about introducing branding or artwork inspired by a sales initiative that can come to life using an in-app camera or a branded photo filter that will spread the word about your brand, or maybe create a whole AR experience that will encourage customers to visit your store by offering them a unique, enjoyable store visit.
AR can help your brand deliver a meaningful, engaging customer experiences and spread the word about your brand. The possibilities of the digital feature you can create using AR are limitless.
Using AR, customers are now able to try-before-they-buy - online! Using the technology, customers can digitally place items into photographs of themselves or their homes to see if the product is the right one for them. For examples, Ikea and Wayfair allow customers to place furniture virtually within their home. Converse and Uniqlo were amongst some of the first fashion retailers to employ the technology within the services they offer. Customers can see how products would look by augmenting the product on themselves. Uniqlo took this one step further by installing ‘magic mirrors’ in stores. Customers could test out a products range of colours without actually changing the product.
Not only does AR fuel a unique, enjoyable customer experience, encouraging cross-platform engagement will actually help you offer a more personalised and focused customer service. The more your customers use your online platforms, the more information you can gather about your users regarding their personal style, budget, sizing. This data can fuel marketing campaigns and help personalise your user’s apps, enabling a seamless shopping experience.
Another use could aid shop floor staff in providing an excellent customer experience.
IBM was the first to launch an app that uses AR capabilities to offer additional information about a product. Users point their device’s camera at a product and the app will overlay digital details, such as nutritional information, reviews, by the side of the product.
AR can give your brand a unique edge over your competitors and demonstrate your business’ ability to keep up with emerging technologies and adapt to digital trends. The technology can also help improve your online experience by offering a more personalised customer experience.
To discover more about using AR within retail, download our ‘AR and VR in Retail’ whitepaper to get an in-depth overview about how the technology can be used in your business.