10 Ways Augmented Reality has Benefitted The Retail Stores | The Impact of Augmented Reality on Retail

 What Is  Augmented reality?

Augmented reality is the blending of computer technology and science to create an entirely new medium through which users can interact with the digital world around them. Augmented reality describes the use of information technology to augment reality.

 In the 21st Century, the term has increasingly become used to describe new forms of interaction that allow users to interact with the digital information surrounding them. What exactly is augmented reality? It isn’t effortless, but in this article, we’ll cover some of the essential basics so you can get started right away:

Types Of Augmented Reality (AR)

  1. Digital Augmentation, 
  2. Augmented Reality, 
  3. Mixed Reality.

Growth of Augmented Reality

If you think that augmented reality is a far-flung idea that will have little impact on the world of retail, think again. Current projections indicate that augmented reality will generate $120 billion in revenue by 2020*, so retailers have every reason—and opportunity—to leverage this enhanced experience with shoppers.

 

To best explain it, augmented reality is a live view of a physical, real-world environment where the view is augmented or supplemented by a computer-generated input such as sound, video, graphics or even GPS data. In today’s retail environment, shoppers can use AR to easily envision the item they are considering buying, whether it’s bringing together ingredients for dinner or envisioning a cozy new sweater or a modernized couch for their living room in a variety of colors and styles – all effortlessly seen and experienced through augmented reality.

 

To further explore the ways in which augmented reality is shaping people’s shopping experiences and preferences, Interactions conducted a study with 1,062 people across the United States, seeking to learn the ways shoppers perceive augmented reality and how they prefer to engage with the technology as they shop. Results from the survey show that shoppers enjoy using augmented reality, and they see it as a fun and novel way to explore their options as they weigh out which purchases to make. Utilizing the data in this report, retailers can build on the popularity of augmented reality in ways that engage customers, provide a unique and memorable experience, and ultimately drive sales.

 

Problems with Traditional Marketing

  1. The first problem with traditional marketing is that people think it is very old fashioned. People might be attracted to new fads, but they are not going to react positively towards something that looks and feels very old fashioned. The other problem is that there are still people out there who do not understand the power and potential of digital media. Digital marketing is simply a better way of doing business.
  1. The second problem with traditional marketing is that it is a lot more expensive. Marketers spend a lot of money advertising in traditional media. This leaves a company with very little money to spend on other forms of promotion. With digital marketing companies can promote their products or their brands for very little cost. This is often enough to gain the customer’s attention.
  1. The third problem is that people may be turned off by ads that are very flashy and busy. They may feel as though the advertisement is trying to sell them something. If you cannot properly explain your product to a customer in an easy to understand manner then they will more than likely find another product that they feel is easier to understand.
  1. The fourth reason is that people do not trust companies that do not engage with them. In a new environment, a brand is not trusted by the consumer. It could be because of a history of bad experiences. People do not want to be associated with a company that does not care about customer service. Traditional marketing and digital marketing are two different concepts that people should learn more about if they are going to start a business of their own.

How AR Benefits Retail Stores?

Change the entire look of your business & improve conversions

There are already many stores out there using augmented reality technology, and most of them say that it has been working for them so far. Augmented reality, or AR as it is also known, is simply a system where images are overlaid on top of real-world data, allowing the business owner to present his store in an entirely new light. 

What is very interesting about the concept of using these images to give the business is that they can change the way that people see your business, allowing more people to see your store and thus increasing your sales. This is also why companies like Best Buy are implementing augmented reality in their stores.  The commercial use cases for augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) that are expected to receive the largest investment in 2024 are retail.

Increased traffic

There are three significant ways on how augmented reality can help your business in the end. The first one is the increase in traffic that you get from people seeing your store and being aware of what you have to offer them. When they walk into your store and find out that there is more to it than just the standard gaming consoles and games, they will be more inclined to spend money with you.

Potential consumers get a clearer view of what the store has to offer

The second way on how augmented reality helps increase your sales is through the increase of customers you get who are aware of what products you have to offer. Knowing that there is more to your store does not mean that they will automatically know what it is. 

They may need to ask for information, or they might need to ask for directions to your store. If you provide them with what they need, you have increased their chances of spending money with you. As per a survey, 45 percent more people reacted positively to AR in retails, claiming that knowing everything beforehand saved their time. 

Better client retention

By knowing more about your business and what you sell, you will know whether or not the person looking for the product you are selling knows what he is looking for.

This will allow you to learn more about your demographic and keep your clientele updated as to what they can expect when they enter your store. Knowing this is important because it will help you target your services to the right clients and the correct products. This will increase the number of people who stay in your store and the number of people that visit and come back again.

In 2020, consumer and enterprise augmented reality (AR) glasses hardware and software revenue amounted to 1.35 billion U.S. dollars. It is forecast that this is set to rise to 2.09 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 before climbing to 13.36 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.

5 Examples of AR experience in retail

  1. Dulux Visualiser – This brand has very efficiently used the AR by giving the consumers a feel regarding how their walls will look when painted with a different colour.
  2. Gucci – Gucci allows it’s users to try on their shoes with the help of AR
  3. ASOS – Asos has introduced the virtual catwalk through AR
  4. IKEA – Ikea has a 3d function in it’s app,which allows consumers to get a view of how  their furniture will look inside their house,when assembled.
  5. Sephora – Sephora allows consumers to know how their cosmetics will look on the consumer’s face.

Feeling Of Being At The Store

The introduction of virtual reality to the retail industry presents a whole new level of possibilities. Not only can you have actual items placed in the retail space, you can also give customers the feeling that they are actually “at the store.” This includes the feel of browsing the actual store as opposed to looking at a computer screen. Another example would be having the video game characters walking around the store. These two examples are just a few of the ways that virtual reality can be used to make the retail experience better.

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