Today technology has replaced almost everything, and Human Touch is no exception. After the humongous success of Pokemon Go, AR technology has evolved across industries. The innovation has touched the core of retailers, thus augmented reality is being used to offer an incredible shopping experience to allure their shoppers and increase user shopping experience exponentially.
Tractica states the number of actively used augmented reality apps will grow to 2.2 billion by 2019. It predicts that e-commerce and retail industry would be strongest adapters of augmented reality technology.
Let’s check out why AR has become the need of the hour for the Retail Industry
- The above graph shows that global retail eCommerce sales are expected to reach $4.4 trillion by 2021.
- 77% of shoppers use smartphones while shopping in-stores.
- 29% consumers say that they would prefer to use AR to view the product before they purchase it, while 51% consumers feel that retailers are failing to take full advantage of AR
- According to DigitalBridge 41%, customers expect access to AR from their retailers.
- 69% of 18 to 24 olds are likely to shop with a brand that offered AR.
The staggering statistics and researches give us an idea of why it’s time for retailers to embrace tech innovations like augmented reality in their business.
How AR can drive Retail Business to a Next Level:
This is an era of augmented reality trends. Augmented reality apps are becoming an imperative tool for retailers to drive sales and influence the customers to create brand affinity.
Here’s a list of Real-life Applications of Augmented Reality in the Retail Industry:
1. Provide Try-And Buy Experience
AR technology amalgamates virtual objects with the real world, which means when used in retail it can let your customers have a try-and-buy experience. For instance: Your customers can try on footwear, clothing and even preview products that they wish to buy with Augmented Reality apps.
Amazon has implemented an AR view feature in its mobile application. This feature shows the customers how the product will look like and have a better idea about the product they need before they purchase it. All the customer needs to do is select the item and it’s superimposed on the camera view.
2. Offers Customers Instantaneous Product Information
Research by Salsify states, 70% of customers see minimum 3 photos while purchasing a product while 86% customers like to read minimum 3 reviews before selecting an item. AR technology lets customers scan the items and receive insightful information about the product in just a few clicks over their phone.
IBM has created an augmented reality app for retail. The app is designed in a way that gives personalized shopping experience by providing product information quickly the app can also filter products according to the prices, nutritive content value and more.
3. Improves In-Store Experience
Human purchasing preferences changes, hence it is vital to place the right products on the right shelves to enhance their in-store experience. AR technology lets you place your products on the shelves as per the crafted planogram. Portable glasses let employees check for products that are misplaced thereby curbing the financial losses for the retailers.
4. Electrifies Purchases
A report by Capgemini states, 70% of emotionally engaged customers willingly spend double on brands to which they are loyal. By using augmented reality apps retailers can emotionally connect and excite consumers purchase decisions thereby drive sales and bring in huge profits.
Lego augmented reality application lets its fans view the products as 3D animations. The gadget’s camera over a yellow icon printed on a regular LEGO catalogue does all the magic. After the scanning is completed the 3D animations exhibits short stories, features of the products etc.
5. Facilitates In-Store Navigation
Augmented reality provides easy and precise in-store navigation that saves time and enhances the shopping experience of the customers. It’s a three-step process
- The consumer initiates a mobile augmented reality app on their smartphone
- They select the product they need
- This app guides them to the store by displaying directions on the phone screen
Lowe’s in-store navigation app uses computer vision to spot a customer’s actual position. The customers can follow the directions on their phone screen to pick up Lowe’s product through the shortest route.
Here are some of the benefits the technology brings to us:
- Spanning the imagination Gap: Augmented reality has helped retailers span the imagination gap by letting customers try the product without actually using it.
- Enhances Sales: It lets retailers drive sales. DigitalBridge states a third of consumers are likely to buy an item after using AR to preview the products.
- Builds a loyal customer base: Use of augmented reality technology enhances the customers shopping experience and increases loyal customers.
Augmented Reality has potentials to enhance customers experience and drive sales for retailers. Some of the world’s largest retailers have already plunged into the augmented reality trends while some are yet on the way. Where do you stand? If you haven’t, it’s time for you to plunge in right away before your competitors move ahead of you!
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