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Augmented Reality in Retail-5 Things You Should Know

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Retailers have traditionally relied on print advertising campaigns or other media to promote products. Now the print, media and in-store marketing efforts are merged today into the comprehensive consumer experience via augmented reality. Brands are opting for augmented reality (AR) because customers are demanding for ease of shopping.

Integration of augmented reality in marketing efforts aims to build consumer relationship, boost sales and add value to the shopper experience. Retailers are getting an opportunity to attract their target audience via multiple ways.

Here are top 5 ways in which the augmented reality can help retailers

1. Visualizes product catalogs

An augmented catalogue is an application for tablets or smartphones that uses the codes of a conventional print catalogue. It is an application with the ability to virtually visualize products in real life using AR technology. The projected catalog items give a customer a real-time, scale view of what the product would look like in their place. It is an important point of contact in the purchasing & customer journey.

IKEA has recently launched a new augmented reality (AR) application that allows users to test IKEA’s products in real time through Apple iOS 11’s ARKit technology. The iPhone and iPad compatible free application features realistically rendered, true to scale 3D products. The app automatically scales products, based on room dimensions, with 98 percent accuracy. In order to visualize a product within a space, the application scans the expanse of a room through an iPhone or an iPad camera. Users can browse through over 2,000 IKEA products on an online database, to make their selections.

(PC- IKEA)

2. Virtually Try On 3D Products

A virtual try-on enables a customer to “try-on” a product through mobile or other devices equipped with a camera. Future customers can see themselves in the product of their choice on their smartphone. From the users’ perspective, using augmented reality is simply fun and entertaining. Listed below are the most important AR features which support product discovery and sales-

  1. Try before you buy – with a virtual try on, a customer can actually see the product and check if it fits in well with the planned outfit.
  2. Try in any location – virtual try on allows customers to see the product on themselves without actually going to the store.
  3. Save time –With virtual try on, customers can peacefully try enormous products at their own pace and make the order whenever they’re ready.

A few brands are using AR and are already getting benefited. For instance, Lacoste’s LCST Lacoste AR app allows customers to virtually try on shoes. Since its release, over 30,000 users have interacted with the products within the app.

Make up brand Sephora, created a Virtual Artist App with Modiface to show Sephora app users how makeup products will look on their face via their phone’s camera.

(PC – The Wall Street Journal)

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Also Read: How Data Science is transforming Retail Business
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3. Gather In-Store Information

Nowadays, nearly 60% of shoppers look up product information and prices while using their mobile phones. Augmented reality could provide a critical solution to meeting those shoppers’ needs.

There are certain things a shopper can’t ask a sales associate. Things like, “What do other customers think of this product?” AR will fill this gap. Customers can easily scan the product and read the review online.

More Information = More Likely to Buy

People are more likely to buy when they read a positive review online. Now, this can be done in the store with Product Information enabled on the store’s smartphone app. With it, the customer just needs to scan the product barcode, and information and reviews will be displayed onscreen.

For instance, American Apparel brand created an AR app that allows customers to scan in-store and pull up product information, including customer reviews, color options, and pricing.

4. Magic mirror to entice customers

With magic mirror, customers can visit the store and stand in front of the mirror. The mirror would then use AR to scan the image of their face and body. Shoppers would then see themselves with some of the brand’s iconic looks in under a minute without physically trying anything.

Apparel brands have used AR mirrors to let customers try on the products more conveniently. Shoppers can stand in front of a mirror and see a virtual version of themselves on a large screen.

With smart mirrors, consumers can virtually try on as many pieces of clothing as they want without needing a trial room. These mirrors can act as a reflection of the retailer’s inventory and provide consumers with immediate insight without sorting through shelves. This improves the overall customer experience and encourages customers to also purchase styles or colors they might not have considered before.

(PC – Shopify)

5. Engages customers

Lego is a great example of how AR is being used for engaging with customers. They have created an app that enables its buyers to see what a Lego construction would be like after completion. Lego Digital Box, is a box that kids can put in front of an AR-enabled display to see an actual construction of the bricks.

The new feature not only makes it easier for parents to buy the right Lego set for their kids, but also provides a fun way for the brand to engage with its audience.

Conclusion

Augmented Reality is often termed as a futuristic technology, but it is not true. AR has already made its way into the retail market. The time is not too far when you will be sitting in the comfort of your sofa or sipping a cup of coffee in the kitchen, wearing AR-enabled glasses or browsing through the Augmented Reality Mobile Apps, shopping for everything you need. Yes, all this without even stepping out from your home!

Experiential marketing is the most valuable type of marketing but has always been the most difficult and cost-restrictive. Now, Augmented Reality is turning every type of marketing into experiential marketing. Brands that engage and interact with their customers have a much higher chance of success, and Augmented Reality is an automated way to do just that.

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