How Augmented Reality Will Revolutionize The Retail Industry?
Our shopping patterns have undoubtedly changed dramatically in recent years. Most of the shoppers prefer to shop online to save their time going to malls or stores. Consumer demands are changing continuously, and so is retail technology. The most important thing in retail is customer experience. Today, consumers depend on customization and comfort with brands. Therefore, retailers need to meet the user demands consistently with the right technological developments.
AR is one such cutting-edge technology that is going to transform the way we visualize the future. The mix of these three significant technologies – AR, VR, and AI together will bring a much-needed change in the digital future for delightful customer experience.
The AR market has already grown so massively, and the experts predict its value to reach $61.4 billion by the end of 2023. AR has pervaded into every field that includes gaming, entertainment, healthcare, education, utilities, retail, digital marketing, etc.
What is AR?
Augmented Reality (AR) is an immersive experience that overlays information onto the real world as if they were actually real. It is a superimposition of augmenting on your mobile screens, which appears real; hence the name suggests.
Problems with the conventional retail market
Earlier, due to the lack of digital platforms and usage, more importance was given to physical shops and stores where people could shop. Hence, the shops grew bigger, and the systems became more organized due to increasing demand.
However, these are issues with the traditional retail market.
1. Travelling: The recent effect of covid in retail is quite evident. People had to stay in their homes and only step out to purchase essential goods.
2. Insufficient items: One of the most common problems in the traditional retail business is that items run out of stock.
3. Funds to set up: A retail store is always a costly investment. For small enterprises, it is like risking everything they have.
4. Working hours limit: Unlike online shops, retail stores have fixed opening and closing hours. And during such covid times, policies have become stricter.
Augmented Reality has reshaped the retail industry.
The impact of AR has been enormous in the retail sector and has added several benefits for the industry. Below are significant advantages of AR in shopping that has been widely observed by consumers.
1. Customization of user content
Retailers customize the content frequently to meet customer expectations. Retail stores filter out content for you to look for relatable products without wasting time. Virtual Reality (VR) also renders enhancing in this area. Together they deliver improved retail solutions.
2. Easy trials
It can be time-consuming and incredibly boring to wait outside for your turn. Thus, virtual mirrors can simply help you find out suitable sizes of the dress you like on a digital screen before you. You can view how the piece is looking and fitting your body.
This is how AR plays a fantastic role in retail. You can do this in online shopping too. Imagine you are shopping for a pair of sunglasses online; the app will scan your face to position the glasses on your digital reflection. Such gamification techniques play a huge role in propelling retail sales.
3. Blends conventional retail & online shopping
While shopping is considered a fun and most liked activity, it can be confusing to shop for the ideal things given there are plenty of stores to shop from. One of the significant benefits of AR in eCommerce is that it adds the same fun shopping element and eliminates inventory costs and time consumption.
4. Connecting shoppers with printed content
Printed items will never disappear in the future as they compose a big block of marketing. It’s one of the skills of the AR marketing strategy. If you carefully observe, you must know that many times just by holding your mobile over a specific photo, you get all the details about it and even similar items of interest. The AR in retail apps helps you do it.
5. Boosting brand awareness and presence
AR is an excellent tool to boost a company’s brand awareness to reach more audiences. Mobile apps induced with AR features will help a brand render a unique user experience. The use of AR for retail marketing strategies gives brands a lot of leverage to find original ways for interactions to get prompt feedback.
6. Removes language barriers
There are specific barriers with tons of languages worldwide, but that’s just for a brief time. Google Translate’s AR mode allows you to see 40 foreign languages as your local one. AR-based shopping apps have unique features that channelize language so that it is region-specific, and AR & AI tools help you understand its services. The AR content will guide you to pick a language of your convenience despite using printed catalogs.
Brands Leveraging AR
Ikea is remembered most often when it comes to shopping for electrical and furniture. Its AR tech in retail is beneficial as it helps users use their phone and scan a piece of particular furniture and then place that into your room’s picture. This enables you to save time and energy.
After installing the app, you need to float your mobile over a magazine simply, and a scooter will appear. You can customize the scooter as per your taste. You can add or remove accessories, change colors, look for different styles, etc.
The Future of AR in Retail
AR has penetrated its wings into many sectors already. That time is not away when you will be sipping your favorite drink on your sofa wearing AR-enabled glasses or browsing through AR mobile apps, shopping all you need.
There are challenges in AR eCommerce that need to be worked upon to reach a broader audience and preserve existing ones. However, despite challenges, AR has a vast scope in the upcoming generation. With the increasing technological advancements, humans are looking for something like this to make their lives more comfortable.
AR technology can definitely help users save a lot of time, and retailers save costs behind labor and inventory and reach a broader audience base and give them a real-life feel of their products.