As humans, we cannot overstate the role and importance of technology in our evolution, from simple tools like bow and arrow to today's more complicated and modern equipment, technology has been the driving force behind innovation and progress. Also, it has significantly influenced our societies and our behavior.
One such significant impact of technology can be seen in our purchasing behavior. With the launch of e-commerce websites and mobile applications, consumers can now shop from the comfort of their homes.
However, new technologies like AR and virtual reality are set to revolutionize the retail sector from virtual trying of clothes to visualizing the look of the furniture in your room. The possibilities are endless. Hence, join us on this captivating journey as we unlock the benefits of AR in the world of retail.
Benefits of Augmented Reality in the Retail Industry
- Customer engagement
The covid era has seen a significant increase in the e-commerce sector. As a result, big brands are looking for new technology to increase customer engagement, leading to AR's implementation in the retail industry. This has helped industries in creating an immersive shopping experience. For example, Ikea, one of the leading furniture brands, has developed Ikea Place, an AR-enabled application, that allows customers to virtually place the furniture in their homes before purchasing it.
- Sales and conversion
Data from Shopify, a leading e-commerce platform, reveals that merchants integrating 3D content into their online stores experience an average conversion lift of 94%. This statistic highlights the remarkable impact of AR on driving customer engagement and purchase decisions. By offering immersive and interactive experiences through AR, retailers can create a unique and memorable shopping journey for their customers, increasing their likelihood of purchasing.
In addition to conversion rates, AR can also play a crucial role in reducing return rates. By allowing customers to virtually try on products or visualize them in their own space, AR helps customers make more informed buying decisions, minimizing the chances of dissatisfaction and returns due to mismatched expectations. This not only saves costs for retailers but improves customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Contactless experiences
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of AR in contactless transactions, both in-store and online. AR can replace physical interaction with products, allowing users to virtually evaluate products through photo-realistic representations and view them from different angles, saving time, effort, and money.
- In-store displays
AR displays in retail settings are revolutionizing how brands engage with prospective shoppers. They offer dynamic and measurable advertising opportunities, providing valuable data for optimization while offering customers innovative and immersive experiences. The flagship store of PacSun's in Soho, New York, featured a jaw-dropping AR storefront video display that simulated window-shattering waves crashing against the shore, creating an immersive and attention-grabbing experience for passersby. It generated buzz and drove foot traffic.
How Big Retail Brands Are Leveraging AR
With its styling application AR styling station, this cosmetic brand allows users to try cosmetic products virtually. This way, customers can buy products suitable for their skin type. This was one of the most significant barriers to online sales of cosmetic products. The application also has another version that allows users to try on footwear using their smartphones virtually.
- Amazon Room Decorator
You can access this handy application if you have an Amazon Prime membership. It is an innovative application allowing customers to visualize and plan their home decor and furniture arrangements virtually. The application uses AR technology to create 3D product models in the natural environment. This allows the customer to view the realistic representation of the product's appearance in their room. Which helps them to make a more informed and confident purchase.
- Gucci’s Try Them On App
Gucci, a luxury brand, has also leveraged AR technology to provide customers with the best shopping experience. It has developed an application known as "try on." Using this application, customers can virtually try their shoes and see how they will look on them. Gucci is also known as the first luxury brand to incorporate AR into its social media campaigns.
- Dulux: Paint your walls in AR
The implementation of AR has been broader than just the fashion industry. Dulux, a famous paint brand, has also implemented AR by creating the "Dulux Visualizer." This is one of its kind application that helps customers to see how different paints appear on their walls. The application uses the latest technology, like AR, to provide a real-time experience. The application has various features like color matching, a paint calculator, and product information which offers proper assistance to customers during the project.
Today around 1 billion people use AR technology around the globe for different purposes. Out of this, around 32 percent of customers use them during shopping. And as we step into the future, the use of AR in the retail sector will increase. It enhances the customers' overall shopping experience, which is very important for any business. A happy and satisfied customer is likelier to become loyal and bring new business through positive reviews. So, are you ready to embrace the power of AR and transform your customers' shopping experience?