Augmented reality (AR) is a place where the digital world meets the real world. It’s an exciting technology that projects computer-generated images into real environments, allowing audiences to visualise something in spite of it not physically being there.
Not to be confused with virtual reality, augmented reality is a fully immersive experience which blurs the line between the digital world and the physical world. Whilst virtual reality requires users to wear goggles to see the virtual reality, with AR, digitally created visuals are viewed through a mobile devices’ camera that perceptually makes it look like the object is in the same space as the viewer through the device’s screen.
In retail environments, customers can scan QR codes using their phone or tablet to bring a digital object into the real world. AR allows them to bring up 3d models of how a product would look in various colours and designs and with different features.
Retail environments can also superimpose digital objects from a screen and place them into the physical environment. This kind of AR is particularly useful in places like furniture shops where it allows customers to visualise how a piece of furniture would look in the layout of a room. (Our experts at Fuel Immersive will be able to provide you with more info on all the other cool stuff that comes along with this!)
You can probably imagine how AR can make shopping a way more exciting experience for customers, however, there are numerous other ways in which this technology can help businesses. With this mind, let’s go over some of the top benefits of augmented reality in retail.
AR in retail is fantastic for providing…
1) A novel and exciting way to engage customers
Augmented reality gets all the senses involved and encourages the customer to interact with different products. AR is likely to be a new concept to many customers and will definitely create a talking point about your brand. If your shop offers an interactive experience, you’re far more likely to provide a more memorable shopping experience for the customer than the place next door. It’s an innovative way to get customers excited about the products you have to offer and is easily one of the most valuable benefits of augmented reality in retail environments.
2) Providing A Personalised Shopping Experience
Another major benefit of augmented reality in retail is the personal experience it provides. As this technology offers a sensory experience, it allows the customer to engage with a product much more effectively than they would be looking at an object on a shelf. It allows the customer to interact with the product by visualising the real look and feel of the product making them more likely to connect with it.
3) Giving The Customer Confidence In The Product
Using AR in retail gives customers the chance to visualize and experience the product before they buy it. For example, in a clothes shop, one of the benefits of augmented reality would be giving the customer the opportunity to ‘try on’ clothes without physically touching the product. AR can be used to allow the customer to see how the product would look on them before making the decision of whether to buy or not.
Ultimately, this will provide the customer with more confidence in the product making them more likely to go through with the purchase. And, this leads us on nicely to the next benefit of augmented reality in retail…
4) Putting The Customer In Control
If a customer is able to visualize a product, they have much more of an insight into whether or not that product is a good fit for them. It quite literally delivers on a ‘try before you buy’ ethos, giving customers the tool to get a real idea of the product. If I’m looking to buy a sofa for example, with AR I can quite literally see how that sofa would look in my living room, how it would work with space, colours and so on.
Using a phone or tablet, customers can bring objects to life, choosing the size, colour and features they themselves wish to animate.
5) Reducing The Need For Physical Warehouse Capacity
Last but definitely not least, a really practical benefit of augmented reality in retail is that it allows business owners to maximise their product range without needing to physically increase their space. Combining virtual retail with traditional retail, businesses can introduce customers to a larger catalogue of products via AR rather than using up valuable shop floor and warehouse space.
To find out more about the benefits of augmented reality in retail please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. To find out how an augmented reality solution could benefit your business give us a call on 01752 549527 or drop us an email at [email protected].