Augmented Reality in Retail

04.23.2021 karol

The Augmented Reality industry has developed so gigantically that various predictions put its value at more than $ 61.4 billion by 2021. Augmented Reality has taken over (almost) all areas that comprise business, gaming, healthcare, entertainment, retail, electronic marketing, education, and utilities. Even manufacturers of cars, appliances, consumer electronics, home theater systems, watches, and more have been exploring possibilities to implement the technology. Just like in the sales sector augmented reality can accelerate efficiency. Public relations, digital marketing, or any other form of marketing can benefit from AR tech. Promoting any product through visualization can increase sales and boost consumer attention. So what about retail? AR in retail may simply make the customer experience way more interesting. It can be used in clothing, electronics stores, supermarkets, and grocery stores, or even drugstores and pharmacies. So, basically in any retail store. Customers may see the prices when using a phone or smart glasses, they can try clothes on without actually trying them on (they can take a picture of themselves on a special screen and pick any product available), or they can watch advertisements and tutorials on their phone after scanning the code on a product.

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality AR is exactly what it sounds like. This technology allows us to pick an item like 3d model, animation, or a picture and place them in a selected space. AR is not about changing the whole scenario around us like VR is, it’s making small but effective arrangements in our environment. If we had to make an example, AR vs. VR would be like Harry Potter vs. Lord of The Rings. Harry Potter is about putting a little fantasy into our really mundane world, and Lord of The Rings is about making the whole world into a fantasy universe. See? That is the basic difference between these two technologies.

Augmented Reality AR – how does it work?

How can augmented reality improve your retail experience? First, it gives you the ability to create an interactive retail environment that will engage customers and keep them coming back. By interacting with your customers and the products they buy, you become more aware of the wants and needs of your customer. This helps you tailor your selling or marketing strategies based on what is most important to them. Second, augmented retail solutions provide a more complete view of your store through the use of digital signage and augmented reality glasses. This enables customers to navigate your retail location easily and quickly to find exactly what they are looking for when they are looking for it. In addition, you can easily make your customers way more interested and get their attention by having an AR app in your offer. AR app may persuade potential clients to purchase your products. They may see how their new couch is going to present itself in their living room before buying or try some new clothes using an app on their phone. Also, as the studies say customers are willing to spend more money if they test products with AR. Generally, it all comes down to trying a product before buying it.

AR Retail – applications

Is there room for augmented reality in retail? Absolutely. In fact, the concept of augmented reality in retail is becoming so common that some companies are creating their own virtual stores. Companies like Best Buy, Sears, Wal-Mart, and other household names have augmented reality stores set up in busy areas of their stores to allow customers the chance to „try before they buy” at reduced prices or to test the latest electronic products. This move increases sales and interest, and more than that, it advertises your brand.

Augmented reality for everyone

What’s most interesting about augmented reality in retail is that it’s already changing the way retail is done. Traditional retail locations often have a limited amount of merchandise to display. Virtual displays are popping up all over retail establishments from department stores to Wal-Mart to Sam’s Club to even fast-food chains. People can browse through the virtual store inventory without ever leaving their chairs, tables, or any other surface they are sitting on!

Consumers expectations

Consumers want to be able to do more than just look at a screen. They want to be able to interact with that screen and have it change as they move closer to, or further from, a product or service. Augmented reality glasses for retail are the wave of the future for the retail industry. Not only does this allow consumers to practically touch the objects they are shopping for, but it also gives them the opportunity to experience the retail environment as if they were actually walking inside the store. Now, when they get up, they are ready to make a purchase.

AR in business

Of course, retailers aren’t the only ones who are seeing the potential of augmented reality in retail. Business owners are also seeing the benefits of augmented reality in retail and how it can greatly improve their businesses. If you go into any business or corporation that has employees, you’re already well aware of the time and money wasted at the end of the day on stationery and supplies. By implementing augmented reality technology into the retail environment, business owners can significantly cut their operating costs and possibly even increase their profits. While businesses would do well to implement this technology in their own locations first, it is likely that eventually other retail locations will be added to the list.

Augmented reality interior design

designing or making your own furniture and selling them

Generally, augmented reality interior design lets us make our vision come to life. You can design your room or a whole house on your tablet or smartphone, simply by scanning the selected area and making changes on a visualization configurator. Yes, it is possible, you can make your own augmented reality room. Seems like a game, and yet this is the best tool by far when it comes to the interior design field. All you need is an app that will allow you to take a picture or scan the space and transform it to live visualization.

Augmented reality furniture

AR for furniture works somehow similarly. On an AR furniture app, you may not only select a desired piece of furniture but also make it yourself. First, AR app developers have made a variety of furniture design apps and still are making much-needed adjustments. Thanks to them this technology is growing more useful and powerful every day. So, check online what it is that interests you the most and which app is going to be the best fit for you. Then, pick one and start designing. Choose the texture, material, color, shape, and style of your future furniture, and place them in your room or your clients' house. It may especially boost your sales when you show your customers what you can do and how fast you can do it. The app will make your project into a 3d model and you’ll feel as if it was already manufactured. Moreover, your project can be easily sent to manufacturing facilities. The only condition is that manufacturing companies must have the same app as you to read it freely and start the production process. After that, when your furniture is going to be ready to sell you can still use AR tech to your advantage. Your products should be available in at least a couple of designing apps. As you grow and extend your offer your customers might also be interested in buying your product through/via an AR app. Believe us when we say that customers often tend to buy more products after they trust a brand. Making it possible for them to try out your furniture is going to do just that. So, download it now and get started on your designing journey!

AR in drugstores and pharmacies

Make-up and skincare shopping is rarely boring for women these days. Well, even for men it’s not as simple as it used to be. There is literally a huge amount of products sitting on shelves at every drugstore. Every product is meant for a different skin type like oily, combined, dry, normal, dehydrated, or sensitive, and brings various solutions depending on the condition of your skin, for example, anti-acne, anti-aging, calming, brightening, balancing, or clarifying. It is hard to choose a product that will truly help you and won’t aggravate your skin. AR might change that, if using an app could help you with choosing the best product for your skin type and condition, wouldn’t you want to try it? We definitely would. An app might search for the best ingredients and choose a product for you, more than that, thanks to the AR technology your app could show you exactly where the product is like GPS shows us our destination point. So instead of spending a few hours looking for something that „this time will work” we could all scan our skin, get a product recommendation and see exactly where it is in a store. The same thing goes with make-up products, there’s just way too much of it to choose „wisely”. That is why Sephora offers its clients an app with the option of trying make-up before buying. It basically works like Snapchat or Instagram filter, you can pick a color of lipstick and see how it would look on you. You can choose different shades or mix them together. You don’t need to take a picture of yourself first, just look at yourself on your smartphone’s front camera and check every product Sephora has offered.

Pharmacies may benefit from AR as well. Let us imagine getting an electronic prescription from our doctor, we often don’t really know what that medicine is or how it’s called. An AR personalized app could help us by reading the data on the electronic prescription and showing us which medicine it is, where can we buy it, and „pick it” for us, just simply show us on our smartphone screens or augmented reality glasses. AR app could scan the products around us and instantly show us information about the prices, ingredients, or possible side effects. It simplifies everyday shopping for customers and gives pharmacy employees a chance to focus more on their job.

AR in fashion

From designing fashion to preparing materials and the production process. AR technology may simplify each and every process. It’s like having a perfect genius assistant without actually having him. Of course, it doesn’t mean that AR technology can bring you coffee, well, at least not yet. So that one is on you for now. But when it comes to designing fashion this „virtual assistant” is irreplaceable. With just one app you will be able to design anything, make small arrangements, change the colors of your design and try different shapes and styles. You’ll maybe even get a couple of tips for some improvements.

AR in clothing stores

In clothing stores, AR could play a slightly different role. By using a special large interactive screen and putting it on a display in your store you give your potential clients an option to try your clothes on, check the prices, and for example to reserve items that they feel that look good on them. They won’t look at this hugely long checkout line and decide to go somewhere else. One thing that people usually hate when shopping is the crowd. Crowded stores and crowded fitting rooms are the things that scare potential customers away. And we are not surprised. The crowd often means stress, which means heat and that leads to sweating. Do you really want to spend your time off work all stressed out and sweaty? We neither. That is one of the biggest issues with shopping for clothes in fashion stores.

Augmented reality products for art 🖼

Another group of people who stand to benefit greatly from augmented reality technology in retail is business owners who either own or work for museums or educational facilities. These people spend countless hours each year trying to create new pieces of art, but the reality is that most pieces of artwork or museum display are far too heavy, bulky, and pricey for the typical consumer. With this technology, the museum or educational facility owner can now display their wares directly in front of the customer without taking up an enormous amount of space. Best of all, the augmented reality system can be adjusted so that the user can see the item of interest from any position in the store. More than that, customers who are interested in purchasing a piece of art should have this opportunity and be able to buy art via an app. Which is why visualization app should also have a purchase option. It would be available for museums and educational facilities and also for their customers. Visualization in these kinds of businesses is a great option to save money and space but for the rest of us who have the resources, it is a fabulous technique of modern art shopping.

In other words

Augmented reality technology in retail is already being used by some of the biggest brands in the retail industry. Google recently purchased mapping company Calendars Inc. for $75 million, and already retailers like Nordstrom and K-Mart have started using the technology in their location-based stores. Even though the technology isn’t exactly brand new, the integration of technology into the retail industry is still fairly new, and many people are just starting to learn about it. If you think that AR technology will help you with your business growth, and believe us when we say it will, now is the time to do it.