Reimagining retail through AR

  • Reimagining retail through AR image

From trying on clothing digitally to going on a treasure hunt to win an instant prize in your favourite store, the future of retail is set to take on a whole new exciting and imaginative direction thanks to Augmented Reality (AR) technology.

Whilst many retail brands have explored AR applications, a number of factors have combined, setting the stage for a boom in immersive shopping experiences.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend and according to a 2019 Deloitte Digital report 71% of consumers would shop more often as a result of AR apps. Add to this the rollout of 5G connectivity and the launch of AR apps or functionalities from Google and Amazon and you have a consumer landscape that is ready to embrace the new retail experiences that AR can offer.

So how could retailers incorporate AR in-store? Here are some examples.

Virtual change rooms

Let’s face it, trying on clothes can be inconvenient, time consuming and overwhelming. But some future forward brands are taking advantage of Kinect technology to create virtual fitting rooms. Timberland used an AR mirror on of the main window displays which allowed passers by to scan themselves and try on different outfits. A great way to attract attention and drive foot traffic instore.

Gamification

Toys R Us has created an app that once downloaded onto a mobile device creates a digital playground for kids who can unlock AR-enabled activities throughout the store. A great way to keep kids happy while parents are purchasing – and to keep them coming back. On the other spectrum, luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton has created an AR app that allows customers to view their stores being taken over by characters from their ‘Zoooom with Friends’ campaign – which also ties into their Spring / Summer 2021 men’s collection.

In-store navigation

Whether it’s drawing attention to products that aren’t moving off the shelf quickly enough or helping customers navigate to where they need to go, AR technology is a great way to influence purchasing behaviour once customers enter the store. US hardware store LOWE’S paired AR with geolocation technology that allowed customers to create shopping lists in the app and then be guided to the items in store using the quickest route possible.

Sky’s the limit

From collecting behavioural analytics to orchestrating unique live events and enhancing physical products, the opportunities for creating engaging and interactive shopping experiences through AR technology are endless. Those brands that are not only quick to adopt this technology but clever about the way that they use it, will be at the forefront of this movement and top of the retail food chain.