Sofia Coppol

@CoppolSofia

How Augmented Reality is disrupting the retail industry

Many still believe that the technology of Augmented Reality is just limited to fun and entertainment. People, please update yourself! The today’s augmented reality technology has come a long way since it was introduced in the market. It is now all prepared to help industries, such as retail. Businesses in this industry are looking at the practical requirement of an augmented reality app development.

Augmented Reality has emerged as the key technology for retailers for their physical outlets and monotones stores. AR comes with all the strengths to give a high level of liveliness and rapidity to physical stores as people have in an e-store, such as checking hundreds of products, keeping them in the wish list, and then making the final list to buy the selected ones of them. In fact, AR technology, for a physical retail store, goes a step further and allows customers to try clothes virtually.

AR technology is the result of the ongoing digitization revolution which is now touching almost every aspect of our life. Smartphones are one of the biggest examples of this revolution. Retailers have learned that the AR technology can completely change the way physical retail outlets and online retail stores are operating today. Let’s understand it.

Delivering an exciting new store experiencing with the use of AR technology

Retailers owning physical shops are seeing the disruption created by online shopping sites to public shopping places. A few years back, same public shopping places were visited by a heavy crowd to explore different products. They now do not get that amount of crowds. In results, physical stores have little sales in the comparison of past.

It’s not that people have stopped shopping. They are still buying, but now they do it online. More and more people are showing interest in shopping online in the comparison of visiting physical stores. There are certain factors contributed to this doomed situation. Some of them are mentioned below:

· No or minimum interactivity

· No engagement with shoppers

· Long waiting queues at billing counters

Most of these issues can easily be addressed with the technology of augmented reality. Let me present some use cases where augmented reality and mobility can help a customer enjoy a smoother shopping experience.

· Lisa enters a store where she is informed that if she downloads the AR app of the store, she will have a completely different shopping experience.

· She downloads the app and enters the store, but soon she realizes that all salespersons are busy with other customers. This is where she uses the app in her mobile and starts scanning products to get the details of each of them.

· If she chooses a pair of jeans and adds them to the cart, the AR app empowered with the AI capabilities recommends t-shirts or shoes that will go with the jeans.

· When she clicks on a matching t-shirt or shoe pair, the AR app guides her how she can reach the exact location in the store where she can pick these products.

· Also, the app allows users to make payment through the app itself. This will help a customer shop and checkout from the store without waiting in a long payment counter queue.

With AR technology, boring processes like finding the right match of a purchased product, locating a product in a big store, and standing in queues for several minutes to make payment, can be eliminated. Physical stores can be turned interesting and more alive once again.

Augmented Reality for Ecommerce

Augmented Reality is also supporting e-commerce stores. The focus of applying the technology to e-commerce stores is to take the virtual buying of products close to the physical buying experience.

People shopping online are not fully satisfied with e-commerce apps they use. It’s almost a one-sided experience. They cannot try a product then and there to avoid returning it later which is doubtlessly a process longer than buying the product and then getting it delivered. They aren’t sure about the size of a product which may vary from brand to brand. They are also not sure whether a particular color will suit them or not.

There are several things e-commerce stores still lack for. But the augmented reality can tackle most of these issues quite intelligently even without losing the true sense of the process.

Let me bring Lisa again in this story. Here are some use cases that Lisa will experience with using an AR enabled eCommerce mobile app.

· Lisa wants to buy a sun-glass online, but she is neither sure with the frame and its color nor with the size that will suit her face. Thank god the brand she wants to buy already has a mobile app with the AR feature that allows people to take their picture and apply any sun-glass from the store app. The app takes care of the size of sun-glass when Lisa adjusts it on her photo in the app.

· Lisa has the requirement of a coffee table in her drawing room and, she finds one of her choices on a furniture e-commerce app. But she is again in doubt whether the actual table will suit the available space or not. She discovers that the brand, she wants to buy a table of, has an AR app that lets her virtually place furniture anywhere she wants. She does that and ends up buying the table she likes. When the product is delivered to her, she finds it exactly the same she ordered after virtually seeing it through the app.

· Lisa likes makeup and, she buys it online. Often time, the beauty products she buys online do not turn out to be of her choice as she cannot try them before buying. But then she finds an app that lets her apply lip color virtually on her image. She instantly downloads the app and clicks a photo of her. Then she tries hundreds of colors on her picture and decides which color is going with her.

This is how Lisa can virtually have a smoother and more real experience of online shopping because of the technology of Augmented Reality.

Wrapping up

AR has already got the desired pace. Businesses know that how they can deliver a better experience to keep attracting customers in their physical stores and on their e-commerce shops.

Author Bio: Sofia is a digital marketing expert in Rapidsoft Technologies which is a leading IT consulting company providing full range IT services including, IoT application development, Blockchain development, ERP Development and big data app development solutions.

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