Augmented Reality: The New Normal In Retail

Many retailers are turning to cutting-edge tech options like augmented reality to stay competitive against e-commerce giants such as Amazon.

For a mainstream example of augmented reality, look at the popularity of Pokémon Go. AR has transformed industries since the rise of this game, retail in particular. After the release of Apple’s ARKit in September, hundreds of iOS users can now access AR-infrastructure, which creates potential market base for retailers in this space.

Spending on augmented and virtual reality is expected to hit $215 billion by 2021, with a number of retailers looking for ways to create more immersive and efficient shopping experience, not to mention creative marketing efforts and internal processes.

Improving the Customer Experience Through AR

There’s reason to believe consumers at large are ready for AR-infused retail. Recent research discovered that 49% of consumers expect retailers to roll out tools for AR within the next half of a year, while 64% would like to have access to virtual shopping assistants. Due to this, many retailers are designing their experiences to meet the expectation. AR can be used for things like envisioning your face with a new eyeshadow, or your room with a new sofa. It is believed that AR’s improved visualization will create more conversions as uncertainty is removed.

Take ULTA Virtual Assistant for example, which lets customers experiment with different lipsticks, shades, and other products using digital superimposition of images. Big companies like IKEA, Amazon and Target have developed platforms that let you see AR versions of furniture in your own rooms, bringing showrooming to a new level.

Creating Better Internal Operations

Backend processes are being streamlined through AR as well. For example, Augment lets home furnishings retailers show off their wares in 3D. Also, roOomy offers a platform for popular retailers to market and display goods via AR, any of which can be bought by users using the app. Ubimax uses AR to make it easier to complete tasks like order picking, inventory management, manufacturing, and training in retail warehouses.