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Home delivery, telephone order and e-commerce. What do these things have in common? They changed the way we shopped. Introduction of these technology/ideas, enhanced our shopping process. Similarly, Augmented Reality (AR) is set to alter the face of retail industry.
AR is highly scalable and has multiple uses across this industry. A look at some interesting ways in which AR is expected to grow:
Trial/testing of a product:
AR helps to bridge the gap between a customer’s perception of the product and the reality. This is the quintessential need for physical shopping or trial for a product.
Furniture: In 2013, IKEA – the Swedish retailer tested the ropes of AR, by launching an AR-based app. It used AR-overlay of 3D models of IKEA’s products on the real-time feed of the camera. It helps visualise how a product would look at a given space.
Shoes: Sneaker-maker Converse created an AR app in 2010. When one points a camera at their feet, the app overlays a projection of the shoe on their feet.
Clothing: Ever stood in a never-ending queue ahead of the trial room only to find the dress doesn’t fit you? Well, AR is about to change the game in clothing trials using overlay.
Japanese retail store – Uniqlo tried to address this concern by enabling an augmented trial room. This room had a mirror with an LCD screen that let you choose the apparel you wish to try. The app then overlays different colors of the clothing to help you make the best choice possible.
Virtual makeup trial: Sephora, the makeup retailer launched an app – ‘Sephora Virtual Artist’ that enabled overlaying different makeup looks. Once the customer scans the face using a camera, the app detects the different organs like nose, lips, eyebrows, skin etc and allows you to try a shade.
When shopping at a busy super-market, we are often sceptical of a product’s ingredients. The aisles are long and nearest assistant is pre-occupied. What if one had a personal assistant to share further information on every product? AR does just that, acting as your personal shopping assistant. Several retail big-wigs like Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour have been testing and experimenting with AR in shopping.
Chinese e-commerce retailer – Yihaodian, opened virtual stores across the country. This enabled consumers to shop on the go. The app has virtual shopping aisles; customers can select and arrange for a home delivery.
AR is already booming in several such retail verticals. Add the magic of AR to your business. To know more, drop us a message.
This blog is a re-written excerpt from an article first published in the Augment.com