Augmented Reality in Retail: Augmented Reality (AR) has been around since the sixties, it became more known when “Pokemon Go” came and went in 1996.
The process uses the environment you are in, and unlike Virtual Reality which creates a totally artificial environment. AR overlays new digital information over an existing landscape.
The images can be 3D, and this allows much more information to be given, with the image changing with movement (i.e 360-degree view of an object).
There is a wide spectrum of potential use, and the main focus of this blog is the Retail Execution.
The tech is simple: App software receives digital information from a “marker” which can be a printed QR code or another designated logo in the real world. Once read, it then creates the correct image or images on the chosen screen (usually Phone or Tablet). Tech is moving forward now such that you can view through special glasses. Examples of current AR applications are in Gaming and Advertising.
Augmented Reality in Retail?
In Retail, we strive to inform and disrupt in store. This medium does both, excellently:
Walk up to a shop window, see yourself appear on a 60” screen. Then through hand motions, try on the latest range of clothing, seeing exactly how you will look wearing them!
View packaging through your camera on your smartphone. The product will come to life, showing you possible recipes promotional offers etc.
Lacoste, for example, created the LCST Lacoste AR mobile app that customers could use to virtually try on shoes. The app also created AR experiences with window displays, in-store signage, and promotional postcards.
As size now doesn’t become a barrier, why not shop for your car, specify the list of extras, colour of your choice.
View the car of your dreams– all virtually in front of you!
AR can also be used operationally
Tesco is trialling AR firstly from a compliance perspective. Taking a photo of the shelf layout, which links to a server to highlight missing product and also lack of compliance against planogram. This provides them with a tool to ensure shelves are properly stocked.
Outside the Shops, AR has proven an effective way to bring the in-store experience to life in a virtual sense. Rather than customers visiting your store, AR allows them to experience your products and services right in their homes.
Like Lowe’s, home and lifestyle brand Magnolia Market created an app that allows customers to see how their products will look in their homes.
AR also complements other marketing channels, giving importance to printed media to provide the required “markers“. This tech is certainly one to watch, as our shopper journey evolves with the use of our phones, it could eventually become as normal to use AR, as it is today to browse the internet.
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