In today’s digitally-driven commerce, customer experience is a top priority and a key business metric for retail businesses. In pursuit of addressing this strategic priority, retailers are busy finding innovative ways to strengthen customer relationships by offering memorable and valuable experience to customers while they’re shopping.
Beacon technology, in-store tablets, and customer apps are some of the outcomes of an attempt to make the in-person shopping experience more enjoyable and rewarding. However, one potential area that most retailers are overlooking is Augmented Reality or AR.
With the capability to provide an immersive experience by overlaying the digital world over the real one, AR completes the omnichannel ecosystem, promising a seamless shopping experience for customers. The powerful technology offers a new medium for customers to interact with the brand, encourages them to stay longer inside the store and make more purchases, and eventually feel positive about the brand.
However, the statistics are quite surprising. Even though over 70% of consumers expecting retailers to come up with an AR app, more than half of the retailers are still not prepared to integrate this promising technology. But, this isn’t the case for forward-thinking retail businesses. Top retailers acknowledge the potential of AR and are already harnessing the technology to enhance the in-store shopping experience of shoppers.
Take a look at how AR can turn your retail stores into experiential environments by blending physical and digital worlds and creating powerful in-person shopping experiences for your customers.
5 Ways AR Enhances In-Person Shopping Experience
In-Store Signage and Displays
Studies show that nearly half of consumers use their mobile devices during in-store shopping. Know why? Before buying the product, they want more information about the product, compare prices, read customer reviews, and look for discount coupons.
AR-enabled in-store signage and displays can bridge this disconnect between digital and physical worlds and offer a more engaging experience to customers. Imagine shoppers in a clothing store opening the AR app and scanning the picture of a jacket on display.
The app, in return, would beam more details about the jacket, such as available colors, variants, customer reviews, and even the option to buy online.
When coupled with geo-location, AR technology makes shopping experience for your customers quick and easy. One of the possible uses of AR in a retail setting is offering your customers an engaging way to navigate through the store.
For example, think of customers visiting a large home improvement store. Using an AR app, they will create a list of items needed, and the app will then offer them an immersive way to locate items through the fastest route.
Enabling your customers to try out products virtually is one of the effective ways to keep them engaged as well as drive more footfalls. Standing in front of a digital screen placed as the main window display, shoppers can see their virtual version with the apparel or shoes they want to try out even before entering the store.
Similarly, an AR mirror located within a health and beauty store would allow customers to scan their faces, and the mirror, in return, would display their faces with different looks using the makeup products, without actually wearing them.
In-Store Experience at Home
You shouldn’t restrict the use of AR to your stores. Instead, leverage the technology to allow customers to experience your products from the comfort of their couch. For example, shoppers can use an AR app to see how the new furniture they’re planning to buy would look like in their home.
They simply need to scan the space planned for the new furniture, and the app would then overlay a life-size 3D model of the furniture in that space. Customers can also have the option to choose from different colors, variants, shapes, or other features and finally make a purchase from the app itself.
Virtual Pop-up Stores
Another creative use case to enhance customer engagement and provide a fun shopping experience is using the AR technology to create virtual pop-up stores.
Your customers can find the location of these stores through the app. At the location, the app would pop-up products with deep discounts or limited-edition items that your customers can access.
Explore our range of AR solutions to understand how this promising technology can drive customer engagement, enhance the in-person shopping experience, and ultimately increase sales for your retail business. Book a demo or get in touch with us to learn more.