Augmented Reality (AR) is starting to revolutionize how people shop, improving consumer experience and conversion rates. Having adopted AR technology as early as 2017, some forward-thinking retailers have already seen its benefits.
Increased Customer Engagement
Amit Goyal, SVP of product and engineering at Overstock.com, said that they have seen an increase in exposure and sales after they started offering Augmented Reality functions to consumers, “The major win is the increased customer engagement in the app”. Consumers can now use the Overstock app to virtually place the furniture of their interest into their environment and see how it would look, and whether it would fit well.
Overstock.com is not alone, many retailers from a variety of verticals have jumped on AR technology. Amazon, Sephora, Riddle’s Jewelry, Wayfair, Ikea, Target, GAP & AkzoNobel are just some of the retailers that are already offering AR experiences to consumers. In fact, insights from Google show that 61% of consumers say they would prefer to shop in stores that offer AR and research by Digital Bridge shows that 74% of consumers now expect retailers to offer some type of AR experience.
Be it furniture, appliances, jewelry, makeup, wall paint, electronics, grills or even hot-tubs, Augmented Reality can improve shopping experience and retailers are already using mobile AR apps to increase consumer engagement and boost sales.
Expectations & Predictions
2019 is predicted to be even more heavily influenced by consumer experience than 2018 was. In an interview to CMO.com, Stacy Martinet, VP of marketing strategy and communications at Adobe said, “It’s all about refocusing your strategy around experiences and an ongoing relationship with your customer, rather than just vying for a single transaction”.
Anudit Vikram, SVP of audience solutions at Dun & Bradstreet, expects mobile to become an even bigger digital touch point for consumers including when within physical stores. Latest data from Retail Dive shows that nearly 60% of shoppers look up product information and prices while in stores, a trend that is predicted to increase in the current year. “Now that Augmented Reality is available to hundreds of millions of iOS users across the globe, we’ll likely see retailers and brands building more mobile experiences that overlay real-time information onto a shopper’s surroundings in a store”, Vikram added.
When one combines this information with the fact that in time, more and more AR-enabled devices will be available to consumers at affordable prices, a clear view of the near future is presented. Within just a few years the great majority of consumers will use AR in their shopping as much as they use the internet today. AR will become so common place that any retailer without it will be unable to remain competitive.
Technology is going to keep advancing, and consumers are going to keep changing. If you would like to know more about the latest retail technologies and how they can be applied to increase your revenue and lower your costs, please contact us for a free consultation.