The last decade has been the most innovative years of the Technology Industry!
The world was introduced with many revolutionary cognitive technologies that hold the potential of disrupting the world with its current and potential applications! Technology like Blockchain, IoT and AI saw its greatest years in terms of development.
But the Technology that has seen the most innovative applications in terms of Customer Engagement and has disrupted the way an advertiser reaches their target audience has been Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
Current Augmented Reality Scenario:
While the world thought Augmented Reality is a far-fetched concept reserved for future, with the introduction of ARKit and Google’s ARCore and investment of Silicon Giants in the AR ventures, the technology is not just thriving with its unique and innovative applications, customers of the Retail industry are now expecting from Enterprises to introduce AR into their business processes!
For instance, 70% of consumers believe that Augmented Reality applications can help them in taking a better decision! And not just that, such as the impact of the technology that it is believed by the year of 2020; there will be 1 Billion Augmented Reality users across the world.
Impact of Augmented Reality on Retail Industry:
Retail Industry has been the biggest benefactor of the Augmented Reality Technology because not only its applications have helped them cater immersive retail buying experience to their customers, it has helped them in transforming different core business processes such as Advertising, Product Designing, Product Personalisation and many other such departments!
Major brands across the world are leveraging this technology and are using it to revolutionize different print media and are using AR-based applications to encourage customers in engaging more with their products and help them make informed decisions with complete customisation and product personalisation.
The reason why AR has been adopted by so many Retail brands is that applications of the technology in Retail are almost limitless and all you need is an idea with which you could dominate the target market.
Whether it is a product company like Furniture, Automobile, Fashion, Cosmetics and others or service providers like Real-estate, Gaming, Telecommunications or others, Augmented Reality can empower them with better Personalisation, Customisation and immersive buying experience.
To help you understand how Augmented Reality can boost your Retail Business, below are the 5 Business Functions where AR can be implemented to boost the productivity and profitability of the business accompanied by respective Success Stories of AR implementation in that Business Function:
5 Business Functions where Retail Industry can best implement Augmented Reality:
Personalised Product Experiences with Augmented Reality:
With the help of Augmented Reality, retail product businesses can allow customers to design their own product and combos with the unlimited access to styles, colours and variants of the product. Industries like Automotive, Fashion, Cosmetics, Shoes and others can use AR to help their customers in customising their own product and then place a Customised order with the brand. They can also allow people to create different combos of products.
Similarly, service industry can also help their customers in knowing how the different services might look and feel to them and then allow them to choose the best fit for them.
For instance, buying cosmetics like Lipstick and Mascara can be confusing online as the users will not have a perfect idea as to how the product will look actually and for in-store customers, trying products like lipstick and mascara that are used by stranger people has always made them hesitant.
Providing a solution to that, MAC cosmetics stores installed AR-based mirrors in their store that allows users to see how their products like lipsticks and mascaras will look on them without trying the actual product! The same can be enabled with AR application for online buying and help customers try different variants and take what they personally feel is best for them.
Immersive Product Trials:
Augmented Reality can bring objects to life and help customers take Reliable Decisions after trying things virtually created products in their real setups! With the 3D imaging technology, customers can take a trial of products like shoes and apparels at their home and for industries like Home Décor and Furniture, they can distribute catalogues or create applications from which customers can try their virtual products and design in real spaces!
For instance, IKEA allows its customers to scan their wide-range of 2000+ products from their print catalogue by using the AR app and then test the live 3D version of the product in the space where they wish to get it involved!
Michael Valdsgaard, leader of digital transformation at Inter IKEA, the holding company for IKEA said that “Most people postpone a purchase of a new sofa because they’re not comfortable making the decision if they aren’t sure the colour is going to match the rest of the room or it fits the style,” he said. “Now, we can give them those answers in their hands, while letting them have fun with home furnishing for free and with no effort.” This AR implementation of IKEA helped them encourage “Reliable Buying” and gave them a huge boost in their sale.
Augmented Reality for Branding:
Imagine taking out the competition while promoting your product and gaining brand loyalists all at the same time while the potential customers have the time of their life and become your brand ambassador by sharing your Advertising Campaign and praising its creativity without any incentive!
While this seems like a fairy dream of an advertiser, with the use of Augmented Reality, one can create many such interesting campaigns and then use it to make their mark on the world!
For instance, Burger King used Augmented Reality to target their Competitor McDonald’s and also used the same to promote their Whooper burger. They created an AR application where they asked their customers to place the camera in front of any McDonald’s ad and watch it burn and then turn into a Free Whopper voucher! Then the customer can use that coupon to get their free Whooper from the nearest Burger King store. The campaign went viral and gave an amazing boost to their brand while targeting their biggest competition.
Employee Training and Efficiency:
Apart from excellent customer service and satisfactory user experience, Augmented Reality can also help Retail Manufacturers in curbing their Workplace accidents and can also train their employees with immersive virtual experiences.
According to a recent study, 40% of employees who receive poor training will leave their workspace in the first year of employment! And the workplace accidents in manufacturing can not only shut the whole line production but can also result in serious injury to an employee working on the machines!
With the help of AR and VR, organisations can create Virtual Training grounds where they can train their employees and help them gain the idea of the functionality of the machines and the workspace without the real-world risks. You can also create virtual scenarios of what happens in terms of shut-down or failures and how employees can tackle those situations.
Customer Engagement and Brand Recall:
Retail Giants have spent millions of rupees in Outdoor and Media Advertisements to ensure that their customers have a brand recall and these conventional methods might be effective in a long time, but they also have a high risk of ignorance and they can put a big dent in their marketing budget!
But with cognitive and immersive Technologies like Augmented Reality, brands can make Brand Recall really exciting and increase customer engagement with the brand with unique AR implementations!
Remember the game Pokemon Go and the way it made the whole world come on streets with its game that was based on Geo-location and Augmented Reality, similarly retail brands can use the same to create real-life reminders and pop-ups and can also prompt users to make purchases at random time and places.
For instance, brand name Airwalk used Geo-location and Augmented Reality to create an invisible pop-up store to sell their limited edition shoes, Airwalk Jim. They created an AR app that allowed users to buy their Airwalk Jim from anywhere at any time with their virtual store.
The users can get access to real life like 3D store right at any location and can actually make the purchase from their eCommerce platform then and there! This campaign not only helped them sell their product in the fastest way possible, but it also made Brand Recall value high by creating the best possible way of Customer Engagement.
Thus, gaining the right traction for your brand at the right price can be attained by employing Augmented Reality for your business. And to get the right Augmented Reality consultancy and development that can best help your brand, you need a reliable AR App Development Company that has an extended Augmented Reality App for Retailer and Shopping Mall and has AR developers that have immense experience in the Retail Domain.