January 12, 2022
| 5 min read
The retail world has noticed a significant shift from physical retail to online retail, and technological advancements have set out to change the retail market landscape as it does in all other domains of businesses. In an idealistic future, customers would no longer shop by perusing a catalog of products or visiting countless showrooms. Instead, they can browse through the plethora of options to try-on or interact with it, choose what fits their needs and wants the most, and then interactively swipe their way to find what they are looking for —all from the comfort of their own homes. Newsflash, it's no longer a pie-in-the-sky idea, but this technology has arrived, and it is here to stay! This perception is why augmented reality is no longer a distant reality but is turning into today's reality.
Reaping the many benefits of augmented reality still depends on how well the technology can present the most useful and relevant product characteristics for the customers in context. According to recent research: Most consumers today still prioritize value, product, and convenience while making their purchasing decisions. The feeling of finding the right product, for the right price, with a level of comfort upscales the buyer's confidence ten-folds. This feeling of confidence in the buyer's purchases provides an essential block as retailers wish to integrate new technologies into their customer journey, making their shopping experience interactive.
In today's fast-paced and tech-driven world, shopping experiences are happening in many different contexts: at-home, on-the-go, and in-store. When delivered effectively and efficiently, augmented reality can help customers feel more confident in their product selection—whether through strong product interaction, personalized shopping experiences, or making a deeper emotional connection from immersive brand storytelling. Augmented reality provides a new opportunity for customers to see and interact with unique products like never before. The more customizable, the more valuable these experiences become to build confidence during the shopping experience and make better suggestions for increased conversions.
"When we think about AR shopping, it's not just about seeing what something looks like in your space and seeing the size of it, it's also about seeing the materials and the details of that product, for products where those details do matter, there is craftsmanship in terms of the materials being used, those materials must get portrayed very realistically," says Daniel Beauchamp, head of VR at Shopify. While color and vibrance are typically most important for cosmetics, smaller details—like size or sheen—may be more important for others, like Jewelry.
MirrAR has pioneered in bringing augmented reality technology to the Jewelry industry. We enable powerful virtual try-on for Jewelry buyers where they can browse through legions of beautiful Jewelry options with just a swipe. Our technology precisely depicts minute but important details of every Jewelry piece exactly as it is including the height of the pieces, quality of the gems used, and its level of shine!
In an era defined by technological innovation, Augmented Reality (AR) has emerged as a transformative force, reshaping diverse industries and delivering unparalleled experiences to consumers. The impact of AR is felt across the commercial landscape, revolutionizing the way businesses engage with their clientele. In the realm of jewelry, pioneers like CaratLane and Tanishq harness the power of AR to offer customers a virtual try-on experience, enabling them to visualize pieces before making a purchase. Meanwhile, in the furniture and home decor sector, industry leaders IKEA and Wayfair leverage AR to empower customers with the ability to envision how products will seamlessly integrate into their living spaces.
Cosmetic giants such as L'Oréal immerse consumers in virtual makeup trials, while home improvement stalwarts like Lowe's employ AR for projects like virtual painting and flooring. Fashion luminaries like ASOS elevate the online shopping experience through AR-enabled virtual clothing try-ons, and automotive titans like Audi introduce customizable virtual options to enhance the car-buying journey. Beyond these realms, AR extends its influence into the food and beverage domain, as exemplified by PepsiCo and Coca-Cola showcasing products in consumers' homes. In the travel industry, Marriott and Airbnb utilize AR for captivating virtual tours of hotels and destinations. Entertainment behemoths Disney and Warner Bros. employ AR apps to breathe life into characters and narratives, while in education, Google and Apple's AR applications facilitate interactive learning experiences, allowing students to explore historical sites and visualize complex concepts. The transformative impact of AR resonates across these diverse sectors, not only elevating customer engagement but also driving increased sales and efficiency.
Augmented retail solutions are reshaping the shopping experience in profound ways, offering benefits that extend beyond the conventional. Here's how AR is making a tangible impact:
AR enables customers to virtually try on products, mitigating the risk of impulse purchases or acquiring items that might not fit or look as expected. This virtual trial enhances confidence in the purchasing decision-making process.
AR serves as a tool for customers to discover new products, providing an immersive and engaging shopping experience. It goes beyond traditional methods, opening avenues for customers to explore items they might not have considered otherwise.
Navigating large retail spaces can be daunting, but AR steps in to streamline the process. Interactive maps and overlays guide customers to products, making the in-store experience more efficient and enjoyable.
AR facilitates personalized interactions by leveraging data. Recommendations based on past purchases or preferences create tailored shopping experiences, that resonate with the unique tastes and needs of each customer.
Let's delve into tangible instances where augmented reality is reshaping the retail landscape:
The IKEA Place app is a standout example, allowing customers to virtually place furniture in their homes, offering a preview of how it would look and fit within their space.
L'Oréal's Virtual Artist app lets customers virtually try on a spectrum of makeup products, providing a risk-free exploration of different looks.
Sephora's Virtual Try-On feature elevates the in-store experience, enabling customers to virtually try on makeup products using a dedicated AR mirror.
Amazon's Showroom app empowers customers to virtually place products in their homes, giving them a visual representation of how items would look and fit.
As we navigate the retail landscape, augmented reality stands as a dynamic and evolving technology poised to revolutionize the industry. The immersive, engaging, and personalized shopping experiences it offers contribute to increased customer confidence, improved product discovery, efficient store navigation, and tailor-made interactions. Augmented reality is not merely a futuristic concept; it's a tangible force shaping the retail experience today. Embracing AR is not just about adopting technology; it's about enhancing the way customers connect with products and brands, creating a shopping journey that feels both seamless and exciting.
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