Did you know that 40% of consumers are ready to pay more if they can experience a potential purchase through augmented reality?

With these big market opportunities, it is important to know how AR in retail will shape the future of retail, especially in the post-COVID world.

The Future of Retail Post-COVID

Market researchers predict that the online shopping expenditure of Americans will increase up to $969.70 billion by 2023.

With this ever-growing digital shopping landscape, more and more retail companies will experience the difficulty of attracting foot traffic and customers to physical stores. Now, as we slowly approach the post-COVID era researchers predict it will become even harder to get customers to physical stores. We can also expect the competition rate between small and big retail businesses to gradually increase.

So, how can retail businesses stick around in the post-COVID pandemic world and get foot traffic to their physical stores? In this blog post, we will explore some benefits of augmented reality in retail and how it will help retailers thrive in both virtual and physical spaces.

What are the Benefits of Augmented Reality in Retail?

There are several benefits to using AR in retail.

1.      It drives online traffic

As many Americans are spending their time indoors, augmented reality applications allow retailers to reach customers directly in their houses. One of the most successful examples is Clearly’s Try On campaign, where customers can try on glasses and sunglasses before making a purchase. Not only does this AR feature help to drive sales, it also helps to drive an increased amount of traffic to the website.

2. It increases the size of the sales funnel

According to a survey from 72% of customers impulse-purchased a product because of the augmented reality experience they had. Whether it is an in-store or private augmented reality experience, customers always seek new forms of entertainment and augmented reality is the best solution. Check out this piece of AR from M-XR.

Can you tell if these are real or virtual shoes?

By using this novel and in-demand technology, you will attract more customers, increasing the size of your sales funnel.

3. It will help physical stores stay in business

At the end of the day, people love physical objects and online shopping might never replace the experience customers have at physical stores. However, researchers predict many people will opt for online shopping rather than visiting physical stores post-COVID.

Right now is a good time for retail marketers to devote some resources to ‘hooking’ visitors and getting them to come back. AR in retail is a great way to do this, as it is a novelty that consumers will want to experience.

How AR in the Retail industry is shaping brick and mortar stores

1. The Store as an Attraction

How do you make mundane everyday urban spaces more attractive? Augmented reality is the solution.

One great example is Zara’s window-shopping augmented reality fashion show. On the streets of London, passerby shoppers can scan a QR code and view a fashion show led by models Léa Julian and Fran Summers.

Such applications of augmented reality encourage customers to visit the store, as well as capture and share their experiences, which will amplify brand awareness.

2. The Store as an Experience

Retail companies know that the physical and emotional experiences of customers are important during the sales process. However, the old-fashioned ways of tricking customer sensory experience through certain smells or lighting are outdated. Today, retailers need new methods to make their store experiences different from the competition.

Companies such as Adidas have already started experimenting with AR technologies to improve customer experience, entertain buyers, and increase the size of their sales funnel. Here is an example of how Adidas makes their products and stores more engaging and interactive through AR.

3. Gamification of AR in Retail

Who doesn’t love games?

With the help of some creativity and WebAR, you can easily turn your sales pitch into a game. One great example is Adidas’ ad campaign promoting their Ultraboost 19 sneakers. Posters with QR codes invited commuters on the Toronto subway to participate in a lottery by scanning the code. If users won a game, they needed to redeem their prizes in the nearest physical store.

4. Product Packaging as Interactive Experiences

More product package designs are becoming interactive. They can capture customer’s attention for longer and drive a buyer’s decision to purchase. Well-thought out and technologically enhanced packaging can help tell the more comprehensive stories behind the product.

Here is a great example of how AR can help your packaging tell a story: Herbal Essences: bio renew.

The Pace Creative Way

Our team has over 15 years of expertise developing AR experiences for industries such as healthcare, distribution, and financial services. We were one of the pioneers in building VR and AR experiences for ecommerce brands including Adidas. Today, with all our expertise and experience we are helping brands such as E*TRADE Corporate Services and NxStage build successful AR and VR campaigns to generate high quality leads and stand out from the competition.

If you enjoyed reading our blog post on AR in the retail industry, make sure to read our blog posts on VR technologies: How to Generate Leads with VR, Why You Should Use Virtual Reality as a Content Marketing Tool, and 6 Tips for Virtual Reality Development and Design.

Ready to implement AR for your retail business? Reach out to us today to make AR part of your digital transformation journey.

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