Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies blur the line between physical and virtual worlds. In this article, we highlight how VR and AR in retail are revolutionising the consumer shopping experience.
What is AR shopping?
Augmented reality (AR), according to Gartner, represents:
“The real-time use of data and information including graphics, text, audio and a variety of virtual enhancements overlapping real-world objects.”
According to GetApp’s research, an average of just 14% of Australian consumers have used AR to shop (online or in-store.) Similarly, only 12% have shopped in a virtual reality environment. Yet, the same survey predicts that AR and VR are trends set to grow and strengthen. On average, 49% of respondents said they’re interested in shopping with AR and the 47% said the same about VR.
What is VR shopping?
According to Gartner, virtual reality (VR) is:
“An innovative technology, which offers a computer-generated 3D digital environment including 360-degree video and graphics.”
VR and AR in retail use 3D assets, which are digital models of the brands’ physical products. Users can interact with 3D assets during VR/AR experiences.
Using VR and AR to drive better customer experiences
AR and VR solutions can help retailers:
- Improve their customer engagement levels
- Create personalised shopping experiences
- Improve customer return rate and satisfaction.
Here’s how using VR and AR can help you deliver a seamless shopping experience.
Engaging and immersive shopping experiences
AR and VR address the prime directives in retail. This includes:
- Driving customer engagement and immersion into the brand’s value proposition.
- Expanding customer experiences and making them more interactive.
- Streamlining the consumer’s buying journey through the shop by providing navigational help.
VR store accessibility
Onboarding is simple and efficient when retailers use easy-to-follow UX designs. Customers can learn how to use the different features available in AR and VR that retailers put in place.
Product information, browsing and help
AR provides extended product information such as ingredients, specifications, features, and benefits. AR streamlines the delivery of product information. It also helps customers compare and select different product categories. The amount of details at the client’s disposal influences their decision-making process.
AR extensions can help customers search for products. The technology allows users to discover products in the virtual shop from home, and as if in-store, they can view products in augmented reality before buying.
People want to make sure they buy a product with the correct specifications and configurations. Augmented reality can help customers buy the right product from home. In turn, this reduces the potential for returns.
Understanding your augmented reality development kit
- A camera
- Micro-electromechanical (MEMS) sensors
- Strong compasses.
- Optical projection systems
- Display systems
- Handheld devices.
The future of augmented reality and virtual reality in retail
Brands worldwide are steadily adopting VR and AR in retail. Major retailers are enjoying the benefits of AR software and VR software solutions such as increased customer engagement, sales and ROI rates. Consumers are responding to augmented reality, which encourages a seamless, interactive shopping experience.