Augmented reality (AR) isn’t necessarily a new concept, but the recent rollout of Apple’s ARKit and the upcoming launch of Google’s ARCore has taken this technology to the next level, making it substantially more mainstream for every consumer and business across all industries. Similar to virtual reality’s (VR) impact on gaming/entertainment, AR’s use cases are endless. However, one industry in particular stands to reap the greatest benefits — retail. In fact, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, believes that AR will become as “key for retailers as having a website.”
From providing consumers with the ability to test and purchase furniture pieces to changing wall colors from the comfort of their couch, AR has the potential to completely transform the way we shop, offering an entirely new and unique retail experience. With the digital revolution fully underway, below are a few specific examples of how brands can leverage AR, as well as some tips to keep in mind when exploring this technology.
Gone are the days of the “traditional” e-commerce model. Retailers would now be wise to begin virtualizing their product portfolios and catalogs to facilitate unparalleled shopping experiences and unique sales channels for their audiences. For example, when leveraging AR features, home furnishing retailers are now able to showcase their products both in a showroom and directly in the home of the consumer via mobile devices. App users also have the ability to virtually drop a new bed into their living room from their device, see how it fits in a space both dimensionally and aesthetically, and then change the item’s textures, patterns, color, etc. The implications on reducing buyer's remorse are boundless.