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How AR is changing the way we shop online and in-store?

By Shivam Srivastava
December 28, 2017 2. min read
Last update on: March 31, 2020

The elements in a real-world environment are augmented or supplemented by the computer-generated sensory inputs which are in the form of graphics, video, sound or GPS data.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a way to directly or indirectly view this real-world environment. This technology comes as a virtual layer on top of the real-world, made possible through the smartphones and tablets. We are witnessing a massive level of improvisation using mobile technologies and we have seen exponential growth with this technology.

Augmented reality is one such area that has a massive level of application in the retail space. Through the augmented reality the retailers will be able to get connected with the customers whether they are inside or outside the store.

In this era that is marked only by the internet, this technology is used by the retail stores for integrating their products with the online world, in a manner that is eye-catching with the customers. It also helps to enhance the shopping experience of the customer, making their life easier and luxurious at the same time. In this highly competitive market place, retailers are going out of their way to maintain a place in the race.

The technology has also brought limelight to augmented reality app development companies that build solutions that use AR.

What are the benefits of Augmented Reality?

Using augmented reality apps for any business is the next big move. Looking at the statistics, billions of people own a smartphone and more than 90% of them use it for online shopping. That gives the Augmented Reality applications a massive scope. Here are some benefits of using Augmented Reality apps for business:


When any business uses technology as a means to grow their business, the results are always impressive. To create augmented reality app for a business will be a wise decision. With the help of AR, stores can bring in more customers by showing them what all they can buy. 61% shoppers prefer stores with Augmented Reality technology which makes shopping easy for them.

Enhanced shopping experience

Shopping has become a major part of people’s lifestyle. What people are looking for is more and more convenience as shoppers all the while not compromising the range of products. Augmented Reality apps will help in improving the shopping experience for customers by letting them use more and more flexibility while shopping.

Reduced returns

It often happens that when customers don’t like a certain product they will return in instead of exchanging it. Though the return policy is not practiced by most of the stores yet the ones who use it are always disappointed by the return rate. With AR, users can try on the products before buying which will reduce the returns.

Customer Reach

Reaching the customers is the motive of businesses. With Augmented Reality technology, the ability to reach customers even if they are not in the store, increases. Since a majority of mobile users have smartphones, using Augmented Reality technology to reach them has become a possibility.

Customer engagement

Customers need to engage with the stores by staying in for long or visiting more often. To do this the in-store experience should be better so that customers feel good about visiting the stores. Another way to increase engagement with the help of AR is by installing AR based systems that let customers try on products and view them in different designs and colours.

More loyal customers

Better experiences make the customers happy and that is what drives them back to the store. The main aim of any business is to get their customers coming back again and again. Augmented Reality apps for shopping can be used to give loyal customers bonus points and access to more products.

Latest technology

Augmented Reality app is absolutely necessary for the in-store owners, particularly when 2 billion people worldwide are using smartphones and 90% of them using it only for online shopping. The modern smartphone is equipped with powerful accelerometers, GPS receivers and compasses which conveys the exact location of the device. The retailers are using it along with localized SEO for reaching the customers to such an extent, that was unthinkable so far. It proves to be extremely useful for the retailers for a proper match with the relevant customers.

Brands that are using Augmented Reality apps to flourish in the market

There are many brands that have taken to AR technology by building a system where customers that come to the store can see fitted clothes as well as virtually try different clothes. Augmented reality app development has become an investment for brands. Brands usually get the apps developed by augmented reality developer and use it to increase their sales and profits. Following are some brands that have successfully used AR in their stores:

    • Topshop- used AR to create a virtual fitting room in their Moscow outlet.
    • American Apparel- has an augmented reality app which scans products and displays price of the product.
    • Lacoste- built an augmented reality app that lets users try on different shoes.
    • Timberland- installed a screen to let customers try on different apparels just by standing in front of the screen and swiping right and left.
    • Charlotte Tilbury- has a store where customers can sit in front of a screen and the AR will show different make-up looks on their face.
    • Shopify and IKEA- used Augmented Reality apps to let users design their home and workspace with different products.

How is AR bridging the gap between online shopping and in-store shopping?

This is the era of internet and technology and if businesses want to survive they have to adapt to new trends. Using the latest technology and implementing it in your business can be quite tough but is for sure, benefitting. Augmented reality apps Android and iOS is one of the latest trends in the market. This happened when the sales of brick and mortar stores saw a new low.

After the advent of online stores, brick and mortar stores started facing loss until they turned online as well. What they did was go for augmented reality app development services and got themselves an app. Today, going online has become a part of marketing for businesses, be it any kind. Some are even using online interactions to increase their in-store sales.

AR is bridging this gap between the online and offline shopping practices by using augmented reality apps Android, iOS and Windows. Following are some ways how AR is bridging the gap between in-store and online shopping.

Vital Inputs

The retailers and the online store merchants must understand that they will not be able to completely rely on such technology for increased customer engagement. On the other hand, it will be able to increase footfalls and traffic. It is all about augmenting the store traffic and there is nothing revolutionary in using the concept for online shopping.

AR is often used for store planning but competent planning must be built around it, in order to make the idea successful. The associated interactive displays must be integrated with social media features, generating more shares from the customers, for both the offline and online stores.  

Enhanced Print Advertising and Interactive Promotion

Augmented Reality actually enhances the view of a product to an altogether new level. We all know that the usage of picturization and visual graphics are always helpful for an enhanced view of the product. AI makes the advertisements more specific and generic which meets the customer requirements with higher efficiency. The retail and online marketers easily measure their ROI through the targeted messages and engage in more interactive methods of promotion for the customers.

Augmented Reality is really useful for print advertising activities like catalogues, brochures and scanning. They are often integrated with the app so that more interactive content is shared with the user. It can also be used for offering exciting draws for the customers, with an experience that is similar to a physical presence in the store.

Impressive Presentation of the Products

There is an enhanced product viewing with the help of this technology. A moving 3D model is very useful for showcasing the product. In the case of online shopping, the customer can virtually walk through the store and feel the product. This provides a stimulating experience for them.

Customers can even see the product at home with the help of an app. Stores are going mobile to give people a chance to see their products without even going to the store.

Leads to impulse buying

It is the belief of 55 % customers that the app or the retail store that has AR/VR features will be able to influence their decision to buy, in a much more positive manner. They will also enable the customer to use the product before they buy it.

More and more buying decisions from the customers will be influenced by AR, whether that is a promotional tool or information service. It is actually used for driving the shoppers towards the in-store experience and increasing their interaction with the products to a great extent.

Try on products at home and in store

AR lets customers try on products in the store on a big screen as well as at home on their mobile phones with the help of augmented reality applications. Brands like Lacoste lets users try on different shoes with the help of augmented reality application. Similarly, Timberland stores have installed screens which lets you try on different clothes.

The Future of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality is seeing success in many domains. The future seems to be no less bright than how we are expecting it. The gaming industry saw the magic with augmented reality apps for games like Pokemon Go, Harry Potter, etc. AR and VR entered the food industry and has been changing things for good ever since. The global market for AR is going to be $100 billion USD by the year 2020. We are expected to see more of it as this is just a scratch on the surface and there is a lot more to come.

So by now, if we have intrigued you with this blog then let us give you something more. We as a leading AR VR app development company, have skilled Augmented Reality developers and VR developers who will help you with your amazing ideas and bring them to reality. Feel free to contact us at Appinventiv and we will get back to you.

Shivam Srivastava
Shivam Srivastava
Marcom Manager
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