The elements in 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 an exponential growth with this technology. Augmented reality is one such area that has 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 survival easier, in this highly competitive market place. Some of the benefits offered by AR are:
AR is absolutely necessary for the in-store owners, particularly when 2 billion people worldwide are using smartphones and 82 % of people are using their smartphones, only for online shopping. The modern smartphone are 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.
Following are the some of the methods for bridging the gap between the in-store and the online shopping.
The retailers and the online store merchants must understand that they will not be completely able to rely on such a 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 a competent planning must be built around it, in order to make the idea successful. The associated interactive displays must be integrated with social media marketing, generating more shares from the customers, for both the offline and online stores.
Augmented Reality actually enhances a view of the 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 enables to make the advertisements more specific and generic and this will meet the customer requirements, with a higher efficiency. The retail and the 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 the 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.
There is an enhanced product viewing with the help of this technology. A moving 3D model is very useful for showcasing the product. In case of online shopping, the customer can virtually walk through the store and feel the product. This provides a stimulating experience for them.
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.
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