Augmented reality? That’s games (like say, Pokémon Go) right? Guess again, AR offers different sectors a lot more options, many of which haven’t been explored to the fullest just yet. The world of retail for example: buying cd’s, clothes, books and furniture online is no exception anymore. For some purchases a web shop doesn’t even cut the deal anymore.
The big obstacle in retail today: from offline to online and back
Let’s say you need a new cupboard. Even if you are doing research online, you’re going to have to check dimensions, see whether or not it would fit and try to envision it in your living room. Taking the information to a local store to choose and check out your product is your next step.
Maybe you just cannot make up your mind. You’d like to explore options on the spot, gather extra information on the products and speak to someone who can help you in your quest for the perfect cupboard.
Whether you’re buying a cupboard, lipstick or a new pair of jeans: you'll have to make the trip to the store to find out whether or not the product fits. And that takes time: the one thing customers of today don’t have.
How an augmented reality app answers the customer’s needs.
In both cases, you will probably want to take time checking out your preferred product and making a decision. Augmented reality can actually speed up the process and reduce the time spent on making decisions. Something IKEA and other retailers have already figured out.
IKEA Catalogue is an app that allows customers to try IKEA furniture in their own living room through AR. This allows them to check out which sofa or cupboard they prefer and to place the order online. This makes the trip to a local store an option rather than a necessity. Besides IKEA, other retailers have already set up similar apps. Sephora launched a makeup app to check out different colors of lipstick or eyeshadow which reduces the testing in-store and speeds up the decision process.
The time for AR is now
Both IKEA and Sephora are success stories. And they are not the only ones. But they set the example for the limitless options of AR in retail today. The future of retail is augmented reality: it gives customers the opportunity to envision the products in their personal context and allows them try them out without having to make the trip to a store. So what are you waiting for?