AR/VR TECHNOLOGIES CHANGING THE RETAIL INDUSTRY
The recent pandemic outbreak has expedited the growth of online shopping. Online shopping is now more common than ever, and the industry has evolved at an unprecedented rate. However, to keep up with customer demand, retail stores invest in new technology to provide a more enriching experience.
Online retail marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, offer a wide range of products people can buy. These marketplaces now include immersive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the shopping experience. Most retailers use these technologies to offer customers a better experience, which has resulted in a 24.8% growth from US$ 3790.94 million in 2021 to US$ 17864.86 million by 2028.
Virtually Try Before You Buy
Earlier this year, VR was primarily used in gaming and entertainment. However, due to the rapid change in the online landscape and runaway technologies like AR/VR, specific use cases for VR had extended into industries that were not considered when it was first introduced. For example, this is leading to changes in how people make fashion purchases worldwide. Customers no longer need to physically visit a store or boutique to try new outfit combinations; instead, they can interact with virtual mannequins at home while custom-designing an outfit experience that’s perfect for them.
Enhanced in-store experience
Due to social distancing norms, retail stores came to a grinding halt as customers were not allowed to visit them. Out of fear in the market, retailers have moved over to AR/VR technologies to ensure the health of their customers, who no longer have to put on every outfit before purchasing it. Retailers also increased their store experience for customers by eliminating the risk of catching infections and ensuring proper safety measures. This makes life easier for retailers– they now don’t have to worry about the cost or time needed for cleaning each garment and fitting room.
AR-enabled smart navigation
Once AR-enabled smart navigation is in place, search times for products in larger retail spaces like malls are vastly reduced. Businesses have eased the burden by installing an infrastructure with this technology that provides a map of their area or store. This benefits customers and store employees alike. They often save time finding the desired product without asking others who pass by. In addition, it is common for customers to use this convenience to find their way around stores quickly and efficiently and eliminate any confusion about where they are going.
Enhancing marketing capabilities
Integrating AR/VR technologies into social media has become the trend of today’s market landscape. Startups and new-age online retailers, who are tapping millennial and Gen Z customers, have been leveraging the abilities of these technologies as filters. For instance, many beauty companies are famous for developing their AR filter to incentivize women to try on specific cosmetics on their faces; this not only captures customer attention but also expands the marketing capabilities of the brands. These filters have endless possibilities in terms of offering customers immersive experiences that provide better brand recognition, boost customer engagement and improve sales numbers.
AR technology solutions give customers a clear view of products from all angles and colours. This lets the customer see how they want to customize the product, so there’s no wasted time or money. It’s easier on everybody, leading to highly personalized experiences for retailers and customers.
AR and VR technologies have a significant impact on the way people shop at retail stores. Brands can get recognized, build recognition in their industry, and differentiate themselves. It’s becoming more common for forward-thinking brands to rely on AR and VR technology as they are poised to revolutionize the retail industry.