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10 ways how augmented reality can help retailers

By Daria Gaioshko

Innovation trends nowadays influence significantly the brand’s marketing strategy. Not surprisingly, mobile devices have become a vital element of the sales process, especially in decision-making.

Following the trend, augmented reality has emerged as an innovative tool that allows brands to interact with consumers on their mobile devices. AR creates a new digital experience that enriches the relationship between consumer and brand and can be used in any location, be it PC at home, mobile devices or kiosks in stores.

Retailers have traditionally relied on print advertising campaigns or other media to promote products. Being divided in the past, print, media and in-store marketing efforts are merged today into the comprehensive consumer experience via augmented reality.

Integration of augmented reality in marketing efforts aims to build consumer relationship, boost sales and add value to the shopper experience. Retailers are getting a chance to attract their target audience by means multiple traditional and non-traditional interactions.

Here are top ten ways that augmented reality can help retailers with videos to showcase:

1. Improves conversion rates and reduces returns for clothing stores: Virtual fitting room (J.C. Penney)

Increased online conversion rate and reduced returns led to improved company profitability.

2. Optimizes warehouse space (SAP & Vuzix)

Augmented reality can improve navigation around warehouse territory when big spaces and many inventory items are involved.

3. Combines traditional retail experience and ecommerce (Yihaodian & O&M)

The creation of virtual retail stores of any size makes it possible to stay closer to the customers with no inventory costs and long lines.

4. Enhances brand recognition (Cosmos [Tavria-V])

Gamification added to the physical products helps to engage customers with a product and works as an incentive to a quicker purchase.

5. Empowers advertising campaigns (Volkswagen)

Brands can incorporate AR experience into an advertisement which directs the user to the additional Web content, product video and coupons.

6. Lets customers “try” before they buy with a 3D product preview (Lego)

The product demonstration may not be as high pressure as a pitch situation, but it is still a selling opportunity. An AR experience can make an engaging alternative in situations when it is impossible to demonstrate a real product.

7. Displays additional information about products shown, enriches shopping experience (IBM Research)

Anything from nutritional information to a virtual coupon that customers can redeem at checkout can be incorporated with augmented reality.

8. Searches for deals around (Valpak)

Augmented reality functionality helps merchants’ offers get found and used by consumers.

9. Visualizes product catalogs (IKEA)

The “projected” catalog items give a customer a real-time, scale view of what the product would look like in her place.

10. Brings customers inside a store (Hugo Boss)

AR-enabled store windows entertain potential customers and make them wonder what is inside.

TECHNOLOGIES ARE emerging at the speed of light. Marketers that are open to new opportunities and adopt trending technologies for business development are the most likely to grow their revenue and market share.

Augmented reality marketing and retail are fairly new, although we can see the significant growth of successful campaigns over the recent years.

Retail is an attractive field to explore augmented reality because the results can be seen in real figures, with live feedback from the customers and viral exposure due to its novelty.

The examples listed above talk for themselves. We anticipate new impressive campaigns in augmented reality retail and believe it will soon become a crucial tool in the marketing technology set.

Daria Gaioshko is product marketing manager at Augmented Pixels, Odessa, Ukraine. Reach her at [email protected].