What Is Augmented reality?
Augmented reality is the blending of computer technology and science to create an entirely new medium through which users can interact with the digital world around them. Augmented reality describes the use of information technology to augment reality.
In the 21st Century, the term has increasingly become used to describe new forms of interaction that allow users to interact with the digital information surrounding them. What exactly is augmented reality? It isn’t effortless, but in this article, we’ll cover some of the essential basics so you can get started right away:
Types Of Augmented Reality (AR)
- Digital Augmentation,
- Augmented Reality,
- Mixed Reality.
Growth of Augmented Reality
Augmented reality will continue to become more commonplace and more powerful. This is particularly true as more businesses and organizations seek to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business operations. Think of all the time you spend searching for the perfect dress and how much time is wasted merely looking at it in real life? Suppose you’re implementing augmented reality into your company. In that case, you may find that the time you save can be cut in half simply by having the opportunity to view digital information about the items you’re searching for.
In this new age of retail, augmented reality is here to stay. Stores across the country are implementing this technology into their business practices and reap the benefits. Companies such as Lens Crafters, Clif Bar, Kookaburra, and Pier 1 Imports are just a few of the retailers that have seen growth in augmented reality. Sales have increased and profits have boomed because of the systems installed. This form of interaction allows the retailer the opportunity to show not only products on display but also videos, images, catalogs, etc.
The retail system can be a networked system with many retailers participating. It is integrated into retail software and can even interact with other retail systems, like an online system, a virtual shopping site, or another application that is part of the company’s overall retail strategy. The retailer doesn’t need to know how to program a particular system to interact with others. All they have to do is enter the product information and any other information they want to add. A computer vision system will then process the data and create an accurate, full-color image of the item being displayed.
Not only is it giving customers the ability to better purchase items, but it is also changing the way retailers think about marketing. With more people using their mobile devices to browse, shop, and do other tasks, brick-and-mortar retailers need to find a way to capture some of these future consumers. With the help of these sensors, the focus on these consumers will be on the real world.
An example of this would be a retailer in an urban environment. If they feature a video on the screen of a coffee house or an Italian restaurant, it’s location will likely be in an urban area. People living in urban areas will find the establishment more convenient to get items purchased. When the business has something available for them, it is much easier to convert that purchase into a repeat or come back customer. As a result of this simple technique, these businesses will increase the frequency of visits and hopefully more sales.
Augmented reality in retail is not just about technology, it’s also about business practices. One simple way this is done is by offering items of higher quality at reduced costs. This is especially helpful to small businesses with limited floor space. For instance, a clothing retailer may need to have a large display unit in the front of their store to display designer lines, as well as the popular labels.
The creation of a retail location requires creativity. Once a location is found, it can be targeted to certain types of consumers. This is where augmented reality comes in. It combines the virtual and real worlds together to create an experience that is as near to reality as possible.
When creating a retail location, a business owner will find that they are limited only by their imagination. While there is a lot to think about when creating a store, the most important factor to consider is location. A shopping center or mall must be able to accommodate the needs of a retail store.
Whether it needs to have a large screen television for in-store promotions, or a digital media player for in-store customers, the space must be flexible enough to be able to grow with a business. A person has to figure out what to sell, how to reach customers and where to place the store to achieve the ultimate goal, which is increased sales.
When considering the growth of augmented reality in retail stores, businesses must first consider location, then choose the technology that will work best for them. Depending on what they sell, a retail location can be located anywhere, from the front of the store to the parking lot. This type of technology allows a business to reach a new customer base and expand into new areas that they would not have been able to before without using this marketing strategy.
Problems with Traditional Marketing
- The first problem with traditional marketing is that people think it is very old-fashioned. People might be attracted to new fads, but they are not going to react positively towards something that looks and feels very old-fashioned. The other problem is that there are still people out there who do not understand the power and potential of digital media. Digital marketing is simply a better way of doing business.
- The second problem with traditional marketing is that it is a lot more expensive. Marketers spend a lot of money advertising in traditional media. This leaves a company with very little money to spend on other forms of promotion. With digital marketing companies can promote their products or their brands for very little cost. This is often enough to gain the customer’s attention.
- The third problem is that people may be turned off by ads that are very flashy and busy. They may feel as though the advertisement is trying to sell them something. If you cannot properly explain your product to a customer in an easy to understand manner then they will more than likely find another product that they feel is easier to understand.
- The fourth reason is that people do not trust companies that do not engage with them. In a new environment, a brand is not trusted by the consumer. It could be because of a history of bad experiences. People do not want to be associated with a company that does not care about customer service. Traditional marketing and digital marketing are two different concepts that people should learn more about if they are going to start a business of their own.
How AR Benefits Retail Stores?
Change the entire look of your business & improve conversions
There are already many stores out there using augmented reality technology, and most of them say that it has been working for them so far. Augmented reality, or AR as it is also known, is simply a system where images are overlaid on top of real-world data, allowing the business owner to present his store in an entirely new light.
What is very interesting about the concept of using these images to give the business is that they can change the way that people see your business, allowing more people to see your store and thus increasing your sales. This is also why companies like Best Buy are implementing augmented reality in their stores. The commercial use cases for augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) that are expected to receive the largest investment in 2024 are retail.
There are three significant ways in how augmented reality can help your business in the end. The first one is the increase in traffic that you get from people seeing your store and being aware of what you have to offer them. When they walk into your store and find out that there is more to it than just the standard gaming consoles and games, they will be more inclined to spend money with you.
Potential consumers get a clearer view of what the store has to offer
The second way on how augmented reality helps increase your sales is through the increase of customers you get who are aware of what products you have to offer. Knowing that there is more to your store does not mean that they will automatically know what it is.
They may need to ask for information, or they might need to ask for directions to your store. If you provide them with what they need, you have increased their chances of spending money with you. As per a survey, 45 percent more people reacted positively to AR in retails, claiming that knowing everything beforehand saved their time.
Better client retention
By knowing more about your business and what you sell, you will know whether or not the person looking for the product you are selling knows what he is looking for.
This will allow you to learn more about your demographic and keep your clientele updated as to what they can expect when they enter your store. Knowing this is important because it will help you target your services to the right clients and the correct products. This will increase the number of people who stay in your store and the number of people that visit and come back again.
In 2020, consumer and enterprise augmented reality (AR) glasses hardware and software revenue amounted to 1.35 billion U.S. dollars. It is forecast that this is set to rise to 2.09 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 before climbing to 13.36 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.
Better promotion & advertisement
The fourth way on how augmented reality helps in increasing your sales is through promotion. By adding more content to your site, you will draw in more people to your site. You can add in more videos, more images, and any other content that you want to include so that your customers can know more about what they can expect when they walk into your store.
If you have items up for sale, you will want to make sure that you advertise those items with AR. However, if you don’t have the money to advertise your items, you may want to try advertising with other companies. Many companies will help you get your promotion for free and, in some cases, even for free with just a little effort. According to a research, AR-based promotions brought about 25percent more conversions than traditional marketing
Optimizes warehouse in retail stores
In this new age of technology, how does augmented reality optimize warehouses in retail stores?
According to industry experts, supply chain management, the answer is simple: by using digital technology and data analytics to create new opportunities for businesses. The days of predicting customer behavior and then having to deal with all the consequences are over.
Marketers can now see ahead of the curve and plan for changes that will lead to positive outcomes. They can see how customers use existing technologies in real-time and leverage this knowledge with intelligent applications that provide the ultimate on-demand solution.
In a retail setting, retailers need to think about how they can utilize data to benefit their business. This information not only helps make better decisions but can help them improve their overall bottom line. Retailers that understand how to optimize warehouse conditions in retail can make the most of their product by increasing foot traffic and overall sales performance. It’s a proven fact that people shopping in a store don’t like walking around empty and searching for items.
Walking through a store with an iPad or Android device is no longer enough. People want to be able to actually touch the things they’re looking for and do it with ease. That’s why manufacturers are scrambling to come up with products that provide a user experience that rivals are browsing in a physical store. Manufacturers are working on how augmented reality applications can optimize warehouses in retail stores, showrooms, and distribution facilities.
Augmented reality is the merging of virtual reality, and computing technologies to deliver improved services and better product offers to customers. By combining the physical and digital worlds together, augmented reality optimizes warehouses in retail settings by providing an easy-to-use interface for shoppers.
Consumers can enter the store and immediately see the item they want without having to dig deep into a catalog to find it. By just looking at an item, the consumer could decide if it’s what they want, by how much they want it, and where they want to place it on their own shelf. This is known as ‘virtual shopping’.
In 2021, unit sales of augmented reality (AR) glasses among the leading brands worldwide are expected to amount to 410 thousand units, rising to 3.9 million units by 2024.
Easy To Deal With Customers
Think about it – a sales assistant enters aisles with a list of items needing to be sold, looks at a display of the items, and decides which item is best suited to the customer. The computer then displays the item in three dimensions, and the sales assistant chooses it and places it in an appropriate slot.
The computer then brings up relevant information such as price, product number, and other product specifications, which the sales assistant can then quickly access, making the item an instant ‘pick me up. Once the item is purchased, the sales assistant walks back to the cashier and deposits the customer’s total in the designated slot.
The technology allows a store to increase its revenue stream by allowing more sales of products that people are already interested in. On the other hand, customers can quickly find their way around a busy store or, even better, browse through a virtual online catalog or even view pictures of their product in action.
This will increase sales as people will want to take a closer look at the item before placing an order. It will be interesting to see how these systems evolve over time and whether technology develops further to make this possible.
Consumers can know how a product will look in a particular space
Consumers, now with the help of AR along with 3D models can help businesses view their products will look in their house. With this, it will lead to lesser confusion and better understanding while purchasing.
5 Examples of AR experience in retail
- Dulux Visualiser – This brand has very efficiently used the AR by giving the consumers a feel regarding how their walls will look when painted with a different colour.
- Gucci – Gucci allows it’s users to try on their shoes with the help of AR
- ASOS – Asos has introduced the virtual catwalk through AR
- IKEA – Ikea has a 3d function in it’s app,which allows consumers to get a view of how their furniture will look inside their house,when assembled.
- Sephora – Sephora allows consumers to know how their cosmetics will look on the consumer’s face.
Why is it necessary to adapt AR?
It’s only a matter of time before augmented reality takes hold in the retail industry as well. When it does, it will revolutionize the way that business is done.
Imagine being able to scan a person’s fingerprint and instantly get access to their personal inventory. Or imagine being able to capture a customer’s order without ever standing in front of them or having to ask them to do so. A final example would be computer-generated displays. This is often referred to as 3D technology in the retail industry. These types of displays work like projection screens. They project the image of an object onto a surface.
This technology has been around for quite some time now but only recently become a common feature in retail stores.
Feeling Of Being At The Store
The introduction of virtual reality to the retail industry presents a whole new level of possibilities. Not only can you have actual items placed in the retail space, you can also give customers the feeling that they are actually “at the store.” This includes the feel of browsing the actual store as opposed to looking at a computer screen. Another example would be having the video game characters walking around the store. These two examples are just a few of the ways that virtual reality can be used to make the retail experience better.
Changing Technological Landscape
When considering the future of the retail industry it is important to think about the ways that the technological landscape is changing. If you take the time to research the different areas of this technology, it will become clear to you how vital it will be for your business to take advantage of these changes. For instance, if you are in the retail business and you do not use Google Glass, it is likely that customers will soon do so. In order for you to make sure that your business can adapt to these changes, you need to learn as much as you can about emerging technology. Take the time to learn about Google Glass and other computerized display technology so that your business can truly start moving forward.
Augmented reality is the future of shopping. With smartphones, tablet computers, laptops, and other gadgets are becoming a part of our daily lives, augmented reality is poised to change the way we buy. In fact, Google Inc. has already was testing augmented reality software with its Project Glass device.
With the aid of this device, users can enter a virtual location where they’ll be able to look around real objects while accessing information at the same time. If consumers are still skeptical about the idea of augmented reality, then perhaps they just haven’t been exposed to the many applications that are available now. Here are some examples of why this concept is set to revolutionize how consumers experience the future of retail.First, it’s important to understand exactly what Augmented reality is.
When shopping, the consumer typically goes into a store and simply look around, not taking any of the actual physical action. A sales clerk, for instance, may actually stand right behind the customer and give them a visual explanation as to why that item is on sale, or guide them through the purchasing process.
If the customer goes into a virtual location and is told exactly why they should buy that item while looking at a side-by-side image of the virtual item and its real counterpart, then the thought of buying will almost certainly be more likely to go through. When a digital object and its counterpart appear next to each other, the natural response is to reach out and touch the real object, right?
The idea of combining reality and virtual reality is changing the way retail locations use displays and signage. Instead of using traditional banners to display sales and specials, retail establishments will instead use interactive screens that “talk” to customers.
These screens could talk to the consumer, telling them about the current special or promotion, or possibly warning them that something catches their eye but that the item is out of stock. The potential applications of this technology are virtually endless, which is why retail experts have already started to explore the potential uses for augmented reality in retail.