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Augmented reality in retail: For or against?

Augmented reality (AR) is having its moment. Recently, campaigns such as Ikea’s ‘VR experience’, Topshop’s Kinect dressing rooms and the new craze Pokemon Go have all been rolled out to mass appeal. Although the last of the three isn’t necessarily connected to retail, the question stands: It this the future of ecommerce? Augmented reality campaigns continue to target smartphone users, and as two thirds (65%) of ecommerce traffic comes through mobile, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about this exciting possibility.

 

The case for:

Retail brands are jumping at the trend. IKEA has created an entire catalogue that allows shoppers to envisage what their purchases would look like in their home before they buy. IBM have come up with a ‘personal shopper’ type app that gives users personalised info on products when they visit certain stores. Brands such as American Apparel and Converse have developed apps that allow buyers to virtually try on clothes before purchasing. You can be a creative and innovative as you want and the possibilities are endless.

 

ikea augemneted reality

 

 

The case against:

Clearly the prospect of opening up a whole new world for your customers is fun and appealing. Mass market crazes like Pokemon Go have got people talking everywhere. These campaigns sound exciting, but the difficulty that surrounds developing something as complex as this is a little daunting.

 

There’s are a whole host of reasons why augmented reality has taken off so prominently, especially in retail. It’s fun, exciting and allows customers to experience something a little different. Is it now time for more brands to take note?

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