How Augmented Reality Will Revolutionize Retail Industry

This column is authored by Jyoti Bharwani, Content Manager at Space-O Technologies

Apple recently announced its new and the most powerful framework ‘ARKit’ that can be used for building AR experiences on iOS devices. By introducing ARKit with iOS 11, Apple is exploring Augmented Reality in a better way.

It is predicted that the newly launched ARKit will help augmented reality to have the biggest overall impact on the industry and it is expected that it will experience much higher growth rates than virtual reality.

As we all remember the wonder of Pokemon Go that has approximately 28.5 million daily users. However, it was the only first step into the AR.

Apple’s iOS 11 will be obtainable in the couple months and it will instantly put AR-enabled devices in the hands of millions of people. However, apart from gaming, what can be done with this technology?

From B2C to B2B, AR is likely to revolutionize the retail industry in many ways, so let’s check out how AR and ARKit are going to change the retail industry:

1. Eliminating Indecisiveness

When it comes to talking about the most noticeable case of AR, it is how AR will improve eCommerce shopping experiences by delivering a new kind of showrooming experience.

With AR applications from virtual fitting rooms to spatial projection, retailers of different industries can increase conversion rates by eliminating doubts that have been faced in online shopping industry.

Virtual fitting rooms will make it a lot simpler for shoppers to try different clothes from the comfort of their home when they are purchasing clothes or they can also fit their future refrigerator at a particular place to check how it looks.

It is estimated that approximately 30% of online apparel sales returned by being able to see how it appears before purchasing. It will decrease the total number of returns and convert more sales along with customer satisfaction. For purchasing home items or any other goods, there are various companies that are making use of AR for spatial projection.

AR Retail

Demonstration of Ikea’s implemention of AR

One of the best examples is an app that overlaps IKEA products onto whatever image is on user’s camera frame. With AR technology, customers can better understand about the products and they can know how it will fit in each environment.

2. A Touch of Personalization

Personalization is the biggest trend in the eCommerce market and it has many forms, including navigation, personalized content, recommendations, remarketing, etc. Begin with “You Might Also Like” to “People Also Like” promotions on product pages that leveraged maximum buying behavior.

So far, personalization efforts have only relied on behavioral data, but with Augmented Reality, retailers can take personalization to the next level by using this technology and further immerse customers in the purchasing experience.

With this, customers will come closer to products and easily interact with them, they can feel almost tangible. This way, retailers can help shoppers to be more confident about the product that they are purchasing and their online shopping.

3. It Will Be Everywhere

Apple’s ARKit framework will make AR-enabled devices universal. With this, there is no need of devices and controllers that are required for VR. It is expected that it will be obtainable within few months.

Currently, there are more than 1 billion active Apple users with more than 800 million iOS devices active in use across the world. Today, more and more users prefer to update to iOS 11, so it is expected that in the near future, we can find millions of ARKit-enabled devices that will have AR-capable apps.

It is sign for retailers and big brands to apps immediately. While launching iOS 11, Apple promised for a better object scaling with ARKit and the company has used a fraction of the phone’s CPU that is something that other AR applications have not attained.

4. AR Will Transform B2B

Augmented Reality is going to revolutionize the retail and B2C market. It will also happen with B2B. It is predicted that by 2020, B2B eCommerce sales will outpace B2C sales. Keeping both in mind, B2B and mobile commerce growth will surely create new opportunities for AR apps so that they can revolutionize B2B operations.

No matter whether it is for spatial planning for new homes and interiors, or planning for imitations so that they can train their employees, AR is extremely powerful to layer digital components onto the reality.

Now, What’s Next?

In the last couple of years, Augmented Reality has gone from a concept to reality. Today, there are various AR applications that are being used by people and many are under development. The whole concept will take off globally when different industries will think about how they can integrate AR with daily life and give their customers an enhanced experience.

What do you think about AR and ARKit? Share your views with us by commenting below.

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