Customers are already embracing the technology, with 61 percent of shoppers preferring to shop at stores with AR features over those that don’t have AR. These shoppers note AR makes the experience more fun and exciting.
With the AR market anticipated to reach $133 billion by 2021, it makes sense retailers are embracing AR and gradually familiarizing consumers with the technology in stores. The future is bright for the relationship between AR and retailers, with several examples showcasing this relationship and the forms of retail AR customers can anticipate.
Lowes, IKEA and Target are all fond of AR, implementing forms within their retail space to help people buy home goods. Specifically, Target’s launch of a feature called “See It In Your Space” enables customers to see how a particular piece of furniture will look inside their home.
The AR feature lets shoppers move objects around at an accurate scale, playing with various items throughout any rooms in their house they’ve added. Home goods retailers like Target recognize a costly purchase like a bed or couch is likelier to occur if the customer is aware of how it will look in their space, instead of the store’s showroom.
Lowes strives for a similar personalization experience with their involvement with Microsoft HoloLens, which shoppers can wear to view a full-sized kitchen they can customize with color, scale, and style.
These AR tools are designed to aid significantly in providing buyers more conviction when purchasing costly items that are not practical to purchase and bring home, only to return it when they realize they don’t like how it looks in their space. AR removes the physical exertion and enhances the marketing process by providing a buyer with more conviction and information.
Although AR has been most abundant in the fashion and home goods industries, the toy industry is also getting in the game. Toys “R” Us recently launched an AR app called Play Chaser, which allows those with the app to activate various games throughout Toys “R” Us stores by scanning Play Chaser signs. The app aims to make the shopping experience more fun and interactive.
Compatible with iOS, Android and Amazon devices, the games provide an extra incentive for kids to urge their parents to take them to Toys “R” Us: so they can play a game that requires one to be physically present in the store to access. It’s a marketing success, for certain.
Home projects and renovations are big-time jobs, so it makes sense that the industry is embracing AR as a way to plan designs.
For example, Clopay’s door imagination system provides customers the ability to see how their home will look with a specific garage door. The curb appeal of a new garage door is a big reason to upgrade a garage door, so their garage door visualizer enhances the selection process by providing imagery of the door in front of the customer’s home, making their product more marketable in the process.
The restaurant and cafe industry also shows interest in AR. Industry giant Starbucks is regularly experimenting with AR. One of their recent forays is interesting in that it aims to provide an atmosphere, instead of enhancing the purchasing process. Their AR content aims to transport customers to a coffee farm in another country, while also sharing details of brewing methods.
Essentially, Starbucks’ interpretation of AR involves enhancing the enjoyment of their products by providing an immersive look at every stage of the growing and brewing process. The food and drink industry is likely to follow suit regarding AR implementation and its role in marketing.
Across various industries, retailers are using AR not just to help market their products, but to making shopping experiential for customers.