12 Ways Augmented Reality Improves Your Customer’s Retail Experience

Thomas Brownlees

Thomas Brownlees

CEO and Founder,
440 Industries

Introduction

As technology keeps on evolving and digging its roots in every industry, the fashion industry is also not safe from it. There are several ways that have been introduced to enhance the customer’s shopping experience. And more and more are on the way.

Among a lot of the ways, the Augmented Reality (AR) that is now taking the fashion or beauty world by the storm and everyone is loving it. Now the question is what is Augmented reality and how it is affecting fashion retailers?

Augmented Reality is a kind of the latest technology that projects the computer-generated pictures of the products in front of your eyes in the actual world. Whether it is a dress, shoes, furniture, anything can be now viewed and tried directly at home.

Augmented Reality is now becoming a part and parcel of every fashion store, as it is affecting their sales and engagement in a positive way. Not only this technology is helping the fashion retailers build their brand more and more. But also this technology Is helping the customers to save their time in going to the physical stores and is giving them a better shopping experience.

Now you do not need to go and spent hours and hours in a store because you can test and try out everything at home.

Here are the topics that we’re going to discuss:

  1. Types of Augmented Reality
  2. 12 Ways Augmented Reality Improves Your Customer’s Retail Experience
  3. More Engagement, More Customers
  4. More Exposure for Your Brand
  5. Better Customer Retention
  6. Improve Customer Satisfaction
  7. The Customer Gets A Better View of the Product
  8. More Sales Generation
  9. Less Cost for Shipping
  10. Customers Can Shop The Way They Like
  11. Customers Can Try Any Type of Product They Like Virtually
  12. No Geographical Limitation
  13. AR for Ecommerce Stores
  14. Custom Dresses
  15. Conclusions

Types of Augmented Reality

There are different types of Augmented Reality which are:

  • Marked Base. We use this type of augmented reality with the help of phones and scanning the QR codes. The retailers have a QR code that you can by using your Phone.
  • Projection Based. Projection-based augmented reality is like we see on the projector.  It projects the images in the environment through your phone. This type mostly comes in use for the fashion brands as this helps the customer try on and helps them realize which is the perfect dress for them.
  • Markerless. This type of technology based on the location and uses GPS to locate you. This finds your location and then scans your surroundings for the shops and restaurants. This type of tech d more helpful for those who keep on traveling or are always on the road.
  • Superimposition Based. This one is mostly used by the home improvements and the furniture shops. With this, you can put different projects in your environment space to help you know which type of furniture suits your home. You can easily visualize what your home will look like with the type of furniture you want.

12 Ways Augmented Reality Improves Your Customer's Retail Experience

Below we have listed some key benefits of the Augmented Reality in term of the stores and the customers:

1. More Engagement, More Customers

Engagement is the key to retain customers. The more they find your store amazing and entering, the more they would like to come and shop. AR does the same job. It keeps the customer engaged and entertained throughout their shopping experience that they want to keep coming. Digital try-on, finding outlets, making a purchase, recommending the right dress, or chatting with the bot all make your customer experience a lot different and finer. This makes them want more and more.

And when they feel superb about your shop, they reflect that in their daily conversation which attracts others and you get more and customer. As we all know, word-of-mouth marketing can also help and in this because of your one customer you can get many.

So if you want more customers then invest in this technology and increase your shop engagement because the bigger brands like Zara, Ikea, Sephora, and many more are doing it.

2. More Exposure for Your Brand

Augmented reality can help brands to build more awareness about their brand. As, when the customer physically comes to a store, they mostly ignore the product’s information. In that way, they mostly overlook the most important factors that make your product stand apart from others.

When the customers search for your product through AR technology, they cannot overlook the information that makes you different. In that way, AR helps you to stand out from the other brands. And your brand gets more exposure because of your features.

Moreover, the customers can overlook you when you are using such a unique technology and giving them the choice to shop from the comfort of their home. Then you are going to be superior to the others.

3. Better Customer Retention

More value means more customers. As we previously mentioned that you are giving the consumers the choice of shopping by home. Your customers can easily try the clothes, shoes, accessories on themselves, then why do they need to come.

When you keep your customer engaged and make them feel that they are in control of their shopping, then you are retaining your customers. And because of that, there are high chances that the same customers going to be back for another shopping spree. OR maybe bring them some more customers for you as you know who doesn’t love some extra shopping.

4. Improved Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is the biggest factor that ensures the reputation of a brand. AR can ensure that. As it has turned the shopping experience more like playing a game. Remember when in the teenage we used to play a game like to dress up the barbie.

AR is like that. Customers swipe through different outfits, try them on, try some brilliant combinations. In a way, they are like paying dress up the difference is that it is in the real-life and the customer is going to purchase. This type of activity creates excitement in the customer and is also emotionally satisfying.

Moreover, the customer finds the best match for him or herself, and that is the most satisfying feeling.

5. Customers Get Better View of the Products

AR provides your customers with a better view of the products and also closely focuses on all the aspects of the dress. While in the physical stores that are not always possible. Also, through the AR, the consumers can take their time and choose their dresses or any other accessories wisely.

Also, when you online shop something you try to visualize the dress or any other accessory on you. But you just can imagine you cannot be sure whether it will be good. AR gives you that choice, as through AR you can easily give the customers a visualization of what the dress is going to look like on them. What colour will suit them, what style is better for them? This way they always get the best match and you get the best rating and better exposure.

6. More Sales Generation

The better service you provide to your customer the more conversions you generate. When you help your audience to have a fine shopping experience and help them in every way possible, you generate more sales.

It is not always the case that the customer you are dealing with may know his or her style. Sometimes you have to deal with customers that are clueless about what they need to get. Like you help them in the stores the same way you can help them through AR.

Through, the AR, you help them keep on trying different styles and different combinations until they find the right style for them. You, customers, get what he wants and in return for that, you get better marketing. Because they may share their experience on social media or any other platform. And we all know that this is the world of the internet and one thing can be viral in a minute.

Which means more customers and more sales.

7. Less Costs for Shipping

Augmented reality can be a blessing in disguise, especially for the retailers who offer the freed delivery or manage all the shipping costs. Sometimes the customers dislike the dress they ordered and in that way, this can devastate the retailers.

Especially when you are managing the total delivery cost. And we all know that delivery cost to different cities and countries is sometimes more than the actual price of the product.

AR can help those types of retailers in reducing the cost. How? As when the AR helps the customer in visualizing the dress son them and try them-on option. Then there are no chances of the returning of the products. As the AR not only helps the customer to find the perfect match for them but also helps you to reduce your return rate. Less return means fewer costs and one-time shipping costs.

8. Customers Can Shop the Way they Like

Nothing makes the customer happier when they are in charge of their shopping spree. As sometimes when the customers go to stores, they complain of the sales assistant continuously following them. Which to be honest, no one likes it.

With the AR the customer does not even have to come to the shop nor they have to get irritated by those girls following them. AR reality gives me the choice to shop from anywhere n the world or any place. They can shop from their home, from their college, whether they on a trip or working their asses off in the office. They can always shop with the help of the Augmented reality technology and get the exact match and size without even hassling to go to the store.

9. Customers Can Try Any Type of Products Virtually

Another unique feature about the augmented reality is that your customer can try anything and everything they like. Whether it is pants, dress, shoes, necklace, or anything they can do a unique combination and a perfect outfit with everything included.

The biggest example is Zara, the world’s biggest brand, and having millions of sales. They have introduced AR in their business, which lets the users connect with them on a different level. They have created AR of their in-stores.

The customers can easily use three mobiles to check for the quality of the dress and try on different clothes. Also, the same goes for the shoes and other things, Just select the thing, point your camera to yourself, and try it on.

Most of the bigger brands that you see these days generating heaps of sales are because they are investing in technology more and more. Which is giving their brand more exposure and liking.

10. No Geographical Limitation

What would you do if you are on a vacation and your favorite brand just launched a superb amount of discounts? Well, who does not like to save some money? Now the problem is you are out of the country and cannot avail of that. And the discount might be before you come back. So now what to do?

Well, no problem because AR got your back. As we mentioned, AR ends the geographical limitations. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you just need a Wi-Fi connection and a mobile phone. Rest the AR will do it for you.  Even if you are on the other side of the country, you can easily shop from your favorite brands.

11. Augmented Reality for E-Commerce Stores

AR is helping the owners of the E-commerce stores in leveraging up their business. As we know, E-commerce stores online with no actual shop or store. And you buy everything online and the only thing that you can do it determines about the product is just zoom in the pictures.

But now the E-commerce stores are using AR to help their customers with the solution to their problem. You do not need to buy real estate to build a shop, just an online store and a minor investment in the AR and you are good to go.

So in this way, not only AR is helping you to gain more of the customer’s attention, but also is helping in saving the cost and investing them to upgrade your store.

12. Custom Dresses

Sometimes the shoppers want your dress, but with a hint of their taste. This is what custom designing is. But customer designing does not go always the way you or the shopper want. Especially for those shoppers who know nothing about designing things. This can turn into a very unfortunate situation and a bad shopping experience for the shopper.

AR saves you from that situation. AR provides the customer with a virtual demo of the products to check whether it fits the customer. It also lets the customer do mix and match so they can have their dress with a little taste of their own.

Conclusions

All the bigger brands that we see today have added AR technology to their business so that their shops can get a better view and experience. The brands that are using AR technology are Burberry, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Topshop, Zara, Converse, Sephora, Dior, ASOS, Gucci, Adidas, Ikea, Footlocker, etc and many more. And that is why all these brands are acting in the fashion industry because they are moving forward with the latest ways and trends.

Competing in fashion also depends upon how much you are aware of the latest trends. And AR is the trend these days. As with the retailers, the shoppers are also becoming tech-savvy and we all know this trend is bound to continue.

Shopping alone is not the fact that has made the AR more famous. It’s also the fun features that are also included with it, which gives the customer a good amount of satisfaction.

So, if you also want to be in the game and compete with others, then it is prime time that you gamify the shopping experience of your customers with the Augmented Reality.

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12 Ways Augmented Reality Improves Your Customer’s Retail Experience Fashion brands are taking their business to another level with the help of Augmented Reality. You want to do it too, and here's how!
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Sources and Further Research

Thomas Brownlees

Thomas Brownlees

I am an Anglo-Italian business lecturer and consultant based in Florence, Italy. In 2017 I started 440 Industries, an education and training company focused on fashion, music, and technology. Our mission is to help students, entrepreneurs and managers in overcoming the challenges of starting, developing and scaling their business in the creative industries. When there's a will, there's a way!

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