Augmented Reality – Can Ar Have A Meaningful Impact On Retail?27 Jul 2021, Posted by Technologies in
Can AR have a Meaningful Impact on Retail?
As many of you know, I run a company called SparxWorks Inc, which is focused on AR solutions for businesses. One of my responsibilities at SparxWorks is to lead our Research and Innovation group. We explore use cases in many markets identifying goals, pain points, and areas of need to see how we can help. Today I’d like to focus on the retail market because it is one of the most pandemic-impacted sectors of the economy. And now, even as we are emerging (work in progress) from this unprecedented worldwide disruption, retailers continue to face a wide range of challenges.
Challenges for Retail
• Supply chain interruptions/slow down/limits inventory
• Conflicting information and directives have confused consumers, making a total return to in-store shopping still a work in progress
• Safety measures have also altered the in-store experience (for example, consumers can’t try out clothes in many stores)
• Intense web and mobile app competition make it complex and expensive to reach consumers
• Print media can’t collect data needed to improve usability and engage with the consumer.
• Concern about a new pandemic wave is genuine and needs to be considered in any sales strategy
AR Meets the Challenge
To illustrate how AR can meet these challenges I decided to put our tech to the test. My goal was to provide a solution that could be done quickly with simple assets. I used my iPhone, and a simple 3D model (clips included in the video), no editing—just the real thing.
As you’ll see in the demo, the result is fantastic. You can walk around the store, obtain information about products, etc. Had I gone a bit further with the demo, products could be bought via e-commerce, and all this would happen while the app collected data, mailing information, etc.
In fact, our white label SparxWorks App can:
• be integrated with an inventory system providing availability of items at the correct locations,
• bring the store to the consumer’s home or any other location. For example, see the clips walking through the apartment in the park. We can implement an interactive store like that right now with links to e-commerce,
• allow users to view items at home and place them where they want to use them.
• Enable print media; rich media provides a higher probability of engagement and equal or of more importance, provide analytics,
• provide precise information at the point of sales.
AR isn’t a solution in and of itself. AR needs to be part of a company’s strategy—an important part. It can be combined with all other media to generate excitement and immersion. It can enliven all a retailer’s existing assets, images, ads, packaging, etc., with exciting, rich media and interactive options. In addition, retailers can create and add brand new experiences in 3D, video, or other rich media.
AR allows retailers to be location agnostic and deliver an in-store experience remotely when needed. Evidence-based AR enables retailers to track how users interact with products. Learning about user interactions helps retailers to provide a better shopping experience, learn about assortment preferences, product placement, and more. AR effectively helps retail create an omnichannel for distribution in the real world and the growing new metaverse.
Can AR have a meaningful impact on retail? Yes, without a doubt!
Note: All videos were shot with an iPhone. There was no post-production.