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5 ways consumers are using AR (in retail)

/ 12 days ago

As we start to leave our homes to shop, work, and play we consider which virtual experiences we have enjoyed and want to keep. Augmented Reality (AR) plays a big role in helping us to have an improved shopping experience; from placing potential new furniture in our home to see if it works in the room, to exploring fashion beyond the hanger.

And the benefits are clear

  • 75% of customers now expect retailers to offer an AR experience*
  • The conversion rate with AR content is 94% higher than products without AR**
  • On average, customers who purchase items after viewing them in AR are 22% less likely to return them^
  • Time to make buying decisions has been reduced by 50% using AR^
  • Brand awareness can increase by up to 70% through the use of AR^^
  • Source: *AR Insider: 3 proof points for AR advertising **XR for Retail intelligence report 2021, ^Seek.XR data, ^^Zappar: How augmented reality affects the brain

Here are five ways we think retailers can use AR to enhance the consumer experience...

1. AR for Product Launch

This is fashion’s first-ever pop-up book AR experience, used by H&M to bring the Simone Rocha collection to life. The consumer activates the experience by scanning a QR code, using WebAR, the experience opens up to showcase people dancing and reading in the eye-catching collection.

AR can also be used to bring a brand to life and create an immersive experience that informs and delights the customer.

Simone Rocha x H&M AR Book...

2. View in the room & room design

In this example, the 360 products spin allowing customers to view the product in more detail. ‘View in the room’ enables the consumer to visualise the product in their own space, seen in the images below. This technology is also being used for rugs and carpets.

Ikea’s new app takes the technology one step further, moving on from adding virtual chairs to the room, it's now possible to design an entire room using AR and LiDAR sensors on an iPhone. It captures the complete room in 3D providing room plans with measurements and detects existing furniture meaning additional pieces can be placed in the white boxes to create the full look. Try it here

3. Virtual Worlds for Brands

Some retailers are choosing to transport customers into a brand world to extend the reach of their products and services beyond the physical store.

Charlotte Tilbury recently launched a virtual store, accessed here, where users can interact with products in a completely branded environment, welcomed by Charlotte herself.

Taking things one step further is SK-II with its virtual city – SK-II CITY modelled after Tokyo where viewers can step into a virtual cinema and watch six films at star Olympic athletes. In the series of films the athletes each explore what it means to take destiny into their own hands and see them overcoming societal pressures that often dictate how one should look, act and feel to be perfect. Viewers can also explore the interactive virtual city and step into the ‘Backstage Tour’ studio for sneak peeks and behind the scenes of every episode.

4. Virtual Try-On and See my Fit

ASOS has developed a virtual catwalk featuring ASOS models. See my Fit by ASOS uses AR so shoppers can easily see what items look like in different sizes and body shapes. This allows for more accurate ordering and a reduction in returns, improving the supply chain and the environmental impact.

5. Specsavers: Virtual Try-on using AR 

Accessed via the Specsavers website on both mobile and desktop, the Specsavers solution scans the face and recommends frames to suit the shopper's face shape as well as allowing them to virtual try-on the frames. A solution that could also be used in-store using smart mirrors offering a ‘no touch’ solution.

Virtual try-on can also be used on platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram/Facebook and TikTok.

At Blend Media, we deliver immersive projects and have a team of experts that can help advise and guide on creating all of the above mentioned immersive experiences, and more. So let’s talk about immersive content and the latest applications in your industry, contact us or book a call.