A great retailer is innovative. Surrounded by advanced technology that evolves quickly, he/she thinks of ways to use them to enhance the business. He/she explores the benefits of the modern tools laid out in front of him/her. Two of those advanced technologies that are popular in the retail industry are augmented and virtual reality. Is it your first time to encounter them? Are you preparing to embrace these technologies this year? Here is everything you need to know about AR and VR:
Differentiating AR from VR
Both AR and VR reshape our environment and enhance our experiences. But, the two are not the same at all.
Augmented reality is about adding a digital layer to the real world using your mobile device. Think of Pokemon Go where animated creatures seem to move in the player’s surroundings. Think of the app which helps you see how a certain makeup product looks on you. With AR, all you need is your tablet or your smartphone.
On the other hand, virtual reality is immersive. It replaces the real world with a hyper-realistic 3D world. All you need to do is to wear a VR Headset and you will be transported to another dimension.
These two technologies are both significant to the survival of today’s businesses. One day, AR and VR will be essential in the buying process. In fact, 2025 projections reveal that AR & VR will benefit the real estate industry by $2.6 billion, the retail industry by $1.6 billion, and the travel industry by $4.1 billion.
The awesome possibilities with AR
Recently, there was an AR experiment done to see how people would react to AR in the retail industry.
The AR experience allowed 100 customers to try on clothes virtually. At the same time, they gain additional information about the item that they tried on (size, colour, type of fabric, fitting). They get to see themselves wearing a piece of clothing, without really wearing the clothes.
The results were:
71% of shoppers said that they would shop more often in a store that provides great AR experience.
41% of shoppers are willing to pay more if AR is a part of the purchasing process.
See? People like augmented reality, especially when the experience gives them more information about their purchase, minus the hassle. People like AR because it liberates them; it lets them adequately test and try products before purchasing them.
AR for your small retail business
AR could potentially improve your business, as long as you use it the right way. No gimmicks — offer something with value and solve problems. Use AR to communicate with your customers and guide them every step closer to a buying decision.
To do this, you must sit down with the core members of your company. Determine your objectives and your desired outcome. Conceptualize something that’s good for your brand. Then, find a company who can help you come up with an AR app that’s tailored for your business. If you’re new with AR, it’s best to work with a third-party service provider who understands the technology. With them, you can explore all possibilities and go beyond your limitations.
VR transforms the retail space
Not so long ago, retailers all over the world debate whether VR is practical or not. Fast forward to 2019, a lot of them want to integrate VR in their business. After an astonishing improvement of technology and plummeting cost of production, retailers are eager to jump on board. In the near future, we will not be surprised if almost all eCommerce websites offer a unique VR experience for their customers.
The question is, would you like to learn how to harness the technology now and be an industry leader in the future? Or, be the one who waits until everyone uses it and struggle to leave a mark? VR is a game-changer. It transforms the retail industry quicker than expected. Now may be the best time to dive into this.
How your retail business benefits with VR
The possibilities with VR are endless. Your imagination is the limit. For instance, you can turn your ordinary website into an interactive 3D store. Showcase your products in 3D 360 and allow your customers to customise it. Use VR to engage them and make them hit the checkout button.
A few reality bites
The truth is, AR and VR are here for good. These technologies are changing the business landscape. And, it is helping all retail businesses, large and small. If you’re a retailer, it is time to think about integrating your business with AR and VR. We are at the cusp of a new technological revolution. Embrace these technologies early and reap the benefits that come with mass adoption.