By Tuhin Bhatt

A Timberland store used AR to get users to try apparel without even stepping into a store. This took augmented reality to a new level and is expected to help increase footfalls to the store. The use case of AR in retail is increasing, with innovation taking the technology to spectacular results. These disruptions which are now the differentiators will slowly become the standards of tomorrow. Retailers who embrace the latest technologies now are certainly the ones who will remain competitive in the future.

The top brands are quick to adopt the immersive technology to improve the customer experience and eventually helps in amplifying sales. They know the power of AR which makes them quick to leverage it by offering experiences to customers in the world of fashion and apparel that has unlimited choices.  The only manner in which retailers can attract and retain clientele is by pushing the envelope of innovation. Here are some of the great ways augmented reality will offer retailers to change the customer buying experience.

Snapshots of all details of a particular product

A large number of individuals first choose a design and then proceed to look at various other details of the apparel. For instance, a particular dress is most likely to be shortlisted on the basis of the design. The prospective buyer will then wish to check the possible variants that may be more suitable. Various size options will then be ascertained. The material specifications will follow this, and finally the reviews of other customers will help to decide the actual purchase.

These aspects of shopping generally take some time to compile and digest when it needs to be sourced from multiple channels. With AR, this is as simple as pointing and seek information. Customers need only point the camera of a mobile phone at signage and use an augmented reality app to get all the information necessary with multiple interactive options that include the choice of materials, price range, colors and matching designs. The features that can be included in an AR app are exciting, depending entirely on innovative AR development.

A good look at food before actually ordering from a menu

Diet and health-conscious diners are sometimes concerned about the portion sizes of food ordered at restaurants. The menus typically do not offer much by way of information in terms of portion, calories, and specific cooking styles. It would certainly be difficult to expect a restaurant menu to feature all information. Certain categories of diners often prefer food that is gluten-free or prepared in a specific manner. Seeking all information from a steward may sometimes not be possible, and in some instances, problems of language may result in misinterpretation.

With AR it is now possible for restaurants to showcase all details of the food. Pointing the camera at the menu card can throw up interesting and much sought after details for diners. From portion size to calorific value, to preparation methods, and use of ingredients, every single aspect is now covered. This permits diners to give instructions on expectations/changes.

Cutting down on time and use of cosmetics to check out actual results

Customers intending to purchase cosmetics often try out various options before settling on one. The consequences of this are twofold. One, the customer is bound to take a lot of time, trying out each cosmetic, before settling on one. Two, use of samples are bound to be high when customers are indecisive. It is hard to deny customers the options of checking out what works best.

For the cosmetic retailers, it’s possible to give customers an added experience with augmented reality. In addition to checking out the effects of any product, it is possible for customers to compare the results at one go. For instance, customers who wish to try out lipstick can now see the results of different shades of lipstick on a single screen. This permits comparison and faster decision making. It also cuts down the time taken by each customer and the use of all samples.

Mockup of positioning furniture in actual conditions

Shoppers at furniture stores will now find it easier to check out the actual look and feel of furniture when positioned in their homes. This will cut down on the desire to return products that are identified as not suitable after the purchase has concluded. Shoppers are often forced to try and return furniture that may have been the first choice in a store, which unfortunately turns out to be a lot different than expected.

With AR it is possible for shoppers to position the furniture in various angles inside homes, before taking a decision. This not only helps to improve the user experience as it offers products that actually meet expectations, but it also reduces the possibilities of returns. Returns are a matter of concern for all parties to a sale, and AR development helps to minimize the chances of returns.

AR Development comprises two different categories of apps – marker based and location-based. AR overlays atop images and AR objects atop physical objects are the objectives of the two types of AR apps development. With the changing trends of AR technology, Retailers need to make a distinction between the two and choose developers who possess deep domain expertise and strong grasp across the technology stack to deliver AR solutions that make a difference in retail.

Tuhin Bhatt is a co-founder of Intelivita, a leading web and mobile app development company with offices in the UK and India. He has expertise in Mobile Game, iOS, Android, AR and VR app technologies. With flawless command over mobile app development, Tuhin also has a passion to share his expertise with clients and other enthusiasts. His write-ups are usually based on Technology, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter.

Augmented reality stock photo by Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock