How Augmented Reality is Changing the Way We Shop

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Augmented Reality and Shopping

In recent years, shopping options have really advanced. Whether it’s the in-store experience or online engagement, so much has changed. It’s fair to say that Augmented Reality has played a big part in this, as in the last year alone, over 100 million people used Augmented Reality technology while shopping for their new wardrobe, with features such as ‘try-before-you-buy’.

In 2020, the retail sector is forecast to spend a gigantic $1.5 billion on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technology (International Data Corporation), giving us an idea of just what retail will look like in the coming decade.

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Examples of Businesses Using AR Shopping

There are many different brands looking to use the innovations offered by AR, with ‘DressingRoom’ by GAP just one of many apps leading the way in the AR retail revolution. This is what the iconic brand had to say in a recent statement:

“The fashion industry has not traditionally been geared toward helping people understand how clothes will actually fit. GAP is committed to winning customer trust by consistently presenting and delivering products that make customers look and feel great,”

They achieve this by giving the consumer five different body types to choose from, allowing them to tailor their outfit towards something much more personalized and comfortable.

After ‘DressingRoom’ came ASOS’ “See My Fit” in January. The inclusive Augmented Reality program provides a whole world of choice, allowing customers to try on over 800 different dresses! This means you’ll definitely be able to find the look you want for that wedding or christening. ASOS also provides you with the ability to see your outfit on models that much more closely reflect your own shape and size.

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Five Augmented Reality Shopping Apps

Whilst in-store mirror experiences are proving effective and popular, AR for retail is also mobile, with a variety of clothing and footwear brands making good use of this portability.

In addition to the aforementioned examples of GAP and ASOS, leading brands Nike, Converse and Lacoste have all developed apps that allow customers to come into their brick-and-mortar locations and virtually try on their new shoes before they buy them.

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The Benefits of AR Shopping

The power of these apps is their inclusivity and versatility, allowing customers to see clothes on models that actually look like them rather than the perfectly proportioned men and women that typically model for mainstream brands. It’s easy for anyone to feel bad about themselves whilst looking through pages and pages of perfectly sculpted and airbrushed superhumans. These new apps give you a more realistic and flattering perception of what you are buying.

One of the early forerunners to these household retailers choosing to venture into AR, startup Oak Labs had already developed their option Oak Mirror, made in 2015. They were ahead of the game, with their interactive display developed to be used in fitting rooms, acting as a touch screen and a mirror. This made shopping more efficient and user-friendly, as shoppers could use the display to request items in a plethora of different colours and sizes without leaving the changing space.

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Introducing AR Shopping to Your Business

The inclusion of AR shopping technology is all part of a wider push for traditional retailers to tempt would-be customers back into their stores, rather than only shopping with them online. This is a key tool in the bid to survive in a highly competitive and ruthless economic climate, where even larger brands are struggling to keep afloat.

While online sales are useful, once a consumer is in your store there is a good chance they may pick up additional items, so that in-store presence is still vital. This is, of course, all good news for consumers, meaning more options, sales and benefits all vying for their returning custom.

If you would like to speak to us today about producing your own AR shopping tool to service your customers and gain attention within your marketplace, get in touch with us today by filling out our contact form or requesting a callback and we’d love to talk you through what we could design for your company.

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