With the emergence of e-business, many retail stores have also adopted new technologies such as Augmented Reality (augmented reality shopping) to improve the consumers shopping experience for an advantage over other competitors. They have revolutionized the entire journey of a consumer from entering a retail store to simply opening up the final purchased product at home at unbelievable rates. Many of the consumers are using their smart phones or even tablet computers to view the actual products before they purchase them. And this is turning out to be a winning situation for retailers as it helps cut costs and makes more sales.
The concept of augmented reality shopping was first conceptualized by the consumer electronics giant, LG. In the year 2021, it developed a smartphone specifically to allow its users to browse through real-time and live images of items and place their orders while they are on the go. This revolutionary shopping device was one of the initial signs of how e-commerce would impact retail stores and would set a new barometer for the future of shopping.
Other retailers quickly recognized the unique opportunity to leverage the power of augmented reality technology. They quickly embraced the idea, believing that this new form of marketing was going to change the face of their business forever. Retailers now use panning, as well as 3D imagery and interactive panning to attract new customers. Consumers are seeing, touching and feeling the merchandise before they purchase it. In addition to viewing the product, shoppers are able to touch, feel and explore the site itself.
As more consumers turn to the Internet for their everyday needs, brick and mortar retailers that have not adopted advanced technology are losing their edge. By incorporating augmented reality into their websites, online retailers can offer consumers the ultimate shopping experience. Augmented reality provides consumers with a completely immersive experience, allowing them to interact with the products, interact with their virtual surroundings and purchase items from the comfort of their home. In today’s economic climate, every retailer needs to ensure that their business is viable; by providing a valuable and engaging online experience consumers can reduce returns, increase traffic and drive up sales.
Although retailers have been slow to adopt this new marketing strategy, many have quickly embraced it and have used it effectively to market their brands and products. Google launched a program called Google Flu Trends, which allows users to search through the most popular “trends” in different industries. Google has since taken this application to the next level, by combining it with shopping websites. In addition to using pandemic awareness as a platform, online retailers are using augmented reality to add additional functionality to their website.
One of the first retailers to take advantage of this medium was Amazon, who released its interactive eBook store, called Kindle. The Kindle uses an eBook viewer to create digital books and view them in your hand held device, such as an iPhone or iPad, and you can then download them instantly. Amazon has also integrated MRP, or Magnetic Reality Projects into its platform, so that consumers can browse through digital images of popular objects like pandas, and then buy them. MRP uses an object’s texture, shape, size and lighting in order to project it into the user’s eyes, much like trying things on in a virtual shopping mall. MRP has proven successful at increasing customer satisfaction, as consumers have more control over the product they are trying things out of.
MRP also enables online shopping, with the ability for a consumer to browse through a physical store, and then browse through its digital content and purchase things. Retailers like Wal-mart, Macy’s and Target have all added MRP into their ecommerce portals, and although the actual sale of goods has not yet begun there is sure to be a huge rise in online sales when the apps go live. Amazon has actually stated that this new feature is going to take its online retail experience to a higher level. augmented reality shopping apps will allow consumers to see both the items being displayed, as well as their precise location in real time, making it easy to quickly find the right item.
This ability to actually see an item in your hand is incredibly valuable for shoppers. Imagine being able to walk into a store, pick up the phone, make a call, look at a screen and immediately see a detailed description, as well as details of its price and more. In our future augmented reality will not only enable consumers to make their purchases, but also take completely virtual experiences into their own hands, using their smartphones. Imagine being able to drive your car, shop from the comfort of your living room, surf the web, or check out an item on your smartphone while you are out and about. Mobile technology has really come a long way, and it is only going to get better.