Implementing Augmented Reality in Retail to Cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and economies of scale, and it has also accelerated the importance of adopting new-age technology to keep the business going in any situation.
Due to the pandemic, there have been a lot of changes like driving digitisation, social distancing, and the importance of sanitisation. Retail is one among all the sectors that has been massively impacted by the closure of shopping malls, low eCommerce delivery and the threat of people not going out to shop. And it is expected to continue even after the pandemic. In such a scenario, meeting your customers’ needs is imperative, and the implementation of augmented reality in the retail industry could be a great relief.
Even when a customer purchases a product online, sometimes the customer visits a brick-and-mortar retailer to see the products physically first. These in-person visits to the store have decreased due to the circumstances and guidelines. Although things are slowly turning into a pre-Covid world again, it is suggested to be prepared for the worst situation.
Let’s see how augmented reality (AR) has been contributing to the retail industry to help it stand the digital transformation.
Personalised User Content
Retailers frequently customise content to meet the best expectations of customers. AR helps retailing stores filtering out content online for its customers after collecting their data so that the customers look for relatable items without wasting time. Virtual reality (VR) also contributes to making things happen efficiently. Both AR and VR together provide comprehensive solutions to retailers.
More Consumer Engagement
The proliferation of smartphones has driven the growth of AR as an innovative tool allowing brands an almost unlimited opportunity to communicate three-dimensionally with customers on their mobile devices. The AR customer experience is a new digital experience that transforms the customer journey into an immersive experience.
Allowing AR to serve customers, retailers can help customers by offering them a trial-run of the product they want to buy. It helps them make their minds up better. It can further stimulate their confidence enough to complete the sale, even being at home.
Waiting for one’s turn outside the trial rooms could be highly time-consuming. Henceforth, virtual mirrors have been introduced where one can find out the size of the dresses the individual like and in a digital screen in front, the customer can see how that apparel looks and fits the individual’s body.
This is an amazing feature by AR in retail. A customer can now do this in online shopping too. For example, Lenskart now offers its customers to try glasses virtually. The app scans the user’s face to place the pair on the person’s digital reflection. It even recommends glasses according to a user’s face dimensions. These types of gamification methods play a vital role in driving retail sales.
Safety and Hygiene
Most of the physical inventories that are touched at stores need to be sanitised constantly as a safety measure until the vaccines seem a robust solution. In this scenario, AR can provide virtual try-out at stores to reduce the touching of inventory before customers make their final decisions. For instance, sanitising digital screens is easier and safer than sanitising each jewellery or accessory after every time it is tried on.
Dissipates Language Barriers
With over 7,000 languages spoken across the world, there are still certain constraints, but that is momentary. One can see any of the 40 foreign languages as the native on with Google Translate AR mode. Features of AR-based shopping apps channelize languages in such a way that is region-specific. Augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI) tools help retailers to understand its services. Even someone uses printed catalogues; the AR content in it will guide the person to choose the language of the individual’s convenience.