With the innovation of new technologies, the retail industry is undergoing a vast change. The industry is embracing the latest technologies like 3D printing, click and collect, contactless payments and many more to stop the downfall of the traditional stores. In the UK and the US, most of the shopping is done online; in-store shopping with cash payment has almost become a thing of the past. However, there are some innovations which will draw the customers back to the traditional stores by providing them an interactive shopping experience. Augmented reality and beacon technology are the technologies which will dominate the retail industry.
Augmented Reality and Beacon Technology
Augmented reality is widely used by retailers to promote their products in different ways. Right from creating interactive product catalogues to providing virtual trials of apparels and cosmetics; augmented reality has found its use by different brands. The interactive experience that the shoppers get through this technology helps in bringing them to the stores.
Some of the popular augmented reality applications by different brands include Sayduck Furniture Visualizer, IKEA AR Catalogue, Burberry Beauty Box, SeeMore Interactive app, Converse Sampler iPhone app, American Apparel Color Changing app and many more.
With furniture AR apps, users can visualize 3D models of the furniture in their homes, see how they will look like when actually placed in their homes and then make their purchase. With makeup AR apps, users can try out different shades of makeup virtually on their face and then decide which shade suits them the best. There are even in-store kiosks with augmented reality functionality. This will help in bringing consumers to the traditional stores.
Beacons are Bluetooth transmitters of low energy. The beacons send a wireless signal to mobile devices of the consumers who are within a range of 70 meters from the store. The mobile device then picks up the signal and sends real-time custom messages to the consumers.
TagPoints is a UK-based startup, which uses this technology to provide its users with an awesome retail experience while shopping. The Swan Center, a shopping mall in the south of England uses the beacon technology developed by TagPoints. Customers need to download an app and they will receive real-time discounts or offers upon entering the store. They can then redeem these offers in the stores.
Increasing number of retailers is now turning to these two technologies for bringing their customers back to their stores. Thus, augmented reality and beacons can be considered to be the future of retail until any new innovation takes place.
What do you think?
Do you think these two technologies are really the future of retail? Have you experienced augmented reality in retail? Share your insights in the comments below.
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