Even in the age of eCommerce and mobile shopping, around 92% of retail volume comes from in-store shopping. However, these days consumers expect similar level of customization and personalization from brick and mortar stores that are commonly associated with online shopping. Data says 58% buyers are looking for in-store product information, while 19% of the customers are using mobile devices to browse for product information while in-store.
At IBM Research – Haifa, scientists are working to merge the experience of online shopping with traditional stores with physical locations with the help of an innovative new augmented reality app created for mobile shopping. This augmented reality retail app will allow in-store shoppers to get instant access to product details and other promotions using their mobile devices.
This new AR technology from IBM Research will allow buyers to have a personalized shopping experience by providing immediate product comparisons as well as special offers available as they walk through the store. Users will need a smart phone or tablet with built-in video camera, which will capture images to accurately and quickly identify products using advanced image processing technologies. Once the product is recognized by this augmented reality app, it will display required information as well as rank them based on various criteria like nutritional value and price. In addition, it provides incentives and loyalty rewards to shoppers as well as suggest complementary items.
Shoppers can even specify the kind the product they are looking for and this augmented reality app will assist them to find a suitable one. For example, if you are looking for breakfast cereal, you could mention your preferences and simply pan the camera of your mobile device across the shelf containing cereal boxes. This AR technology will point out the cereals that meet your criteria as well as provide a same-day coupon (if available), enticing you to make a purchase. This augmented reality app helps buyers to become more informed about products and at the same time helps retailers to connect with customers in a better way.
Retailers can gain a great deal of insight about customers’ product preferences as this augmented reality app provides personal information of the shoppers as they move through the store. Besides, marketers can get insight about the part of the stores that has the most traffic. Such information will help retailers to better organize their store. Sima Nadler, the head of Retail Research of IBM said, “The differences between online shopping and in-store shopping will start to merge. What we’re seeing is the blurring of the physical and the virtual.”