Augmented reality technology has already proved its potential to enhance the shopping experience of the buyers. Thus, it is no surprise that a number of major retailers are adopting this technology for better customer engagement and revenue generation. However, there are several contributing factors on which the widespread adoption of AR technology on retail segment depends and all these factors must work together for driving the behavior of both the retailers and the consumers.
One of the retail segments that gained much from augmented reality is the music retail industry as the technology transformed the static, in-store album covers into teaser videos that buyers can view on mobile devices in real time.
The ongoing development of the 4G and 5G mobile technology will further benefit the retail market, when it comes to implement augment reality. Such development has already provided a viable platform for developing more dynamic augmented reality apps to work within the physical retail settings. It can increase the volume of traffic for retailers, making AR technology more reliable and widespread as well as a viable proposition for investment. Augmented reality helps retailers to bring their individual milestones to life in order to provide their customers a shopping experience like never before.
However, the spontaneous decision-making of the customers is partly responsible for the success of this technology. Some leading coffee shop chains have already experienced a significantly higher number of sales when they offered free Wi-Fi access to customers, allowing them to use their computer in a sociable and comfortable environment. But the success for all such campaigns came with time and thus, retailers must keep in mind that it is essential to bear the initial cost (which could be a little high) and they need to consider the long-term view, and not the short time benefits.
It is necessary for the retailers to educate and familiarize their consumers pro-actively about its benefits once their augmented reality app is up and running. This will help the consumers to embed the technology within their buying habits. Also, retailers must promote their AR campaigns in-store as well as through social media. They can offer exclusive content or competitions to encourage consumer engagement in order to expose their brands to new audiences, allowing users to share the content with their peers in social networking sites in a matter of seconds.
Adopting augmented reality will provide a major opportunity for large retailers to redefine the physical purchasing experience of their consumers. However, augmented reality must be paired with adequate Internet capacity and mobile network in order to ensure its chance of mainstream success. If the retailers can provide this, they can fundamentally alter the in-store shopping experience of the buyers. Besides, by allowing their buyers to share information electronically, retailers can leverage upon the word-of-mouth marketing, which is one of the most traditional and guaranteed methods of generating sales.