In our previous post we discussed how augmented reality helped the Esquire Magazine to grab the attention of individuals at 700 national locations of Barnes & Noble. GoldRun, the company that developed the augmented reality app for Esquire Magazine, created another similar application for a clothing brand called H&M. This app helped the company to showcase its winter/fall collection in an interactive way, allowing the users to click pictures of the virtual clothing and accessories. Users need to simply select the items of their choice and take a picture and in return, they would receive an instant discount of 10% on any of their H&M purchase.
The Smurfs’ campaign, which was also created by GoldRun, included a virtual smurf inside the user’s iPhone photos, making every user who is taking a picture with GoldRun a brand ambassador for the company. This was a completely new concept allowed the company to do something new and exciting in the retail environment. Shailesh Rao, the co founder of the company says, “Effective marketing and effective advertising is always just about really good stories. One of the finest things we realized about augmented reality is that it would give us the opportunity to bring the user into that story.”
Holition, which is both a luxury marketing firm and an augmented reality laboratory, developed an innovative AR technology for various brands like De Beers and Tissot. They personalized their interactive digital platforms to suit the needs of their clients for showcasing various products. The augmented reality technology allowed consumers to try on virtual products right in front of their computer. Another augmented reality technology Holition is developing art present, will allow users to smell products and feel the fabric virtually. And this futuristic shopping experience does not end here, as the company is conceptualizing plans for creating a ‘smart store’, which will read faces of the shoppers upon entry. The past shopping histories of individual shopper will be pulled up by computers and based on that they will make product recommendations.
The question now arises is there any limit to what augmented reality can do in the retail segment? The way this technology is transforming the face of marketing, it will completely change the shopping behavior of consumers. However, the impact it will have on consumers’ shopping experience also depends on the fact that how much value it is adding to their life. Here, retailers need to be innovative and make sure that their technology does not end up confusing consumers. Saying so, there is no doubt that augmented reality is changing the future of retail. You never know, next time you board a flight and find augmented reality catalog on board to complete your grocery shopping even before you reach home!