Augmented Reality in Retail:
Use Cases & Business Benefits

Try Before You Buy: Creating Interactive Retail Shopping Experiences with AR
Imagine waking up to a record sales conversion on your eCommerce portal! Your customers are 20% more engaged and satisfied with the shopping experience. Your business gains boosted customer trust, brand value, and improved ROI!
Yes, it’s possible with Augmented Reality!
Augmented Reality in Retail is revolutionizing shopping experiences expeditiously! With AR in retail, customers can interact, customize, and engage with products better, so that they make the right purchase decisions. Nike’s Virtual View is one top example of how WebAR in Retail boosts customer engagement and trust!
But of course, it’s only natural to be a little skeptical before investing in any new business technology. That is why we bring you a detailed guide on what is Augmented Reality, and how your Retail and eCommerce firms can smartly deploy and benefit from it!

What is Augmented Reality?

Simply put, Augmented Reality (AR) superimposes digital content and information onto a user’s real-life scenario to enhance their virtual experience of the existing physical environment. The improved version of the physical world is attained by leveraging the capabilities of the computer-generated display, visuals, sound, text, and graphics which augments the user’s real-world experience.
AR will allow you to search things visually by simply pointing out mobile cameras toward objects in real-life surroundings. The Live View feature in Google Maps is a leading example of how AR allows users to visualize their destinations in the real world. Nintendo’s Pokémon Go App and the photo filters on Facebook and Snapchat are some of the popular examples of AR today.
However, AR is not just a gaming or navigational application. Several industries today, including consumer products and retail, are implementing AR to improve their operational and marketing abilities. Leading ecommerce brands, as well as in-store retailers, are highly investing in AR to build and deliver top-notch brand experiences.
By 2024, the number of mobile AR users will reach 1.73 billion.
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By 2024, the number of mobile AR users will reach 1.73 billion.

Why Is Augmented Reality Important In Retail and eCommerce?

Millennials are the core shoppers today, and they need services at their fingertips! Standing in long queues to grab that limited offer is off the trend! Now shoppers love to book it first online.
With Augmented Reality in Retail, online shopping experiences takes a new turn. Customers get to virtually try on items, customize and interact with the products better so that they make quick and smart purchase decisions. Getting complete satisfaction with online shopping increases brand trust immensely, giving retailers an immediate boost to expedite sales! The more reasons to implement AR in Retail!
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40% of consumers say they would pay more for a product that they could customize in AR.

What are the Latest AR Trends in Retail?

Today’s customers value personalization and convenience over pricing and product. Augmented Reality allows brands to develop smart retail experiences that influence their customers’ buying decisions.
AR makes online selling easier and more comfortable by creating virtual simulations for users to interact with a product, just like how they try a fashion outfit in a physical store. Using AR, retail customers can virtually visit their favorite brand stores, try products, and make comparisons, without leaving the comfort of their homes.

Top AR Trends in Retail Today

AR will enable retailers to deliver impactful, well-timed, and relevant user experiences that increase customer value, both in physical stores as well as in ecommerce!

Enriching Customer Experiences With Smart Malls Of The Future!

Watch more on how your business can leverage AR for a unique and smart mall experience!

Why is AR a Powerful Retail Sales Channel?

By 2025, nearly 75% of the global population and almost all people who use social or communication apps will be frequent AR users. AR adoption will see growth in these four key areas:
But why use AR for retail?
Research shows the top reasons why customers return their products.
AR-integrated ecommerce websites and applications can run on any smartphone allowing customers to contextually experience every product at scale. Immersive product discovery experiences lead to better conversions as retailers can capture shoppers’ attention at the decision-making stage.
Brands that implement AR for Retail Sales will see:
AR offers shoppers innumerable options to interact with consumer products in a more personalized way. Customers aren’t anymore held back by a limited number of product images and videos. With AR, every single online session can be turned into a powerful sales channel.
Capture shoppers’ attention at the decision-making stage | Allow shoppers to personally interact with products |
Turn online browsings into powerful sales channels
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32% of consumers use AR while shopping!

How Does AR Increase Sales in Retail?

AR use cases in retail are growing in leaps and bounds. Across the B2C, D2C, and B2B realms, AR will bridge the gap between online selling and the customer experience in the following ways.

Warehouse Space Optimization

AR can improve complex warehouse operations by streamlining warehousing management activities such as order allocation and picking, inventory control, material handling, and packaging. Using an interactive 3D warehouse layout, retailers can improve their warehouse planning.
  • Locate products and process orders faster.
  • Quickly extract necessary information (order number, trolley number, deposit bin information, passage numbers).
  • Expedite loading and unloading processes.
  • Achieve zero-delay deliveries through warehouse optimization.
  • Increases your sale orders and drives revenue.

Virtual Fitting Rooms

Virtual fitting rooms allow your customers to try on clothing items, jewelry, and other accessories even if they don’t visit your physical store. Even without touching an item, shoppers can see the size, style, and fit of apparel before they buy it. According to Shopify, an omnichannel shopping experience powered by AR nudges online shoppers to spend 10% more.
  • Superimpose the visuals of your items on live video feeds for your customers.
  • Create a virtual dressing room using Augmented Reality features.
  • AR-powered virtual mirrors can save valuable retail space in your brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Avoid the need to set up separate trial rooms.

Placement Previews

IKEA Place App’s AR feature allows customers to visualize how a new piece of furniture will fit their space. After selecting an item from IKEA’s catalog, the customer can point their mobile camera anywhere in their surroundings to see the furniture’s placement, adjust it from different angles, take photos, and share it with their friends for feedback.
  • The highly interactive preview experience keeps users motivated throughout the buying journey.
  • The seamless and fluid experience will encourage customers to return for more purchases.
  • This automatically boosts customer loyalty and brand recognition.
  • Guarantees conversion ten times more.

Route Optimization

Not just online and shopping experiences counts to customers. When products are delivered quickly and smartly, there are much more chances for a customer to build their trust in brands. With AR enabling effective navigation capabilities, routes can be optimized for seamless delivery channels.
  • Develop AR-powered apps that enable the delivery teams to plan their travel smarter.
  • Plan shortest route options, traffic updates, map views, and more.
  • Support your delivery partners with additional assistance just from their smartphone cameras, leading them to the right routes.
  • Ensure no package delivery goes missed or undelivered.

Interactive AR Packaging

AR-enabled interactive packaging offers consumers a highly engaging shopping experience that will boost ecommerce and in-store sales. Customers could scan a QR code on the retailer’s package to understand the latest offers and discounts, new product roll-outs, or read the brand’s story. Jack Daniel Distillery’s smart AR packaging allows users to take a closer look at their whiskey-making process and explore their growth story.
  • With AR, product packages aren’t throwaway junk anymore.
  • Encourage users to scan QR codes on food packaging to get exclusive recipes and cooking videos of top chefs.
  • Use interactive AR techniques to encourage shoppers to recycle packages and share their product experiences with others.

Interactive Business Cards

AR takes your plain business cards to the next level by allowing you to add 3D objects, interactions, animations, and powerful virtual components on top of your physical business cards. When you point your smartphone camera toward the card, you can see an interactive display of your business profile. AR allows you to incorporate numerous features into your V-card such as videos, audio, images, 3D objects, social links, animations, and URLs, besides your contact info and designation.
  • Stand out from your competitors and provide prospects with instant resources.
  • Increase curiosity and prompts your clients to access more information about your business.
  • Immersive and unique experiences in the real world improve your business’s credibility and doubles lead capturing.
  • Interactive business cards shorten the sales cycle and increase customer appointments and engagement.

Complete Product Information

AR allows superimposing additional product information that your customers may not get easily in physical or online stores. Processing product information is the most significant aspect that influences a customer’s buying decision. Customers want to know if the products they buy will fit their purpose. Top automotive brands such as Mercedes Benz and Hyundai use AR-powered digital car manuals to explain automotive features in a highly interactive way.
  • Digitally delivering the right information will simplify the product discovery process for the consumer, boosting sales.
  • Customers can avoid scrolling through large user manuals.
  • Pointing to a specific feature with mobile cameras will provide the necessary information required to impact the buyer’s decision.

The age of analyzing products via videos and images is gone! Customers now need more! With AR, realtors can bring their products closer to their customers, enabling them to interact with the items meanwhile establishing added brand value and customer trust!

- Venkatesh Alagarsamy, AR, VR, MR, Metaverse Expert, Fingent.

Real-World Cases Of Boosted Customer Experience with AR

AR Taking Cabin Manufacturing To New Heights: Case Study

The client: Lake Side Cabins are engaged in building high-quality cabins and storage sheds in Ohio and Michigan.
The requirement: Modernizing approaches and streamlining functions at each stage, for better performance.
How Fingent helped?
A custom software solution featuring 3D configurators
  • Customers get to build and design their own sheds using AR
  • Easy configuration of buildings, floor plans, and invoices
  • Reduced human errors
  • Streamlined planning of cabin construction.
Other features of the software
  • CRM
  • Dealer Management
  • Order Management
  • Purchase Orders
  • Work Order Management
  • Route Optimized Delivery Schedule

AR Powered apps for E-Commerce: Use Case

Over 20% of customers deny online shopping because of the fear of wrong purchase decisions.
How can Fingent help?
  • Interactive mobile apps enabling 3D preview of objects
  • Agnostic web solution for Ecommerce
  • No restrictions on a wide range of product displays
  • Improved customer engagement and interaction
  • Personalized shopping made possible from anywhere
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61% of consumers say they prefer retailers with AR experiences.

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

Many people use Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality interchangeably thinking that both technological concepts are the same. Though both AR and VR help creates immersive and interactive experiences, both are different in their own niches.

Augmented Reality

  • Augments the real-world experience of the user
  • Creates virtual experience by overlaying digital content on top of what the user is already seeing
  • Detects markers such as barcodes or QR codes to deliver AR animations to specific user locations
  • Explored best with smartphones
  • AR SDKs empower mobile apps to detect and capture real-time user environments
  • Reflects true-to-life conditions and real-life scenarios

Virtual Reality

  • Creates a fully-immersive virtual environment
  • Total immersion is accomplished by shutting the user from the real-world
  • Virtual Reality Modeling Language or VRML experiences delivered via a client-side interface to simulate virtual environments
  • Explored best with a VR headset
  • VR SDKs allow users to navigate pre-loaded and cloud-stored streams by using controllers and environment trackers
  • Virtual representation of real-life conditions
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Augmented Reality Boosts Online Shopping Sales Up To 200% - Forbes

Augmented Reality In Retail: Why Is It Picking Up Steam In Today’s Digital Age?

AR will boost your customers’ trust and drive their purchasing confidence.

Real-time product visualizations and virtual trials ensure that retailers are able to deliver products that match their customers’ expectations. AR reduces your marketing costs and increases your customer satisfaction.
AR retail experiences will eliminate the friction between sellers and buyers and maximize the probability of purchasing. When customers receive their orders as expected, it will decrease your product returns.
The rise in ecommerce demands delivering more successful online experiences. Retailers leveraging augmented reality can rest assured that they aren’t left behind in the competition.
Interactive virtual experiences arouse your customers’ curiosity and motivate them to explore your products. AR experiences such as virtual try-on persuade customers to come back and shop for additional products.
AR-enabled shopping experiences collect insightful data on customers’ shopping patterns, buying behavior, interests, and preferences. Retailers can use these insights to run targeted marketing campaigns and develop more personalized products.
The demand for contactless experiences triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay. As people are more concerned about their personal hygiene and contamination risks, retailers can employ AR to connect with their customers and keep the show running.
Customers place emphasis on the value they get when buying from you. CX is the key brand differentiator that boosts customer loyalty today. With AR, you can optimize every customer touchpoint to deliver unmatched CX.
AR ecommerce apps can serve as your shop assistants and sales agents that take you through product features and benefits. You don’t have to hire expensive labor for showing the customer around, as AR does the heavy lifting.
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71% of consumers say they would shop more often if they used AR.

Fingent’s AR-enabled Applications for Retailers

Be it in-store or ecommerce, Fingent enables retailers to deliver seamless shopping experiences to their consumers by leveraging technology to the fullest. Our AR retail solutions effectively bridge the gap between consumers and sellers:

Augmented Reality Reshaping eCommerce!

What more on how you can smartly and seamlessly deploy AR for your eCommerce!

How Fingent Can Help Your Business Build Intuitive Apps With AR

With our expertise around ARKit for iOS Platforms, Spark AR, Lens Studio, Vuforia, Web AR Solutions, and AR Core for Android Platforms we help create powerful user experiences that fetch a competitive edge.

eCommerce

Bring the “Wow” factor to your eCommerce with virtual try-ons, preview placements, AR filters, and more!

Healthcare

We help you deploy AR to improve medical training, pediatric MRI evaluation, venipuncture procedures, dentistry, and more!

Equipment Maintenance

With AR connect faster with your machines to work smarter at reduced costs, and effective time management.

Most Common Q&As on AR in Retail

Augmented Reality streamlines retail operations to make shopping easier and convenient for both online and offline buyers. AR replaces physical fitting rooms with virtual try-on solutions and allows consumers to configure products based on their preferences. AR modernizes retail marketing through personalized content delivery and offers contactless purchasing options which will boost online sales.
3D product visualizations and “try-before-you-buy” digital experiences allow retailers to reduce the cost of returns that affect their ROI. Retailers can develop 3D animations and visual simulations to improve consumer awareness and influence buying decisions. AR helps retailers analyze customer behavior, test their product samples, boost brand engagement, and augment sales.
Full-fledged 3D experiences can improve product research and discovery which will result in more sales. Retailers selling automotive, home furniture, consumer electronics, and lifestyle products can drive traction and make unique selling pitches through AR. Studies prove that AR increases the average product (images and videos) viewing time from 30 seconds to eight minutes. Linking purchasing decisions with the shopper’s emotions will eliminate their doubts about the product and increase your sales volume.
According to Snapchat, 76% of consumers believe that AR will play an integral role in future shopping, with 57% of consumers planning to increase their AR usage in post-COVID times. AR improves a retail brand’s discoverability and increases a consumer’s likelihood to purchase after an immersive experience. AR experience educates and motivates customers at multiple points in the shopping journey, thereby influencing their purchasing decisions.
Today, every retailer needs to pursue an omnichannel retail strategy that revolves around customer-centricity. This requires retailers to personalize their offerings in the best way possible. AR can simplify your personalization efforts as it’s a highly user-centric technology that tremendously transforms the way you market and sell. Augmented retail strategy improves both your business’s bottom line and customer experience.
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