The retail industry saw a huge change when e-commerce gained mass adoption. Retailers could now offer products to new markets at the additional costs of packaging and shipping. However, with AR, the retailers are able to make more stores available without additional staffing or spacing costs. People who couldn’t travel to the physical store had access to a virtual version of the store, where they could view all the products they have previously purchased or looked at.
What is Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality?
Augmented Reality is an “enhanced” version of reality created using technology to add images, information or both into the environment. Virtual Reality is a form of simulated environment created with computer technology. Although similar in concepts, Augmented Reality has been in use for some time, especially in the sports industry.
What are the applications of Augmented & Virtual Reality in the Retail Industry?
Augmented Commerce is currently being used by various retailers to sell their products such as IKEA (Furniture), Converse (Shoes), Sephora (Cosmetics) etc.
Augmented Commerce could be used by organizations to allow consumers to have a look at the digital twin of a product, and even try on some of the products such as in fashion, for example: users can view and try on clothing, jewelry, shoes and cosmetics based on the measurements and other parameters.
Market Research & Market Trends:
- Facebook integrating augmented reality ads into its application and users may view fashion goods such as eye glasses and shoes, and try them on virtually. More companies might begin advertising their products using social networks as it has a wide reach and does not require additional staffing or renting costs.
- Google invests in JD.com, a Chinese ecommerce giant with AR technology. More major tech companies will attempt to enter the market through acquisitions of AR startups as it may seem more feasible than developing through R&D.
- EBay was one of the first movers in the market, when the industry began developing applications for this technology. The companies with virtual stores will have wider reach as compare to those that don’t, and may even reduce the need of stores.
- Topshop Kinect Dressing Rooms and similar applications may make dressing rooms obsolete in the near future. Although not all people are comfortable with online apparel shopping, we can see some shops may reduce their dressing rooms to avail more shelf space.
Who are the key players in the Augmented & Virtual Reality in Retail Market?
The key players in the Augmented & Virtual Reality Retail Market are Ikea, Facebook, Sephora, BMW, Harley Davidson, Sotheby, etc.
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