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How is Augmented Reality (AR) used in retail?

Updated: Mar 18

Augmented Reality in Retail
Augmented Reality in Retail

In recent years, Augmented Reality (AR) has been discussed and evaluated as an "Interesting Concept" to be explored in various retail segments, but now it is an "accessible reality". Here are some specific examples of the use of Augmented Reality in various retail segments.

AR came to help physical retail improve the shopping experience, to defend itself and compete with e-commerce, reducing in-store product abandonment rates, purchase decision time, product returns and at the same time, help increase sales in strategic segments. As if that were not enough, the tool is very useful to attract a younger audience to the store.

There are certain questions that the Shopper wants to ask that are difficult in the physical world, such as: How did other people evaluate this product?

While Shoppers can find this information online without the need for an AR app, having it conveniently available in-store helps bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds, creating a more convenient and consistent experience. facilitating the selection of products, reducing queues and operational costs, INCREASING THE PROFITABILITY OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Today, nearly 70% of shoppers research information and compare product prices on their cell phones while they're walking through physical stores.

Imagine for a second that your store is full of customers and without the ability to serve them properly. Imagine the typical shopper in your store in front of the planogram with many product options and not sure which one to choose. Most likely, this buyer, after waiting so long to be served or thinking about existing alternatives, will simply leave the store without buying anything or, at best, take the cheapest product. Scary, right?

It has been shown that the level of anxiety of new generations the first time they visit a physical store is much higher than during the same experience in the online world. In general, the elements most mentioned by Millennials to justify their preference for the online world are the long queues and delays in the purchase and payment process, the difficulty in locating products within the establishment and, finally, the selection of the appropriate SKU without the help of third-party evaluations.


The physical store takes advantage of the digital world in the convenience of receiving the purchased product immediately. Therefore, we need to reduce the other anxiety-generating factors, such as lines to weigh products or pay, facilitate the location within the store and the process of selecting the product on the shelf, without increasing the cost of operation. Augmented reality can help in this challenge


Lacoste's LCST Lacoste AR app allows customers to try on shoes virtually without having to interact with anyone: since its launch, more than 30,000 users have tried on its products on the app.


augmented reality cosmetics

Sephora, in the cosmetics industry, created a virtual artist app with Modiface to show its users how makeup products will look on their face through the phone's camera.


augmented reality beverages

The use of AR in product labels (for example, craft beer, wines and spirits) allows to communicate the most relevant attributes that can help the Buyer in the difficult selection process at the front of the shelf. Now it is possible to efficiently convey interesting stories about the product, the producer or even implement exclusive promotions and provide tips for preparing dishes and cocktails to the target audience.


augmented reality construction

Home Depot launched its app to ease the selection process for the purchase of tools and products with technical specifications, which are often difficult to choose without the help of an experienced employee. Now, when the staff is busy, the Shopper can directly access the app to get the recommendation of which product to take immediately to meet their needs. Better than the online store, right?



Magnolia Market has partnered with the Shopify AR team to create an app that allows customers to see what the brand's products will look like in their homes. Augmented reality helps customers visualize Magnolia Market products to decide if the products match existing furniture or fit well in the room.


augmented reality decoration

Wallpaper retailer Graham & Brown launched its augmented reality app this year, which allows users to try out all available options right in their living room and order the product through the app. AR technology considers lighting, objects, and shadows in the room, so you get a realistic image of what the paper will look like in real life. AR apps from these retailers also allow users to send images via text or on social media to get feedback from friends and followers before making a purchase.


augmented reality examples

IKEA has just updated its Place app so users can try out multiple decor pieces individually or together in a room, instead of just one at a time. Once you have purchased the product, the augmented reality experience does not end as you will be challenged to assemble the products following the instructions. It's easier now, as the company has finally introduced instruction manuals that also work with augmented reality, so these black and white illustrations become a bit easier to understand.


Timberland used augmented reality to engage customers, allowing anyone to imagine themselves wearing any branded piece from the store window, the bus stop, or the subway station.

In all these cases, physical stores are always necessary as a showcase for the real product (showrooming) or as a logistics point to pick up online purchases. Augmented reality is being used to remove negative emotions from the buying process in physical stores, greatly improving retail profitability.

You do not need to create an application exclusively. Today, you can use platforms and applications on the market that are perfectly suited to your needs, such as AUGMENTED or NEXTECH. And in case you already have an app, even if it is for other purposes, the recommendation is to add augmented reality in the next update.


Remember that if the trend continues, very soon more than half of all online retail sales will be done through mobile phones.

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