4 Ways Augmented Reality Is Redefining the Shopping Experience

4 Ways Augmented Reality Is Redefining the Shopping Experience

Alexa Marino, Content Manager, Glance Creative


The importance of augmented reality in retail can’t be overestimated. Surveys indicate 74% of consumers now expect retailers to offer some form of AR experience. That may mean brands have to work with an Android or iPhone app development agency to build a successful program or to integrate AR capabilities into an existing app. Clearly, though, this innovation is no longer just for gaming apps.

Brands are more likely to offer the kinds of experiences customers want when they understand how to leverage AR to its full potential. The following examples illustrate some of the more effective ways retailers can take advantage of this new tool.

Letting Customers Test Products

Ecommerce hasn’t completely replaced brick-and-mortar shopping just yet. There are many reasons for this. A major one, though, is the simple fact that customers need to try or see certain products in person before buying them. Shopping online doesn’t offer that opportunity.

Or, at least, that used to be the case. It may not hold true for much longer.

For example, Ikea’s AR app lets users see how a piece of furniture would actually look in their home. Sephora’s lets users apply virtual makeup to a selfie. Home Depot’s AR app allows users to see how certain paint colors might impact a room. Features such as these essentially give online shoppers a clearer idea of whether a product is worth buying.

Boosting In-Store Sales

AR doesn’t merely improve the ecommerce experience. It can also be very useful in brick-and-mortar settings. 

For instance, shoppers often research products via their mobile phones while in stores. They also track down sales associates when they have questions. Both options can be relatively tedious and time consuming.

They don’t have to be. With AR, users can simply hold their phones up to the products they want to learn more about. The AR feature will display important information such as customer reviews, pricing, and more. 

Improving Fitting Room Efficiency

Trying on various garments in a fitting room can take a lot of time. This often discourages customers from making purchases. 

That’s why some retailers have used AR to offer virtual fitting rooms. Instead of requiring customers to actually try on garments, mirrors in these rooms superimpose images of garments onto a shopper’s body. This development is particularly helpful during busy shopping seasons.

Boosting Brand Awareness

AR allows retailers to provide customers with unique experiences that help to build brand awareness.

For example, when Airwalk re-released one of its popular shoes for a limited time, customers who wanted to purchase it had to first download Airwalk’s app and travel to certain designated locations. The brand set up AR “pop-up shops” at key locations, using geolocation to ensure customers who wanted to purchase the shoe were nearby. The campaign drove more business to Airwalk’s ecommerce shop than ever before.

Clearly, AR can dramatically improve retail experiences in a variety of ways. It’s also evident that customers want retailers to use this technology. Those who do so sooner rather than later will stand out among the competition.

About the Author

Alexa Marino, Content Manager, Glance Creative - alexa@thisisglance.com

Glance Creative is an award winning london based digital product agency specializing in digital solutions focused on the psychology of the user, creating emotionally engaging mobile products.

Here’s a list of some awards we’ve earned this year:

  • Clutch: Top Mobile, iPhone and Android App Developers UK 2018 (Received February 2018)
  • Business Excellence Awards 2018: App Development Firm of the Year - UK, Glance Creative Ltd. (Received February 2018)
  • ACQ5 Global Awards 2018: Glance Creative UK - Mobile Agency of the Year (Received June 2018)
  • Corporate USA Today Awards 2018: Glance Creative Ltd., Best Innovative App Developer, Company of the Year - UK (Received October 2018)
  • Business of Apps, Top App Development Companies 2018 (Received October 2018)