4 Retailers enhancing consumer experiences with AR

Let’s talk shop

Editor: Tom Norton, Head Of Content for ITP Live

According to researcher Global Market Insights, the global market for AR products will surge 80 percent to $165 billion by 2024. The ability to superimpose graphics, merging the digital and real world is as fascinating as it sounds. Even more fascinating is how a myriad of industries from education, healthcare, gaming (the obvious one), and of course retail, adopt this tech to enhance consumer experiences and gain competitive advantage.

 So without further ado, here are four retailers who’ve made some significant strides in the space.

  1. QVC

If anyone understands the importance of brand and service reinvention, it’s QVC. 62% of the brand’s annual revenue of $8.68 billion in 2016 was achieved through e-commerce. Last month, the storied television shopping channel began experimenting with AR as a means to encourage buying. Taking assumptions of product application out of the equation, through their AR based application YouCam. Much like snapchat filter, the app uses facial recognition, skin tone analysis to allows users to ‘apply’ the makeup products on air, to see how they’d look in real life. Well sort of…you get the point.

  1. IKEA

Always ahead of the game, the Scandinavian furniture manufacturer has maximized the use of Apple’s AR kit since release this summer, in building the app ‘Place’, allowing users to play interior designer and superimpose furniture into an empty space. Fun, engaging and useful, what else can you ask for.

  1. Lowe’s

So we’ve seen the potential of Apple AR Kit, now on to its rival, Google’s Tango. Fortune 500 retail and home improvement chain Lowe’s released ‘Lowe’s Vision’, an in store navigation app that can be used to measure spaces and see how home appliances fit within it. 

Amazon has stated their interested in doing something similar within their planned brick and motors stores as well. And we’re sure they’ll be making waves and tons of exclusive lists once they do. 

  1. Nike

If you love the sound of bespoke, you’re going to have a field day with this one. Just earlier this month, Adweek reported Nike’s working on a ‘new toy’, specifically the Nike Maker’s experience. It’s an invite only experience for the time being that allows sneaker heads to design and wear their shoes in under 90 minutes! Guests are invited to wear a silhouette, wherein various patterns are then projected on there in real time. The combinations are endless!

From the very beginning, one of the biggest challenges faced by retailers is speculation of product quality and application. How will this couch sit in my apartment? Does it go with everything else? AR and VR has the ability to reassure the consumer and answers those questions, and in many cases from the comfort of their homes.

If this is a space you’re fascinated by (why wouldn’t it be), whether as a consumer or business looking to reinvent itself through improved digitization, GITEX 2017 has some great segments and speakers to look out for. Ian Khan, 3x TEDx speaker and tech advisor, is certainly one of them. Another is Scott Emmons who’ll be doing a session on ‘Turning high end fashion into high tech retail’.