Augmented Reality in Retail – Transforming the Way We Shop Online!

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Augmented reality (AR) isn’t a new idea. Labels like Converse were experimenting with the immersive technology as way back as 2012, enabling sneaker aficionados to “try on” different shoes and see what they would resemble like on their feet.

But it wasn’t unto about 2016 when AR got the much-needed push into the mainstream when Niantic began the AR-enhanced game Pokémon GO for iOS and Android games. And when marketers saw how engaged, and almost controlled people became with the game (US daily users clocked in at 28.5 million at its height), the possibility to leverage AR for marketing became evident.

If we take a look at today, and there are a plethora of brands trying the setup out for size. From Wayfair to Lowe’s, Benjamin Moore, and others, AR has converted into a medium for not only permitting people to contextually visualize what an object looks like but also to confirm fit and measurement.

Some examples involve: Nike Fit, a scanning app, utilizes a combination of computer concepts. Simultaneously with data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and recommendation algorithms to estimate the full shape of a user’s feet and know the accurate fit for each Nike shoe style.

The app gathers data on 13 points on a person’s foot within a matter of seconds. This sole dimension can be stored in a user’s NikePlus account for future purchasing, both online and in-store.

During CES in 2018, Gap revealed its Dressing Room by Gap app, which was created to help consumers try on clothing virtually. Purchasers can choose a Gap style they might be engaged in purchasing and choose one of five body kind to visualize what an outfit will seem like on them. Another great instance of AR use in fashion happened throughout New York Fashion Week in 2018. Guests of H&M’s and Moschino fashion show were ready to use an AR app to browse outfits on the runway and purchase them on the scene.

Jewelry, long showcased behind glass, is another field witnessing the benefits of AR. Online jewelry merchant Kollectin is one of the labels leading the charge here. The retailer’s app propelled an AR feature earlier this year proclaimed “Xperience Mode” to let customers virtually analyze on the jewelry.