Augmented Reality is a digitized version of physical reality which manipulates elements, sounds, appearance through technology. When we talk about AR, we definitely think of our old school, in store or offline experiences. Omnichannel is a multichannel approach to sales that provides a seamless shopping experience to customers, whether they are shopping online through mobile, desktop or in store. AR integrations are now part of all major omnichannel strategies in the retail industry nowadays.
Before the pandemic, retail & try-ons were offline but when the pandemic hit, stores had to be closed but work continued and hence, AR came into play. All businesses were impacted be it fashion, tourism, beauty, gaming, tech etc., and so to gain profits and give consumers an enhanced online experience from the comfort of their homes, AR was used to . With this, customers could select their products from the given layout and try them virtually through the same AR technology to figure out the products best for them.
The boost in AR during and after the pandemic, has been extended to every industry, including healthcare, gaming, and retail, and the market for AR has become so enormous that forecasts indicate it will be worth $61.4 billion by 2023. When we focus on AR in retail, Wikitude estimates that 32% of customers regularly utilize the technology and that 73% of smartphone AR users are very satisfied with their experiences. These retail data points for augmented reality show how the market has embraced the technology and is expanding rapidly.
Post the pandemic, many retail stores adopted an omnichannel approach with Augmented reality which favored consumers and retailers. With the in-store extension of augmented reality, retailers were able to save the inventory space and saved their spends as well. This helped consumers to choose from a wide variety of options which were earlier not visible due to the limited options present in the store.
AR powered virtual try-ons also age-old problems of inventory and customer management in the jewelry industry via digitized versions of SKUs that could be carried and tried on anywhere and everywhere across the globe. The technology aims at curating omnichannel: online and offline (in-store) virtual experiences to set brands apart from their competitors and increase their conversion rates. The integration has helped brands increase their sales by up to 30%, elevate customer engagement by up to 160% and reduce return rates by up to 37%, over & above creating an impeccable world-class experience for their customers!
Several well-known brands like Tanishq, Kalyan Jewelers, Hazoorilal Legacy, Bhima Jewelers and Forevermark have adopted the AR technology by integrating the solution into their websites, branded apps, social media profiles, and offline retail stores. By reducing compatalisation and providing a wide variety of options to choose from it not only has become convenient but the contactless method has eliminated the health-related risks of having to navigate through multiple compartments by offering online trials of products. The ability to overcome the recurring problem of products not being in stock in traditional retail is another big advantage of integrating with AR technology.
This machine learning model learns from the consumer’s appearance and keeps track of the details which helps to decide to monitor the items precisely according to the model. Everyday new data is fed into the system and therefore the AI becomes smaller and improves proficiency in activities.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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