Study finds augmented reality could revitalise brick-and-mortar retail: Page 2 of 3

September 17, 2017 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
According to a study from Warwick Business School, augmented reality shopping apps can provide consumers with richer experiences and greater value that can lead to increased store footfall and conversion rates for brick-and-mortar retailers. The study also found that AR apps can help to reduce return rates at traditional retailers..

The research claims that such benefits arise in part because AR shopping apps enable increased consumer certainty that what they are buying is what they want, as well as the ability of AR to let consumers see product demonstrations and receive more complete information before making a purchase.

Fir example, retailers, such as J.C. Penny and Bloomingdales, have been testing the use of AR in the form of “virtual dressing rooms” which let customers “try on” outfits that appear when they are looking at themselves on a screen.

Some beauty retailers have plans to offer customers new ways to try out make-up with the help of a mobile “3D augmented reality make-up and anti-ageing mirror”.

The study also finds that AR shopping app users believe the added benefits of using these apps include:

  • getting more complete information on products (56.6%),
  • being more certain they are buying what they wanted (42.2%),
  • having the opportunity to “try out” a product before buying it (27.3%),
  • seeing demonstrations of products before purchasing them (26.9%),
  • buying a product that is more personalised (23.5%).

The research concludes that AR apps also benefit retailers by livening up static displays. Also, one of the biggest challenges faced by many brick-and-mortar retailers is the management of inventory on the shelves and the lack of interaction with those products.

Not only benefitting retailers by livening up static displays, such AR shopping apps can be used to bring these products to life in a virtual environment, thereby reducing the cost and management of physical inventory.