Consumers know a gimmick when they see one. Accordingly, their reception of in-store augmented reality features is anticipated to falter when compared to the adoption of the technology by retail workers. Detailed in ABI Research’s “Augmented Reality in Retail” report, in-store employees have much to gain by adopting the technology. Online customers are predicted to continue to embrace the tech, too.
And while AR enables online shoppers to interact with product, it will do little to move the needle for in-store consumers, the report suggested. “For consumers in bricks-and-mortar stores, however, AR can disrupt the customer journey and provides little additional value overall,” said Nick Finill, senior analyst at ABI Research.
But retail workers will increasingly tap the technology to inform operations, according to the research. “ABI Research forecasts that by 2022, over 120,000 stores will be using AR smart glasses globally, with deployments evenly split across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific,” an ABI Research spokesman said. “This will be driven by the need for efficiency savings to compete with rival retailers and the online sector generally.”
What’s more, the research suggested that the technology will inject an additional $122 billion — or three percent increase — in global e-commerce revenue by 2022. “The relative ease of integrating AR into existing m-commerce platforms and the impact this can have on the user experience will largely drive customer demand,” Finill said.
The rubber will meet the road as retailers and brands attempt to shift the perception of AR from temporary feature to an ongoing asset that will elevate online and mobile shopping experiences.
Some brands have already incorporated AR into their shopping journeys. Gap partnered with Google to deploy their dressing room app, which projects items onto an avatar. Converse revealed “the Sampler,” its AR-powered app that allows shoppers to view new styles via their smartphone. These are first steps — as the technology becomes more refined, it will be imperative for brands to fold in personalization facets to draw and maintain usage.
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