Modern Retail

VR and AR to Transform the Retail Experience

VR and AR

This post first featured in the Modern Retail Guide to Retail Tech February 2019. To read the full ebook click here, or scroll to the end of the page to view on page-turning software.

Technology is being increasingly used in retail, with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) making the customer experience more interactive, captivating and informative.

The introduction of VR and AR has enabled instore experiences which would have previously only been possible through leaving the store. Retailers which are at the forefront of implementing this technology will be able to intrigue and excite customers in a cost-effective and less time-consuming way.

Virtual and augmented reality have various uses across different sectors of retail.

For example, a retailer could give customers a VR tour of a car using a headset, or even allow them to explore what a product would look like when built, before purchasing. Not only does this allow the customer to make informed purchase decisions, but it also means that retailers do not have to stock their larger products instore.

AR is best used to overlay imagery on already existing settings; projecting different clothing and makeup onto shoppers instore, or showing what specific artwork would look like on a wall in the customer’s home. It helps the customer to envisage a product or item in the way it will be used.

A major benefit of VR and AR is that it gives customers confidence with a ‘try-before-you-buy’ approach. According to Forbes, 40% of people are willing to pay a premium for a product if they can experience it first through AR. In addition, a survey showed that 61% of people have had their choice of shop influenced by those using augmented reality.

User experience is typically better when using AR and VR, due to its ability to personalise visits and provide engaging advertising.

Creating lasting, positive memories, retailers are able to make the most of VR and AR in a time where there is more of a focus on customer experiences than ever before. The industry is set to continue its rapid growth, with the global VR and AR market being expected to reach £1.2 billion by 2025.

How could your store benefit from the introduction of virtual reality or augmented reality?

Read the full Modern Retail Guide to Retail Tech February 2019 below.

Holly Worthington

Holly Worthington

Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail's Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today's ever-changing market.