Augmented reality has been around since as early as the 1960’s, however it wasn’t until the Air Force started to implement AR in the early 1990’s that people really started to take notice. Through the 1990’s and early 2000’s, AR was used mostly as a behind-the-scenes tool, such as for superimposing the lines onto an NFL field. However in just the past few years, the AR industry has gained a large consumer audience and continues to grow rapidly, with an estimated 3.5 billion mobile users by 2022.
Despite these statistics, many companies are hesitant to make an investment on something they’re not sure of. In this blog, we will explain 5 ways that AR can be the key to success in retail.
Stores are hardly ever big enough to show off everything you want your customers to see. By implementing AR, your store would be able to have nearly unlimited space. Imagine your customers being able to browse all that your store has to offer while staying in one room. Since Minsar exists cross-platform, customers would be able to do this right from their smartphones. That means that your company can focus on the software without having to invest in numerous headsets.
According to the FBI, the American jewelry industry loses more than $100 million dollars in burglaries and thefts each year. Although AR is not yet advanced enough to provide a holographic security officer, there are many security benefits to using AR. A jewelry store, for example, would be able to have their customers “try on” thousands of ring customizations without actually keeping thousands of rings in stock. By limiting their stock, it not only protects the store from theft, it also reduces the need for a costly inventory. This concept can be applied across multiple retail sectors.
Picture this: your customer is in an unfamiliar city and is desperate for some of your delicious Macarons. With Minsar, your bakery could create a wayfinding experience which would lead customers right to your front door. Additionally, people passing by could be alerted to a nearby AR experience, and therefore be more likely to visit the store in the first place. Some examples of in-shop experiences include a hologram of a person to greet customers, and AR menus or catalogs.
Imagine that a customer comes by your store to shop, but it has already been closed for the night. Rather than being disappointed and bringing their business elsewhere, the customer would be able to experience the products in AR right outside the store itself! They would then be able to purchase items and have them delivered or pick them up the next day. This would result in an increase of customer purchases during hours when the store is not typically open.
Adding AR to your store will increase customer satisfaction, and what’s more important than happy customers? According to Lumus Vision Insight’s, 71% of shoppers would prefer to go to stores that offer AR experiences. It is especially important to implement AR sooner rather than later because by next year, 46% of retail companies will be using some form of AR or VR experience to drive revenue.
Minsar is a code-free platform that allows creative professionals to build, distribute, and collaborate on AR & VR experiences directly through their 3D headset, tablet, or smartphone. The platform is currently available on HoloLens, Magic Leap, Android, and iOS devices.