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Retail
6 minutes read

AR Mirrors: Trending Augmented Reality Technologies

By Alvaro Insignares
By Alvaro Insignares
Retail
6 minutes read

Have you heard about AR mirrors and other augmented reality technologies?

With technological innovations continuing to revolutionize various industries and facilitating consumer experiences, there’s been a growing demand for Augmented Reality in retail. Consumers are seeking a more convenient and personalized shopping experience at retail stores and on their mobile devices, and AR technology can provide it. 

Retail companies and their tech partners are responsible for keeping up with the ever-growing demand for better, faster, and more convenient shopping experiences, as well as the new technologies that can make these experiences a reality.

If customers can’t find what they’re looking for, whether in-store or on a mobile app, they will likely walk out of a store without making a purchase or abandon their online shopping carts. AR technology is helping to transform how retailers market their products, improving their outreach and increasing customer satisfaction. 

In this post, we take a look at some examples of current Augmented Reality strategies that retailers are already taking advantage of, how AR is transforming the way customers shop, and what the future holds for Augmented Reality in retail so you can make your store stand out from those of competitors.

In-Store Augmented Reality Experiences

When shopping for products inside a store, customers want to find what they are looking for and make a purchase as quickly and conveniently as possible. The idea of waiting in long lines or dealing with inventory shortages is not pleasant. Augmented Reality is changing that. The smart mirror is one of the best examples of Augmented Reality in retail stores. Let’s take a closer look at what a smart mirror is and its benefits to retailers and customers. 

Smart Mirrors

For many shoppers, finding the perfect clothing item can be just as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. Some shoppers have a pretty good idea of what they are looking for, while others turn to store representatives for guidance. The entire process can be overwhelming, especially for shoppers who aren’t exactly sure what they are looking for.

To make matters worse, sizing differences between brands can leave shoppers stranded in dressing rooms waiting for clerks to provide the item in a different size or have no choice but to get redressed and venture out in search of other sizes themselves. 

But what if the other sizes aren’t available? What if there aren’t any store clerks available to help? Meet smart AR mirrors.

Smart mirrors create a unique shopping experience for customers, allowing them to virtually try on different styles of clothing and in different sizes without actually trying on those items physically. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning powered technologies, a smart mirror can create simulations of how a given item may look on the user, helping attain a high level of customization.

The same works for accessories like glasses, belts, purses, hats, jewelry, and even makeup. For example, a smart mirror allows shoppers to see how glasses, eye shadow, and other accessories look on their face shape. So not only does the customer save time and the hassle of long lines and product shortages, but retailers can also provide an online or in-app experience to consumers who may not shop on their mobiles or desktops. 

Many larger chains are already featuring smart mirrors powered by Artificial Intelligence in their stores, including Ralph Lauren and H&M. However, digital mirrors and Artificial Intelligence tools are also an excellent way for small brick-and-mortar retailers to increase their sales and provide a virtually unlimited inventory to prospective customers. 

Augmented Reality Retail Apps

Augmented Reality in retail isn’t just limited to in-store shopping. An AR app is an excellent way for retailers and beauty brands to provide an enhanced shopping experience to interested customers from the convenience of their smartphones. Many retail stores already incorporate Augmented Reality in their applications, especially furniture retailers. Below we’ll explore one of the most popular AR app features: 3D furnishing experiences.

3D Furnishing Experiences

When it comes to furniture shopping, AR technology can be a lifesaver for consumers. Retailers who sell furniture can take advantage of room simulator technology, allowing prospective buyers to see exactly how a piece of furniture will look in their home. For accuracy, consumers can input specific room dimensions and experiment with different items, positioning, and color schemes. By providing customers with a way to visualize exactly how an item will look in their home, they are much more likely to follow through with a purchase.

Several retail companies, including Swedish furniture giant Ikea, are already taking advantage of this AR-powered mobile technology. For example, the Ikea Place app allows customers to view true-to-scale 3D models of different products in their homes. 

After taking a picture of the room, app users can try out different furniture pieces, change item colors, and pair products with complementary accessories to gain a realistic outlook of what they can expect. Once they decide on the items they want, they can make the purchase straight from the app. 

Deciding on Your AR Content

There are several different types of Augmented Reality experiences you can provide your customers. To determine the AR content that’s best for your company, it’s important to consider several factors. The first factor is your brand, including your products and services. The second is your target audience and the types of AR features they would find useful and be most likely to interact with. 

Younger audiences are more likely to use smart devices when shopping, so incorporating AR into an eCommerce website or app makes the most sense for these shoppers. Meanwhile, more mature shoppers will likely prefer AR in-stores, as they may have difficulty navigating complex smartphone technology.  

Still, it can be difficult to pinpoint the best AR solution for your store. Speaking with an experienced app development company is the best way to explore the different types of options available to you and how to best incorporate Augmented Reality into your business model.

The Future of Augmented Reality in Retail

3D simulations and smart mirrors are just some of the ways AR is transforming the retail industry. With every new advancement in Augmented Reality technology, we’ll see even more revolutionary and immersive tools pop up in retail apps and stores. The more ways in which retailers can provide unique AR experiences to their target audiences, the more they’ll be able to increase their customer base and retain customer loyalty.

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