Virtual & Augmented Reality and how they are reshaping the retail space

2017-02-02 | by Smollan

In 2016 virtual & augmented reality transitioned from just an idea to a reality that is revolutionizing the shopper experience. VR/AR gives the consumer the option to experience the product/service without having to physically be there. The difference between the two is that VR offers the consumer a simulation and requires stand-alone equipment while AR connects virtual elements with the real world through technology such as the smartphone or tablet.

Consumers now have the opportunity to trial a product or service from the comfort of their homes without experiencing that unspoken pressure that often comes from dealing with in-store staff. We however cannot disregard the peace of mind that comes from physically seeing a product nevertheless what often takes away from the in-store experience are the not-so-pleasantries such as poor product knowledge from the staff, poor customer service, long queues and etc. Retail experts are now experimenting with furthering the AR functionality by exploring the possibility of this technology being the solution to some of these in-store ills, with the hopes of ultimately creating an even more convenient shopping experience for the consumer. VR, on the other hand, possesses a number of obstacles for the everyday consumer who isn’t accustomed to wearing VR devices beyond the ones needed for playing computer games. It will take some time for VR technology to really take off but in the meantime Pokémon Go’s thriving global success may be an indicator that the AR solutions are becoming increasingly more commercialized and the smartphone will be a great medium for AR technology to evolve.

VR/AR stands to change the in-store experience for consumers, and for the retailers that manage to master this trend, it could be the differentiating advantage that separates them from their competitors. For information on how our retail technology solutions can make your in-store experience seamless for your consumers contact us.