Gartner analysts say that retailers will leverage augmented reality (AR) to reinvent online and in-store customer experiences. They predict that by next year 100 million consumers will use AR to shop, and that 46 percent of retailers will use either AR or virtual reality (VR) to add value to flagging brick-and-mortar engagement.
“Retailers are under increasing pressure to explain the purpose of physical stores, and take control of the fulfillment and return process for cross-channel execution. At the same time, consumers are progressively defining the value provided by the experiences they receive from retailers. As a result of these pressures, retailers are turning to AR and VR to offer customers a unified retail experience inside and outside retail stores.”
Karki points to IKEA’s Place app as an example of successful AR in action. Launched in 2017, the app allows consumers to visualize what a piece of furniture would look like in their home using their phones. Karki says that the impact of AR in retail can be transformative for retailers who use it to drive revenue and extend the brand.