Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have the potential to shake customer experience with individualization of retailer offerings and allowing customers to visualise products. By 2020, 100 million consumers will shop at AR online and in stores, according to Gartner.
"Retailers are under pressure to explain the purpose of physical stores, and take control of the fulfillment and return process for cross-channel execution," said Hanna Karki, "At the same time, consumers increasingly determine the value provided by the experience they receive from retailers. As a result of this pressure, retailers are turning to AR and VR to offer customers an integrated retail experience inside and outside retail stores. "
According to the survey, by 2020, 46 percent of retailers plan to use AR or VR solutions to meet customer service experience requirements.
"The impact of AR or VR in retail can be transformative," said Ms. Karki. "Retailers can use AR as an extension of brand experience to engage customers in an immersive environment and drive revenue. For example, the Place IKEA application allows customers to virtually place IKEA products in their own home. "
With the VR in-depth interface, retailers can create task efficiency or reduce costs associated with designing new products. They can also improve understanding of information through sophisticated graphic visualization and simulation technology. Pilots and examples of implementation include Alibaba's full VR shopping experience, virtual reality tours by Tesco, Adidas VR videos to promote outdoor clothing collections, and eBay Australia partnerships with Myer to create personalized stores.