One day, all retailers will have an augmented reality solution!

Published on 10/08/20

Si le confinement lié à la covid19 a véritablement mis un coup d’arrêt à l’activité économique, il a en revanche clairement donné un coup d’accélérateur à l’adoption des outils numériques, de travail à distance, de visioconférence mais aussi de réalité augmentée. Cette dernière s’invite d’ailleurs de plus en plus dans nos vies pour le plus grand bonheur des retailers et des clients.

How does augmented reality work?

Without getting bogged down in too many technical details, let’s just say that augmented reality can be defined as the superimposition of the virtual on the real. For it to work, it requires a smartphone, a tablet or a special pair of glasses. You can find it as much on the box of your favourite cereal to bring the mascot alive, as you can in the helmets of military units to help fighters obtain information in real-time about their environment. It shouldn’t be confused with virtual reality, which plunges the users into an entirely virtual world for entertainment, for training or to take a look at their future kitchen or the planet Mars.

Who is using augmented reality today?

If at first, augmented reality was seen as a gadget or new form of entertainment, it has now found its place, particularly in retail, where it can enhance the customer experience. The best example is undoubtedly L’OREAL. The cosmetics company realised early on the marketing potential of developing apps that allow customers to try different shades of lipstick, foundation and, more recently, hair colours using their smartphone camera. Better still, the French brand, which saw sales increase by 8% in 2019 estimates that this growth is in a large part due to online sales and, therefore, to augmented reality which allows customers to try before they buy. But these interactions can go even further.

How does augmented reality create proximity?

Beyond troubleshooting and inspections, the technology, which is constantly improving its functionality, has now succeeded in merging demand (from the home) with supply (from the retailer). We can show the bathroom that we want to do up, check out the tiles available in the shop, see how they would look, and find out the cost using a measuring tool, colour detector and shape recognition. The technology is ready and consumers are better equipped and more experienced with these new tools. Retailers and sales outlets will soon be able to develop their ranges and enter the world of ‘augmented commerce’.

The Main Think

Augmented reality is not a gadget. Boosted by technological process and household equipment purchases, it is creating new habits with consumers as well as bringing exciting prospects for retailers.  Make space for augmented revenue!