Augmented Reality on the rise in Retail

2018 will see a rise in augmented reality adoption across the retail sector.  Google are once again ahead of the curve, having launched a collection of AR stickers for its Pixel and Pixel 2 phones; allowing users to express themselves with virtual characters and emojis that come to life.  This means that Star Wars fans can experience Stormtroopers coming to life right in front of them, from the comfort of their living room!  We are seeing AR and VR becoming increasingly popular in briefs from retailers with some practical and innovative applications.

Retail apps

There’s huge potential for stores to offer customers a selection of apps to enhance this AR experience, with brands like Ikea already embracing the trend with an app which allows users to place its furniture in their rooms at home.  Dulux Visualiser uses augmented reality to superimpose different paint colours onto walls so that customers are more informed before committing to a purchase.

Virtual nails

A great application we’re working on at the moment with a beauty brand is the ability to photograph your face or hand and apply nail colours and make up. The colour reproduction now possible on displays allows an accurate enough colouring for the customer to virtually apply their products to make selections.  It’s also an innovative way of overcoming an age old problem in beauty departments where customers leave covered in a range of products.  This practical use for digital signage provides the opportunity for data collection and improves the customer experience so they don’t have to try a variety of products on their hands before deciding what suits them best.

Augmented Reality boosts sales

Renowned global brand MAC, have recently partnered with a Toronto based tech company which specialises in augmented reality technology for beauty brands.  They have launched an AR mirror which allows U.S. MAC store customers to virtually apply make-up.  Its facial tracking and 3D video makeup rendering enables an accurate rendition of the application, with 29 custom eye looks that are mapped to the face 30 times per second.  This will not only revolutionise the beauty industry in terms of sales (which are expected to rise by up to 31% for this particular kind of tech) but also from a customer data analysis perspective.

Essentially, AR provides retailers with the opportunity to provide their customers with a more immersive and engaging shopping experience.  Retail theatre will be at the heart of this innovation and we’ll keep you updated as we develop new uses.