Retail system across the globe has transformed through the years. The role of the internet has become more than just a medium to avail services or purchase products.
The number of users purchasing things online has increased dramatically in recent years.
Statistics on retail eCommerce by Statista indicate that global sales of this sector have been increasing staggeringly every year, i.e., 3,354 billion US dollars in 2019, 4,280 billion US dollars in 2020, to 4,891 billion US dollars in 2021. The same statistics project that global retail eCommerce sales will reach 6,388 billion US dollars by 2024.
To support the versatile needs of such a large number of online shoppers, technology leaders have created a solid and credible digital infrastructure.
To align with the credibility element, retail or eCommerce app development companies use Augmented Reality (AR) as a principle technology. Hence, AR has a predominant and indispensable role to play in the market of online retail platforms.
This blog post will provide a complete understanding of the transformation led by AR in the retail sector. It will also guide you to how you can implement AR in retail apps.
What is AR?
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology overlaying visual elements and information over real-world objects. It has become a popular technology trend that provides a more realistic and accurate user experience to the customers.
AR in retail apps has made it simpler for users to choose to try on their favorite products virtually.
AR is being used in many applications, but retail is among its most common use cases. It is helping retail companies and app developers enhance customer experience, marketing, and presenting product or service demos.
How Is AR Development Transforming the Retail Sector?
AR has provided retail the functionality that it needed the most to establish strong credibility. Most users would be skeptical about the actual quality of the products or services to be offered.
Online retail operations have become more client-oriented with the advent of AR-based applications.
Let us explore more on this.
It is the most common application of AR, which can be in many eCommerce applications these days. Customers would try on their favorite clothes virtually and find out if the product really suits them. They can try different colors available for the same product in the application.
Another common use case of AR in retail has been how customers can now place the items virtually in the particular places of their home or office or anywhere they would want to put them. They can preview if the furniture or other accessories would look good at a place before they really buy and get it home.
Navigating or Educating Customers
Retail companies are using AR to maintain the learning curve. Your customers might need your help to understand the basics and the best of your capabilities. You can use AR to create engaging user manuals, utilize your cloud capabilities and digital infrastructure to engage in simple navigation.
Filters are fun, aren’t they? But, everything that has an audience magnet and attracts users become a tool of branding. Not every industry gets this liberty to use social media filters, which are basically AR filters, for their own good.
Users are using Instagram filters, tagging the pages and helping them get more engagement. However, it is not always this easy, so you might need a tactical social media and design strategy for your use.
What kind of post-purchase experience would your customers expect from you? It may be in terms of product education, customer support, or perhaps some additional fun like you providing them a mini-game in some part of the entire application.
By incorporating some AR-efficient tools in smart devices, technology leaders have not increased their devices’ capability to interact with other electronic devices in the environment but took a crucial step towards a more connected digital infrastructure.
A small IC in your mobile phone is replacing a thermometer, speaker, or even measuring tape. We can certainly expect more from it. But, it is also an opportunity for Augmented Reality development companies to make their application more compatible with the evolving device hardware structure with strong compatibility with technology like AR.
Advantages of Using AR in Retail Apps
Those who have used it might say ‘Yes’ in many cases when asked about AR in retail is advantageous for them. But, how does AR in retail apps help people, or what are its advantages?
Increased Customer Engagement
AR is a powerful tool helping businesses to meet their customer engagement demands. It is bringing customers or visitors that add value’s to the organization’s existence as a brand. Investing in AR is more like investing in redesigning your website for improving the app’s influence or popularity.
Hassle-Free Business With Less Returns
Since the foundation of using AR in retail was for previewing products virtually, it has certainly reduced returns. Users check their products’ size or appearance using AR. It has simplified the retail process for vendors and customers.
One of the most transformative innovations led by AR into the retail sector has been its advanced educational implementations. Retail apps are using AR for accelerating product education. They are using an interactive manual combined with AR filters.
There are several other customer-oriented AR applications helping businesses to interact directly with customers. As the technology evolves further, there can be much more transformative adaption in the upcoming times.
How to Implement AR in Your Retail Apps
The process of implementing AR in retail apps begins with the idea of enhancing the application’s capabilities to interact with an expanded range of subjects i.e. devices or people who can be potential customers.
Here is you can begin your journey towards adopting AR in your retail app.
Know Your Business Objectives
The fact that you want to advance your application by using AR also relies upon its usability for your business. Before investing your resources, you must understand the objectives you want to meet by implementing AR in your retail apps. How are you going to benefit us through this combination of retail and AR? Since it is about customer experience, you need to ensure that your experiment is parameterized and not merely an example of trying something new without doing basic research about its demerits if there can be any.
AR is a technology that can have significant impacts on your business so you do not only have to see its technical aspect but also business aspects.
Identify the Tools
With a clear vision, you can start finding the resources or tools to do things practically.
Software Integration: You can integrate a free or paid AR platform to scale up the app features. You can choose either of them but you must know that there will always be restrictions in a free version and you might need to pay to eliminate them after a time.
Choose Devices: It is probable that you might be thinking of implementing it in a mobile app, but you can also expand it to other devices such as laptops or tablets. You can ask an AR app development company to help you with the technical upgrades.
Operating System: Platform compatibility is a crucial element that you cannot afford to hamper. It would help if you made your retail app compatible with any popular OS, so you do not lose a part of the audience.
Compatibilities: Before you plan to create an AR-based retail app for any device or platform, you must be aware of your app’s hardware and software requirements. For example, some AR apps can only be run on Android devices having Gyroscope sensors.
Promote Your Offerings Correctly
As per Think With Google, 66% of respondents in a survey expressed their interest in using AR tools while purchasing a product. You can see that the vibrant scope of opportunities in AR.
To reach more people and let them know what your product can do for them, you must promote your product and its capabilities in a rightful manner.
You cannot miss out on anything when it comes to product education. From customers to your team members, you need to unfold the complete features. You can use comprehensive content in different formats i.e., blogs, videos, or even infographics, to educate them.
You can create a strategy where you and the app users can be a medium to reach more people.
Most Popular App Examples of AR in Retail
Goldman Sachs reports a market projection of $1.6 billion for AR and VR in retail by 2025.
There are many leading retail companies using AR in their applications. You can take inspiration, understand what they are doing, how they are doing it, and if it is helping them to grow their audience.
Here are some of the most popular retail applications using AR.
As its name indicates, the app is about creating floor plans. This app allows users to use their mobile camera as a field capturing tool. You can mark the places in a room by turning around. Once you are done doing it, the app will create a field plan for you. Users can create sketches, estimates, and field plans in the simplest manner.
In general, you are using your mobile phone to create a 3D plan through your camera.
With a dynamic design and interface comes the robust IKEA application. Using this app, users can place their favorite furniture in different parts of their homes or offices. From table lamps to sofas, you can try putting different sizes of items.
A globally acclaimed retail app, Amazon has thousands of products listed on the platform. There are clothes, furniture, and lots of other types of accessories. You can always find something for you on the platform, but how do you make sure that it fits your needs in terms of appearance or placement? Well, that is where you can rely on the AR capabilities of Amazon, the AR retail app.
Sephora is a beauty products marketplace. The platform features virtual makeup tools where the app users can just upload their picture (probably, a selfie) and the virtual makeup artist with brush magic and you can see different shades of makeup on your face.
MeasureKit, as the name suggests, is an application where you have a set of tools that you can use to measure your face, lengths, and heights. It is an AR ruler tape which you can carry anywhere, anytime. And, it is handier than carrying a measuring tape, isn’t it?
Cost of Creating an AR-Based Retail App
So, how much would it cost to create an AR-based retail app? That would not be a good idea to comprehend a set price. We do not know what you expect from AR. What would be the scale of your project? Which type of users do you want to target?
Without knowing the answers to some of the important questions in any project, one should not misinform the costs.
So, let us share some insights that you might give a strong thought about the cost of developing an AR-based retail app.
If you hire app developers from India, it may cost you anywhere between $20 to $30 US per hour, where hiring European and US-based developers may cost $35-$45 US and $100-$150 US, respectively.
The total cost for AR app development may cost anywhere from $30,000 to $300,000 or more.
The hourly costs mentioned here are tentative and may change after understanding the exact project requirements. It is advisable to consult an app development company to unfold dedicated insights for your project.
How Did AR Redefine Retail During COVID-19 Pandemic?
As per RetailDive, retailers across the globe witnessed a staggering rise of 58% in in-app transactions.
In April 2020, there was a dramatic hike of 109% in mobile app downloads.
COVID-19 pandemic prompted people to shift towards enterprise mobility for meeting their demands.
Retail companies that either had no such digital platforms or were inactive on those platforms started focusing more on digitally creating a customer experience. You might observe that in the insights mentioned before. You might observe that in the insights mentioned before.
AR was undoubtedly a crucial feature component that brands commonly and popularly utilized to allow customers to preview what they are buying.
Even today, some applications do not support AR but do not decline the fact that they are missing an opportunity somewhere.
How Can We Help You?
We, at Sparx IT Solutions, have been transforming businesses with our AR-based app development solutions. Our offerings come with the promising attributes of long-term experience, a wide portfolio is creating such applications, and a lot more than assures growth for an aspiring business.
You can consult our team of app development professionals who can guide you with a constructive and systematic product development path.
The Final Word
Augmented Reality is still transforming and set to expand further as the global business landscape for digitized retail grows. Growth-seeking businesses are already investing in the promising future of AR-led retail solutions.
In this blog post, we tried to share what we know and understand about transforming retail sectors with a sideline impact of AR into it. If we missed something you wanted to know about AR, you could try reading our complete guide on AR development.