No. 7: AR Retail?

Augmented reality is becoming increasingly integrated into consumer’s daily lives. Apps like Snapchat spurred common knowledge of AR through their lenses, which allow users to change their appearance through different filters. These Snapchat filters are engaging and encourage users to interact with the app.

According to AdWeek, retailers are beginning to take advantage of the benefits of AR technology. Specifically, furniture stores are using AR to allow shoppers to imagine what furniture will look like in their homes. Users can choose what items they would like to test in their space and see the mock-up on their phones. Stores like Ikea (Ikea Place) and Wayfair (View in Room 3D) are just two retailers that are beginning to rollout these services.

It makes sense for retailers to use AR in this way. By allowing consumers to test products in their homes before buying–they are removing some of the potential for buyer’s remorse. This partnership between AR technology and retailers feels extremely natural. The opportunities for incorporation are limitless. Beauty retailers have also experimented with AR in allowing customers to test makeup on a selfie before purchasing. These services, however, have yet to achieve seamless functionality.

“It’ll become second nature. Viewing a product in your room will be almost mandatory at some point.” -Shrenik Sadalgi, Wayfair Head of Next-Gen Experiences

This quote from Sadalgi hints that he believes AR will become interwoven into consumers daily shopping habits.

AR to many, however, still feels relatively foreign, AdWeek says. One of the issues discussed in the article was that consumers were worried about furniture in these apps not being accurately rendered or properly sized. This shows that users are still weary of AR and have yet to fully accept its integration into daily tasks like shopping. As advertisers and retailers alike embrace AR, it likely will be normalized to consumers.

Personally, what I found so interesting about this article was how it illustrates technology’s permeation into everyday life. The line between reality and digital is becoming blurred everyday in unexpected ways. This integration has the potential to be harmful if reality becomes indistinguishable from the digital. As of right now, however, AR has the opportunity to be a dynamic tool for advertisers and retailers.