July 1, 2020

The Impact of Augmented Reality in Retail

The Retail Apocalypse

The retail apocalypse is reaching the decade mark. Beginning in 2010, brick-and-mortar retail stores in the U.S. have been closing at an alarming rate. Even some of the major retail stores and well-known brands such as J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Sears, J. Crew, and Toys “R” Us, have been touched by this epidemic. All of these retailers have either been liquidated or have closed a significant number of their store locations.

Although there are several factors contributing to this phenomena, namely macroeconomic factors, the only factor that retailers actually have the power to address is the change in consumers’ spending habits. Firstly, consumers are increasingly spending more and more on e-commerce, and secondly, consumers are willing to spend more on experiences than tangibles.

What Does This Mean for Retailers?

This means that brick-and-mortar retailers must adopt new technologies and innovate in order to attract and retain customers. Successful retailers will be those who learn to blend the physical world with the digital world to create in-store and at-home interactive digital experiences.

Augmented reality (AR) is the perfect solution as it does just that. AR is an interactive experience that gives a view of the physical real-world with superimposed computer-generated images.

How can retailers incorporate AR? Let’s take a look:


Taking your shoes on and off to try on different sneakers can be tedious, especially when there are so many options to choose from. Converse eliminated this hassle with their augmented reality iPhone app, The Sampler. The Sampler makes it possible for customers to try on a pair of Converse virtually. Customers simply select a pair they want to try on from a digital catalog and point their iPhone camera at their leg. The selected sneakers then appear on their feet and the customer can see how the shoes would look without the hassle. The app also includes a feature that allows customers to share the image with friends on Facebook to ask for a second opinion.

Try on a pair of Converse virtually


L’Oreal has installed interactive devices called “Magic Mirrors,” in its Shanghai, Wuhan, and Changsha boutiques. Customers can stand in front of the mirror and try on different makeup.  They are even able to order the products they like the best from the device and the products will be delivered to the customer’s address. Customers can also play an augmented reality game, Catch the Cat, using their smartphones. In the game, customers must try to find the cat hiding in the L’Oreal stores. If the customer succeeds in catching the cat, they earn a special promotional prize and coupons for the L’Oreal online store.

L’Oreal stores


Ikea came out with an app, “Ikea Place,” which allows shoppers to view a piece of furniture in their own homes. This helps shoppers visualize how well a piece of furniture would match and fit in their homes. The app assists shoppers in making better buying decisions which results in higher customer satisfaction.

Benefits of Augmented Reality for Retail

The impact of augmented reality on retail is astonishing. According to a study conducted by Retail Perceptions, 40% of shoppers would be willing to pay more for a product if they were able to experience it through AR, 61% of shoppers prefer shopping at stores that offer AR over ones that don’t, and 71% of shoppers would shop at a retailer more frequently if it offered AR. It is clear to see that integrating AR technology into in-store experiences would be a worthwhile investment for retailers. 

3D Content in AR

AR undoubtedly has potential to transform retail in astounding ways. However, this cannot be done without 3D content. Fortunately, with RestAR you can scan your products easily using your mobile device, by taking a short video and receive not only a high-quality 3D model of your product, but also a very high performance embed link to use instead of your platform's product pictures - it only takes a few minutes.

If you want to take your retail business to the next level, the first step starts with us. Contact us and we’ll help you create the content you need for your AR experience.

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