How Is Augmented Reality Transforming the Retail Industry?

11 August 2021, 3.04 mins, Team Expoodle

Shopping has always been a therapeutic experience for many. But with the arrival of the pandemic and based on the general shift of the customer’s preferred mode of shopping, the shift from offline to online is quite evident. It has become more online-oriented as compared to yesteryear’s offline mode.

The major setback of the online shopping mode is that the customer misses out on the hands-on experience of in-store shopping. It is a basic human tendency to be more approving of things we can actually see and feel. Augmented Reality allows a customer to relive this hands-on experience.

Being able to see the product in front of your own eyes, getting to try it before buying, seeing it from all available angles makes the online shopping experience much more satisfying and enriching for the customer.

The Arrival of Augmented Reality

With the coming of age of Augmented Reality, this problem has been solved to quite some extent. Although AR hasn’t become accessible to most people yet, it has already proved how beneficial it is and can solve all the problems discussed above.

5 Ways How Augmented Reality Is Transforming the Retail Industry!

1. Visualising the product in one’s own environment

When we talk about purchasing household items, say furniture, one of the biggest problems is that an in-store experience isn’t enough to visualise how the product would look in a certain space, like, the customer’s house.

This is where AR steps in. With the help of AR, the customer can see the product at their home itself and get an idea of how it looks and whether it fits in the space available even before buying. This gives the customer a much better chance to get the right product without much fuss, and save a lot of effort, time and money.

2. Reduced returns/exchange in products

With AR, the customer can view the product in 3D rendering and see it from all angles, allowing the customer to make a much-informed choice. This feature reduces the gap between expectations and reality and allows the customer a real-life shopping experience. This has led to a massive decrease in returns/exchanges as customers know exactly what they are buying.

3. Customer retention

No matter how good your product is, until and unless you can interact with the customer, connect with them and instil your brand name, you won’t be able to get the desired grip over the market. Thankfully, AR can resolve this for good. AR allows you to interact and engage with the customer at full capacity.

The customer can get a much better idea about the product, providing scope for ensuring better customer relations and deeper engagements. With AR-based customer service, you can also give the customers a much-needed reason to come back for more.

4. Try-on feature

The Digital ‘try-on’ feature is one of the iterations of augmented reality. With this Augmented Reality Try-on feature, a customer can try clothes/shoes/apparel without actually having to go through the tiresome process of dressing/undressing. This feature can give the customer an idea of how the product looks, whether it goes with the other products, etc. This reduces the heckles of the trial rooms and allows users to enjoy the shopping complex/mall experience at their homes. Amidst the pandemic, AR becomes the perfect bridge to connect the consumer with a “mall experience”.

5. Customised products

Another major feature that AR offers is the scope for customised/personalised products. Customisation is one of the more popular techniques used by brands to entice customers and build a following. With AR, this customisation experience can step up a level or two with much more personal and realistic customisation. This gives people options to seek personalised and intricate products that otherwise were impossible. Since AR-based customisation is still fairly new, it fascinates the customers and can be a good option to lure more customers.


AR in e-commerce and retail allows a customer to relive the actual shopping experience without having to step outside the comfort of their house. Augmented reality in the retail market is undoubtedly the next big thing in the shopping and e-commerce sector. This enormous potential holds the key to future-proof solutions and dynamics that can modify and change the way shopping is done. AR brings extremely high satisfaction levels, with 73% of mobile AR users reporting high satisfaction levels and preference for retailers with AR rather than those without. Speaking of which, the AR shopping experience is actually more feasible and more fun than actual shopping.

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