How technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality’ (VR) and ‘Augmented Reality’ (AR) are changing the retailing forever?
Technology enhancement was yet another topic that was touched at Indian Retail Congress 2017(IReC 2017). Speakers at various points highlight that AI, VR and AR will play pivotal role in enhancing the experience be it online or offline retail.BY Shipra Srivastava | May 19, 2017 | comments ( 0 ) |
Taking the recent forecasts in count, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) could well become the biggest technology disruption since the smartphone. Once Tim Cook, CEO, Apple has mentioned ‘AR will be as huge a game changer as the smartphone ever was. We will all have AR experiences every day, almost like eating 3 meals a day … It’ll become that much a part of us. I think AR is that big, that huge.”
All the retailers be online or offline are leveraging this technology to enhance the experience. In recent past, Amazon, the largest online retailer, is building bricks & mortars store with lots of AR features to help its online business. Same time, technologies such as Magic Mirror, Projection on Mannequin and holographic projection are extensively used by the offline retailers.
Speaking at IRec 2017, Vaibhav Bhouraskar, Co- Founder & Director, Zed Interactive informed that they have recently installed above mentioned technologies at Wills Lifestyle store to enhance the in-store experience.
How VR is different from AR?
Explaining the difference, Anshuman Bhargava, Director & Creative Head, The Blue Leaves Design said, “VR is when you wear a headset and experience and AR is when graphics, text, images, information are projected onto the real world environment.”
Followings are the key leanings from his presentation:
• AR is the next big megatrend.
• AR will be more successful than VR in times to come. Since AR is more ‘real’, ‘natural’ & convenient than VR, its predicted that AR will surpass VR by a long shot. Pokemon Go is the first truly social AR experience of all time (It beat Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and Tinder)
• AR will be a USD 165 billion industry By 2024.
• AR has to work with the traditional bricks and mortar store. The purpose of Augmented Reality is to help enhance the consumer’s in-store experience
How AR helps online sales ?
As per Bhargava AR helps in enhancing the customer experience which in turn improves conversion rate and reduce returns. AR removes guesswork, and surprises the customer when package arrives. Bhargava also informed that retailers such as Pepperfry (furniture), Being Human (apparel) , Wills Lifestyle (apparel) , Myntra (apparel), Freecultr (apparel), Firstcry (apparel) , Makemytrip.com (travel) are heavily relying on this technology. He also informed that in the time to come AR technology will be more responsive which in turn help the retailers.
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