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Augmented Reality is Going to Transform Retail as We Know It

Augmented Reality is Going to Transform Retail as We Know It

For a long time, the conversation in retail has centered on creating digital experiences that match the face-to-face experience shoppers expect in brick and mortar stores. Augmented reality is very exciting martech because it makes it possible to provide shoppers with an experience previously unavailable in any setting.

For example, consider couch shopping. Anyone who has ever purchased a couch – or any piece of furniture – knows that a couch that looks absolutely perfect in the store can turn out to be absolutely the wrong size, color, or style when placed in your home. Try as you might to envision your actual home setting while shopping, bad couch decisions do get made.

Ikea is using augmented reality to let furniture shoppers see how items will appear in their actual homes. The augmented reality uses the images captured via a smartphone’s camera with digital overlay representations of the merchandise: users can see if the black leather Kivik sofa really works in their family room before they buy.

Have Your Customers Ever Played The Sims?

In 1991, a massive firestorm destroyed Will Wright’s home. While he was recovering from that horrible experience, he decided to create a virtual dollhouse – a digital environment he could create and edit as he saw fit. That dollhouse became The Sims, which debuted as a video game in 2000. 16 million copies of The Sims sold, making it the world’s best selling game. Since that auspicious start, The Sims has been continued to grow: the game’s latest release is scheduled to debut next week.

[Tweet “Customer expectations are certainly being shaped by augmented reality.”]

Shopping for a couch using Ikea’s augmented reality app is a lot like playing the Sims. It feels comfortable and natural for any player to use; there’s a familiarity to the experience that lies entirely outside of retail. Users are shopping, but it feels like they’re playing.
Augmented reality allows for extremely personalized, highly targeted recommendations – the decision to provide these via a skilled human salesperson, the way Stitch Fix does, or via algorithm, Amazon style – is one each retailer is going to have to make for themselves. Customer expectations are certainly being shaped by augmented reality; the fashion industry has been leading the way in this arena for years, prioritizing customers’ ability to see what apparel and accessories would look like on.

If you’re wondering if augmented reality would be appealing to your customers, you’ll want to take a look at your website analytics. Device usage data will show you what percentage of your customers visit your website via a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile device. Augmented reality technology works best on tablets and large screen smartphones. If a significant percentage of your customers are using this technology, augmented reality is worth exploring now; if that’s not the case, you’ll still want to keep an eye on this technology as the AR enhanced shopping experience becomes more mainstream.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office