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Is Augmented Reality the Future of Retail?

Is Augmented Reality the Future of Retail?

Key Takeaways

– Emerging technology is changing the way retailers interact with customers, and the ways customers interact with products.

– Augmented reality allows you to layer digital components over the real world.

– Retail applications for augmented reality span industries including fashion & beauty, gaming, furniture & interior design, and more.

– Developing AR experiences can be expensive, but they can also yield higher conversion rates and save your business money on overhead.

Among NFTs, VR, and blockchain, augmented reality is being touted as the future of retail, and many online shoppers are already adjusting to the convenience of AR-enabled shopping features. In fact, analysts predict that the AR market will reach $198 billion in 2025 and in 2022, the number of mobile AR users is expected to reach 3.5 billion.

So, it seems like there’s plenty of interest in what augmented reality can offer. But what exactly is augmented reality and what can it do for your retail business? Let’s break that down.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality, or AR for short, is a way of splicing together a virtual world against our real one. Imagine looking out a window – you see street beyond your house, maybe a few neighbors strolling by. Then you pull out your smartphone and open your camera app. Looking out the window through your phone, there’s the same street, but now a virtual parade is livening up the avenue for you to enjoy!

With AR, you can add digital layers to reality.

Remember when everyone was playing Pokémon GO back in 2016? That was a mobile game that used AR to encourage players to explore their towns and environments looking for tiny fictional animals to collect. Not only did it boost the activity levels of millions of users, but it also reignited a fervor for the Pokémon franchise. Why not do the same for industries other than gaming?

Retailers have seen the potential in this interactive tech too, and are finding innovative ways to apply it to their products.

Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

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In 2020, AR technology was the key to helping customers feel comfortable making high ticket value, customized purchases online, without seeing products in person first.

Aaron Eversoll

How to Use Augmented Reality in Retail

The applications for augmented reality span across industries. From virtual try-ons for clothing brands or jewelry companies, to Amazon’s View in Your Room feature for furniture items, the opportunity to interact with products from a virtual marketplace can make it easier for customers to make confident purchases. Beauty brands are using the technology too, allowing shoppers to test shade matches and color swatches on their faces without ever touching a product.

In short, you can enhance the shopping experience with AR-enabled features that make your products more accessible to customers. But the fun doesn’t stop there! You can also amplify your audience’s enjoyment of the products they’ve already purchased or brand assets they interact with using augmented reality.

Starbucks, for example, has holiday cups that animate when viewed through a smartphone app. This additional layer of interactivity gets people talking about your brand and incentivizes purchases through built-in experiences.

What Does It Cost to Use Augmented Reality in Retail?

Developing your own AR experience can be costly, but there are benefits to adopting this technology. The chance to try-before-you-buy is enticing to your customers who may be on the fence about paying shipping or return fees, or who simply aren’t convinced by a 2D rendering of your product.

Increasing customer confidence can help reduce your overhead, as well. With fewer returns, restocking costs, and customer service back-and-forth, your business can enjoy the success that comes with more satisfied customers.

Using 3D technologies in your online shopping experience can increase your conversion rates by up to 40%. Using AR can give customers the confidence to buy, increase their post-purchase satisfaction, and reduce return rates.

Want to see if augmented reality is right for you? Work with a Marketing Mentor to explore the opportunities emerging tech can provide to your business.

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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