Dec 23, 2017

AR in Retail

An Overview of Best Use Cases from All Over the World

Yaroslav Kaplan
Most people first got their first taste of augmented reality with the release of Pokémon Go in the summer of 2016. Unlike virtual reality (VR), AR does not immerse us in the digital environment, but rather "complements" the real world with images, text, video, animation, etc.

Just like VR took the entertainment industry by storm, AR entrenched itself in retail, offering a completely new level of interaction between the buyer and the product and it has already begun changing the way we shop forever.

In this article, we will look at several examples of AR usage in the retail and e-commerce industry.
Augmented Reality will become a $133 billion industry by 2021



Walmart, the world's leading retailer, released in 2012 several movie apps such as Avengers, Ninja Turtles and Iron Man. These applications had similar functions, to reproduce augmented reality when scanning advertising media inside Walmart supermarkets
Users could assemble their own team of superheroes, play a shooter game and share a photo with their favorite character, superimposed on AR in social networks.


Super Hero Augmented Reality App at Walmart - Avengers



IKEA was one of the first retailers to integrate AR into its printed product catalog. When you buy new furniture, it is sometimes difficult to imagine how much it will fit into the interior and AR helps overcome this barrier.

In 2014, IKEA released a catalog that served as an AR tag. Customers simply put the catalog in a place where they want to see the furniture. When browsing through the application, a 3D model of the furniture appeared instead of a catalog, so that a potential buyer could assess whether it suits his/her taste.
IKEA Catalogue: Augmented Reality



Augmented reality does not have to be connected to a smartphone or tablet. Lego has implemented AR kiosks with a camera and monitor in retail stores around the world.

The customer simply needs to bring a Lego box to the kiosk to see what the assembled design would look like in 3D. Such a lively demonstration not only makes an impression on children, but also nudges their parents to make a purchase.
Lego augmented reality
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Converse released the Sampler mobile app, which gave people the opportunity to visualize sneakers on their feet before buying. You do not even have to go to the store. Simply select the pair you like in the app on your smartphone and see it in augmented reality right away.

The image can be easily shared with friends on social networks to get advice before you buy them. The very same purchase can be done in one click in the same app.
Converse The Sampler iPhone App



In 2017, the large Russian retailer Dixie launched the "Look, dinosaurs!" campaign utilizing both AR and VR. If you buy a certain amount of merchandise, you get collectible stickers and chips.

The stickers serve as labels, when scanning, from which appeared AR dinosaurs. Accumulated chips could be exchanged for virtual reality glasses, which the customer could use watch dinosaurs in VR and learn useful information about them.
Watch, dinosaurs!
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Tags: augmented reality, AR, Pokémon Go, Walmart, IKEA, Lego, Converse, Dixie, Watch, dinosaurs
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