Post Categories: October 2016

Executive Perspectives: From the President

Insider Look: Shoppers’ Enthusiastic Response to Augmented Reality and the Implications for Retailers Today


Retailers today need to stay relevant in the consumer’s journey to purchase and need to curate their offerings and experience through the constant new technologies that are being adopted. Not all of these technologies will succeed—but not knowing what will take hold, it is imperative that retailers continue to be part of enabling the journey.

This summer we saw the rise of interest in apps and tools that use augmented reality to create unique and fun experiences. The most visible example of augmented reality recently has undoubtedly been Pokémon GO, embraced and enjoyed by people all over the world. This development clearly illustrated the now proven use of augmented reality for fun. But we’re also interested in its application within retail! To learn more about how customers are engaging with this new medium, Interactions explored this trend more in-depth by conducting a survey in markets across the U.S., studying the impact augmented reality is already having for shoppers.

The 2016 survey conducted by Interactions found that 71 percent of respondents would shop at a retailer more often if they offered augmented reality experiences and 40 percent would be willing to pay more for a product if they could engage via augmented reality.

Picture this augmented reality shopping experience: a customer enters the store, downloads the app and creates a profile including personal preferences like favorite foods and perhaps even food allergies. The customer can simply point their phone’s camera at products and choose to go on their personalized journey, having the choice to see information such as source, ingredients, price and special discounts, etc. Or they could explore recipes, or engage in a visual experience to see how the finished recipe would look.

Grocery retailers, too, have the opportunity to build on sales generated by foot traffic through augmented reality user experiences. The possible applications of augmented reality include using it as a game, as an educational tool teaching families about the basics of healthy eating, or to reinforce healthy eating choices. It could open a new avenue in providing personalized promotion. And the wealth of insights on how consumers journey through to the final purchase decision would lead to more satisfied shoppers.

As augmented reality continues to grow in use and popularity, customers are expressing their interest in the platform. They see it as a novel and fun way to view, learn about and purchase products. Eighty-five percent of shoppers say that value-added augmented reality influences their purchase decision, proving the possibilities within the retail space are limitless and retailers today are finding a variety of creative ways to use this technology to generate both excitement and increased sales!


Bharat Rupani
President Retail Services