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What Is the Role of Augmented Reality in Retail?

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  • Written By: Jim B.
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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Augmented reality, which is the use of computer graphics superimposed over a real-world object, has a significant role in the future of retail as a means of increasing advertising opportunities. By creating three-dimensional imagery, augmented reality in retail can create an accurate representation of the products being sold to the consumers. This technology can be used in stores through kiosks that can transform packages of physical products into virtual representations of how those products might be utilized. In addition, augmented reality in retail may be achieved through at-home devices like smartphones and computer tablets that can scan objects and create a virtual reality display right on their screens.

Technology has completely transformed the world of retail advertising, giving marketers more options than ever before. It has increased the options for advertising within stores as well as for reaching consumers in their homes and their daily comings and goings. The use of augmented reality in retail, although it can be expensive, can more than atone for the cost with its versatility and impact on the consumers who are exposed to it.

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To understand how augmented reality in retail works, it is first important to grasp the basics of the technology. Whereas the use of audio and video has been a common practice by advertisers for quite some time, augmented reality has the ability to bring graphics and sounds into the real world with the consumer. One key component of augmented reality is its use of three-dimensional technology, which creates a much more lifelike experience for customers.

The benefits of augmented reality in retail can be realized in the in-store experience of customers. Augmented reality can help to reduce the space needed for displays and even physical products. A kiosk can be set up with augmented reality capability that will produce all of the information necessary for consumers to make their buying decisions and do so in an entertaining and realistic way. These displays are generally interactive, meaning that the sights and sounds will react to the actions of the consumers.

Mobile technology possessed by consumers often has the capability to activate virtual displays, which means that augmented reality in retail need not be confined to just a store setting. By creating some sort of item that consumers can scan on their mobile device, advertisers can make the ad magically appear right in front of their targeted customers. This kind of technique is especially useful since the usage of smartphones and portable tablets has risen dramatically in recent years.

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