Are Retailers Ready for 100 Million Augmented Reality Shoppers in 2020?

By Steven Cunningham, Director, Retail Sales, Scandit

Augmented Reality (AR) technology is taking strides and making gains in the retail landscape. According to Gartner, more than 100 million consumers will be using AR technologies to shop in-store and online in 2020. Driven by factors including the introduction of 5G and ongoing digital transformation of retail, AR promises to improve the underlying performance of physical stores. So how can retailers capitalize on this trend?

AR technology combines computer-generated assets with real-world environments, with AR overlays adding digital information to the image of a physical object on the device screen. It helps to create more customized experiences and gives customers a compelling reason to shop in store. And retail operations can be reengineered with AR, creating more automated and efficient processes that ultimately help shift the role of their store personnel towards higher value tasks.

Here we explore how retailers can take advantage of AR today including examples of some typical use cases.

Mobile apps + AR enhance customer engagement

Shoppers demand fast and seamless ordering processes and many brick-and-mortar retailers are building and optimizing mobile shopping applications to deliver them. A robust mobile shopping application makes it easy for customers to order and re-order products on the fly, establishing strong digital engagement and providing more memorable shopping experiences.
At home or on the go, customers need only to scan a barcode on an item or product to order it instantly and arrange for pickup in the store or delivery. Mobile barcode scanning also empowers retailers to keep track of consumer purchasing behaviors and leverage those insights to drive sales and engage more effectively with shoppers, boosting profitability and customer satisfaction.

In Japan, Tokyu Hands integrated their consumer app with high-performance barcode scanning capabilities, enabling customers to interact with their favorite products and bookmark them for purchase at a time and place of their choosing. The app has created a new revenue channel for Tokyu Hands and increased sales overall. Read the Tokyu Hands case study.

Drugstore chain dm – drogerie markt built computer vision into their employee-facing app to perform instant product information lookup for customers on the shop floor. The results have been dramatic time savings for employees and the capacity to provide more personalized, targeted customer assistance. Get more details in the dm case study.

When retailers enhance their mobile shopping app with AR capabilities, they can dramatically augment and improve shopping experiences to compel customers to purchase items more frequently. See how it works in this short video:

Blending physical and digital worlds with Scandit

As a leader in mobile computer vision, Scandit enables leading retailers worldwide to use AR features to create better shopping experiences. Our software solutions transform everyday smart devices into enterprise-grade barcode scanners, so customers can take advantage of the familiar, intuitive tools already in their hands to make shopping effortless.

MatrixScan brings robust AR capabilities to any Scandit-powered mobile shopping application. Not only can MatrixScan enable smart devices to scan multiple barcodes simultaneously (think of a shelf in a supermarket), but it can also provide visual feedback and displays to inform and empower customers. AR overlays can highlight product details, information or reviews as well as relevant promotions with clear visual indicators on the device screen.

This ensures that shoppers find the best deal for their money and builds trust in your brand, nurturing customer loyalty and retention. Thanks to these innovations in mobile computer vision and augmented reality for retailers, smart devices can be used to create new mobile shopping opportunities for customers.

Add convenience and choice for customers in store – remove the friction

While shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, some customers want to Scan-and-Go without waiting in check-out lines – they’ll scan products and check-out in their own time with their own smart device or at a self-check-out terminal. When online, shoppers are used to having all the product information they want at their fingertips, and retailers can offer this same convenience in-store by adding augmented reality (AR) to a self-scanning mobile app. The AR-overlay displays information to the shopper in the aisle, such as reviews, ingredients, allergen & nutritional details, complementary products or stock availability. This blending of the physical and digital experience helps remove friction for customers.

Get to know your customers better

Self-scanning mobile apps using AR technology can give your marketing team insights into the purchasing behavior of customers—and harness that information to engage with them at the right times and in the right ways. As a result, mobile shopping can be used to increase customer satisfaction and create new sales opportunities for your enterprise.

Augmented Associates work with greater speed and satisfaction

Computer vision and AR-enabled mobile apps can improve the retail experience for employees, too. Sales staff serve customers better using a Scandit-enabled mobile scanning app with AR. With a simple scan of a barcode, the employee accesses real-time information at a glance to give immediately to the customer. With no waiting time for the customer, the risk of losing a sale is reduced, and the customer enjoys a great personal service. For employees, they don’t have to worry about being stumped by customer questions and can offer intelligent advice or even suggest related items to boost upsell.

Stock taking and inventory management can also be turbocharged with MatrixScan AR connected to the retailer’s back end data platform. With a simple smartphone, employees capture barcodes from multiple items on a shelf in a single scan, to view real-time stock information on the device screen – such as identifying damaged or missing items on the receiving dock. Scandit technology actually helps to make inventory management up to 40% faster.

Enhance your mobile shopping app with Scandit

Want to learn more about augmented reality and how your team can leverage it to enhance retail engagement and operations? Then be sure to contact Scandit today.

Our team of computer vision experts can teach you everything you need to know about AR for retailers—and the best ways to implement this technology into your daily workflows. Also, feel free to connect with us for more information on our mobile shopping solutions and the advantages they can bring to your enterprise.

Posted in Retail