How AR Boosted Online Sales during the COVID Pandemic?
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the exponentially rising Coronavirus cases have impacted the lives and livelihoods of many around the world. This pandemic has left most business verticals in the doldrums. Out of all the sectors, the retail industry is the worst hit and affected by the pandemic. It has suffered tremendous losses this year and with the rising cases in some countries, the upcoming months seem like a huge challenge for the retail businesses, especially those who have physical stores.
The decline in sales, manifold revenue losses, unsold products and merchandise, debts, overhead expenses, and disrupted supply chain are some of the major challenges faced by the retail industry. To overcome these challenges, many retailers and businesses have adopted advanced technologies. These include Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and others. Amongst all these, AR has served as a blessing and a saviour for the retail industry.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, AR in the retail industry has helped businesses to:
- Create more interest amongst customers
- Provide an engaging and interactive experience to customers
- Achieve seamless day-to-day operations
- Maintain social distancing
Here is how augmented reality has helped retail businesses boost their sales during the pandemic and is all set to be the future of the retail industry.
1) In-store virtual walkthrough
Technologies like AR and VR enable customers to walk-through and experience how the products would actually look like in the real world. Virtual walkthroughs mean customers can make purchases without actually having to physically visit the stores. This provides an immersive experience to customers giving them the freedom to purchase products sitting at home just by merely tapping on the app. For example, if during the pandemic an individual needs to purchase spectacles urgently, he/she can easily do so through a virtual online store empowered by augmented reality. He/ She can actually try out different sizes and styles of frames on the face using the smartphone.
2) Transforming the way customers shop
AR in retail is all set to bring a drastic change in the way customers shop. The power of augmented reality has made 'try before you buy' a reality in the digital world. Before buying any products or merchandise, customers can actually see how it would appear. With AR in retail, shopping is all set to happen in an augmented version of the real world around us. Customers need to pay and buy only once they are completely satisfied.
3) Contactless shopping
With the majority of the malls, brand stores, and retail stores being closed or having restricted timings due to the pandemic, AR in retail is slowly but surely making everything contactless. It has been found that Coronavirus stays on surfaces for a few hours to many days. This means that to prevent transmission and break the chain, human intervention and physical contact with products needs to be minimized. Hence, contactless is the new normal moving forward. Since many people are sceptical about in-store safety protocols, a contactless world made possible by augmented reality would reduce people density in stores, while they can make purchases hassle-free by sitting at home.
Even augmented reality has been embraced by the retail industry; there is still a lot of scopes and potentials left. AR apps have given a tremendous boost to the retail industry and will continue to do so even in the post COVID world.
If you have not yet taken a look at this aspect of technology, contact us. We can help you with real-time facts and demo