Despite the turmoil caused by the economic crisis, findings from recent research in retailing invite us to be optimistic: retailing is a constantly expanding field and it is opening its doors to new technologies. Augmented Reality investments are increasing, including those related to shopping and retailing.


According to osservatori.it researches, the current retailers’ priority is to offer targeted, effective and satisfying experiences to their customers.
Today, top retailers know that customers have different and multiple needs and behaviours, so they focus on:

·         Interaction with brands through 5 basic senses

·         Discovering new products through human and digital touch points

·         Support and customer care for online and offline purchases

·         Learning and professional training of employees in need to improve more and more their competencies and skills


E-commerce is constantly growing thanks to several factors, including the massive use of technological devices and emerging sectors that focus their business on online sales.
According to data published by Confcommercio, global online purchase value should exceed 2500 billion euros. Cina is the first country (over 1000 billion euros) followed by U.S.A. (620 billion euros) and Europe (600 billion euros).
In Italy, online purchases account for about 15 billion euros, 12 billion euros for services.
As to product categories, in the top ranking we can find IT stuff, electronics and clothing, followed by furniture and food. 


Augmented reality perfectly fits with the world of retailing: big brands have already started to improve their services with AR technology, allowing customers to interact with products and the company through apps. How does it work? AR Apps increase interactions allowing unique shopping experiences and enable customers and sellers to perform actions that were only science fiction before! Let’s see some examples:

Augmented reality catalogues. You can browse catalogues in a virtual mode and explore all the purchase opportunities, viewing in details your desired products. Clothes, shoes, even furniture:  you can bring your desired products to life and see them in the space, as they were real just in front of you or in your house.


Virtual dressing rooms. Augmented Reality mirrors that enable customers to try-on virtually (and share on social media) clothes and outfits without actually having to wear them for real.

 Unboxing. Customers won’t need to wait until goods are delivered to do the desired “unboxing”:  they can enjoy the experience simply by visiting the brand website in AR.

Make-up. Augmented Reality tech allows customers to try-on make up, thanks to a real-time face recognition through their smartphone or try it while watching beauty tutorial on Youtube.

Some brands decided to go beyond the simple sales assistance and customer care. They offer totally immersive experiences that completely involve customers and make them feel in a familiar and easy environment: multidimensional booths inside and outside the stores to provide products information and gaming (gamification) to enrich the experiences.

Another great idea was to develop Apps to be used inside the showrooms to let customers see different car models and accessories. Through this Apps, they can choose their favourite car, see it parked in the alley at home and preview the ownership.

Customers’ needs change overtime and also the retailing system does. Customers are the priority and technology must satisfy their needs and guide them to make good choices and informed purchasing decisions
Those are just few examples of how Augmented Reality can impact retailing.


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