eyekandy transforms the way people buy technology products through new solutions that bring the in-store shopping experience to the home. Augmented Reality offers the perfect platform to help enable the digitization of the shoppers path to purchase.

The ‘Shop in AR’ functionality will be made available for all product categories on BestBuy.com. Shoppers can view products in their home, to scale, either via the Best Buy app or directly via the website product pages.

"We are incredibly proud to partner with an innovative leader like Best Buy to bring our cutting edge AR technology to their customers. We look forward to driving a positive impact on their business" Oli Lacigova, eyekandy COO

Try it for yourself here!

 

About eyekandy

eyekandy is a leading emerging technology provider for commerce. We partner with Brands and Retailers to produce engaging shopper experiences deployed across physical, and digital, activation points on the customer shopping journey.

We collaborate with our clients to deploy engaging, measurable projects including; production of augmented reality experiences, products, stores, avatars, liveshopping, virtual stores, Metaverse and NFT activations.

eyekandy has won numerous innovation awards as we continue to innovate in creative ways to drive sales, community, loyalty, brand affinity and engagement from shoppers with new ways to shop and discover brands.

Further enquiries, please contact: letstalk@eyekandy.com

 

This isn't a field sales rep visitation efficiency horror story from 1996, this is a real example of the findings of a recently commissioned investigation and analysis that eyekandy conducted based on; ‘How field sales staff conduct visits, what are the workflows of a visit, what data is collected and how can emerging technology optimise the process’.

Ensuring that the ‘perfect shelf’ is in place, all the time, and that any POS is as impactful as possible, is the name of the game in this business.

eyekandy works with brands, retailers and merchandisers to deploy AR, VR and Video solutions to optimise these workflows via our proprietary Field Sales Platform (FSP). As we followed our assigned field sales representatives around for a few days, it became clear that it’s a supply chain workflow ripe for a digitisation overhaul to drive profits, efficiency and ROI of the human effort.

My last company was acquired by one of the largest retail merchandising companies in the United States, Advantage Solutions. Their business has successfully grown over the last 30 years by placing ‘in-aisle brand advisors’ into thousands of stores, such as Walmart and Costco, to assist the brand with product sampling, surveys, coupon distribution, POS display design, plano-graming store layouts (POG) and with shelf compliance (making sure the shelves are stocked and stacked to promote the brand) .

In addition to these services, merchandisers such as Acosta and Exsellence, deliver traditional retailer support services including; optimising sales displays, assisting with product rotation and placement and ensuring accurate voids and out-of-stock corrections.

Whilst, I’ll focus on the ‘what’s next’ part of this article, it’s worth providing an update on technologies that we are deploying now.

1 Predetermined location geo-fencing

There was one thing that all the field merchandisers had in common, they all had a smartphone with them. This is the turnkey moment that enables everything that follows to happen and opens up the industry to digitisation, so let’s start with the manual documentation of store visits.

By way of example, typically a field sales merchandiser is asked for a ‘proof of visit’ this is usually a manually taken photo of the store, on the day. Using the agent's smartphone in a more efficient and cost effective way can use GPS to verify the representative's location automatically as they begin the process of filling in the forms with a geo-location triggered ‘check-in’ function that is automated and secure. A geo-fence is pre-populated around each store and every time a representative enters the ‘fence’, a visit is recorded.

In addition, in many cases there are repetitive questions where the answer would seldom change, such as; how many fridges in store, length of shelves, number of shelves, how many shelves on entry, how many shelves on exit? This information about the store could be held in the database. After the first visit to a new store the data would be stored. Subsequent visits would load this information and the representative would only be asked to verify it, rather than manually entering it each time. This data can all be pulled automatically once a rep enters the ‘predetermined location geo-fence’.

Illustration of Google Maps

2 Free Standing Display Unit Sales

In addition to the sale of products, representatives have the opportunity to sell in FSDU units. These units require time to assemble and the practicalities of doing this for each store visit, mean they are unlikely to be sold. Store owners are unlikely to want to take the time for this to happen and representatives are unlikely to assemble them on each store visit. Without the store owner being able to see a fully assembled FSDU they will be unable to judge the space required in their store to accommodate it.

This is already being addressed with the production of AR models of the FSDU units. Including these models into the smartphone process will enable the representatives to clearly show the store owners the FSDU in context in their store. Enabling them to see quickly the space required and make a decision without the need for the representative to fully assemble the unit.

The eyekandy Field Sales Platform (FSP) improves the time and effort challenge of getting approval for design, location approval and dimension approval of instore Free Standing Display Units (FSDU’s). The eyekandy team deployed both Avatar and Static FSDU’s to help streamline this process. See example below;

“When the field merchandisers came in and showed this new technology, I couldn't believe it, when you demonstrated it in store and showed what my fixture could look like, I was blown away. After you completed your work with the FSDU’s and moved my biscuits around, my sales have increased. Such an innovating piece of technology, no other reps that visit have shown me anything close. My biscuit fixture looks amazing.”Harvey Kapoor of Nisa Blackwater

3 The Perfect Shelf

As part of the collaboration eyekandy also produced a best in class ‘perfect shelf’ AR model, this experience was developed to allow the in field staff to visually showcase to each retailer the design, stock and layout that provides the highest increase in revenue and sales.

Interactive elements were overlaid onto the perfect shelf allowing the user to tap and explore key facts about each product line whilst also providing key information on sales figures and average, expected revenue.

“We saw a step change in our retailer engagement with the retailers stepping from behind their till to discuss the category with our team at the fixture. The AR prompted them to be more inquisitive on how to do more in their store. Since launching the AR we have seen over 10,000 interactions take place in the first few weeks and the team activating more merchandising solutions where previously the retailer would not have been engaged.”Huw Davies MD of Exsellence

4 Live Video Platform

Finally, if a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a video worth? Building an ‘always on’ live video access through the eyekandy FSP for the store owners is proving very useful. There’s always the question that they wished they’d asked when the field merchandiser was on the visit, there is clarification and requests on products and product placement and the ability for the store owner to show, via video, what he’s seeing and thinking in the store, is a game changer. In addition, the eternal frustration caused to any field sales rep with the dreaded, ‘buyer not available’ status when they arrive in store is resolved with the live video utility, which enables the buyer to catch the rep (face to face), and vice-versa, with a much more flexible schedule of access. The eyekandy FSP sets each field sales reps phone specifically to be available, or unavailable, to match their work hours and timezone meaning there are no unwelcome calls out of hours.

Flipz video demo

So, if that’s the now…the future starts here..

1 Store Shelf Scanning and Archiving

Use of Lidar shelf scanning technology that revolutionises the collection and analysis of real time on shelf data. In addition barcode scanning offers some innovative opportunities to reduce human effort/cost.. The latest IOS devices have a Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor included on the higher end models. This sensor along with the high quality camera is capable of generating full 3D models of the interior of a store or specific shelf layout and location within a store. The rep could essentially ‘scan’ the interior of each store and save a true to scale 3D model of that store to the pladis database (visible by all leadership and staff if required).

LIDAR Scan

By collecting this 3D data periodically you could reference the models to see how the store has changed over time. With accurately scaled interior models of a store, new FSDU units could be trial placed throughout the store digitally or bespoke layout recommendations could be proposed and trialled for each location digitally. This would allow representatives to assess their size and fit prior to a store visit. This data could also prove very valuable as a real time up to date d model of each retailer can be referenced to gain averaging data points about how products are presented across each region.

2 Multi-Image Product Recognition

Mobile device cameras now have an incredibly hi-resolution camera installed in them. Using these cameras we can scan an entire shelf then using machine learning and AI, identify what products are present on the shelves.

We are probably six months away from releasing this machine learning technology. Although the latest phones can handle the computing power needed to process the images, the machine learning AI for image recognition is not quite there yet.. Training the platform to recognize all the products in their various varieties, orientations and under different lighting conditions is a tough one for us to crack, we need a few more months on this one..

The goal is to improve the accuracy of the data and speed compared to the current process of a field representative manually scanning the shelf. Real time data points could also then be overlaid over each recognised product showing key information to the rep and store owner (controlled centrally at platform level).

3 Digital Measurement

IOS devices with a LIDAR sensor are capable of measuring distances with an accuracy of 1⁄2 inch today. As part of our research, field merchandisers are asked to fill in the length and number of shelves in the stores.

Changing the measuring system to a digital scan, using the LIDAR sensor, would enable the build up of a digital footprint of the shelves in the store and have reliable input data all contained within one centrally managed platform. This data would be far more accurate and contain the ability to compare shelf positioning in a store, over time.

Virtual measurement

4 Product Recognition

Using a mobile device, the field merchandiser scans products on the store shelves and finds up to date information, in real time.  This is achieved through the developments of real time image recognition, AI and machine learning. This information could be comparisons to sales in nearby stores, or latest offers on the product. It could be used to inform store owners as to what products are selling well in the surrounding area and suggest relocating certain products to a more visible location.

Product scanner

5 Barcode Lookup

In addition to image recognition, barcode scanning on mobile devices is becoming increasingly popular in the market. Mobile phone cameras can easily scan product barcodes, which reference the eyekandy FSP, to lookup and display content. The same system is also being utilised to scan products and display additional information that the product labelling doesn't show or is hard to find. This includes items like ingredients that people may be allergic to, or if the product is Gluten Free or Vegan.

This same technology can be adapted to help the store owner to answer any customer questions, or for a Field Merchandiser to answer store owners questions surrounding a product.

It could also be used as an alternative solution to the Product Recognition option above. Using a barcode instead of image recognition would mean products that go through a rebrand or redesign would not need to go through the image recognition AI training, as the barcode design printed on the packaging would still remain the same.

Additional value add cases can be obtained in the near future by integrating a barcode scan function into the reps headsets, ordering, additional info, offers, revenue stats can all be presented to the Rep once the barcode has been identified by the platform.

6 Product Location Identification

Utilising the LIDAR sensor on the latest IOS devices in conjunction with Hi-Res cameras, products within the store can be scanned, identified and digitally measured in relation to the floor, other products, the entrance or checkout. This data can be gathered and processed for use in advising the store owner where best to relocate products based on analytical data.

It also gives the FIeld Merchandiser a digital representation of where each product is in the store. A forensic level view of the store. This can be utilised on a single product to analyse why a certain product is selling poorly/well in one area compared to another. The results of this data could also be fed back in realtime to the platform enabling the representative to suggest alternative locations for products based on data about successful stores.

Grocery store scanner

7 Wearable FSDU placement

As technology evolves, wearable glasses will be hitting the market this year. With companies like Snapchat / Facebook / Apple all having glasses in development. Currently none of these technologies possess the ability to overlay AR content through clear lenses, undoubtedly this will happen. Facebook’s Oculus Go has all the technical capabilities needed to overlay content onto the real world and currently has a passthrough technology allowing content to be viewed over the real world albeit in VR overlaid on the passthrough camera feed.

When this technology is released it will enable the user to be far more immersed in the AR content. The ability to place FSDU units while wearing AR glasses, will give the Field merchandisers and the store owners a significantly more immersive experience, which equates to faster decision making.

Wearable tech

8 Wearable Product Scanning

While the idea of combining a camera into a user's glasses is controversial and has raised privacy issues. Cameras have already been integrated into Rayban and Snapchats devices. The technology will advance to a stage where these devices contain transparent screens rather than just glass. Utilising a combination of the camera feed, advanced machine learning and image detection will enable the devices to overlay content directly into the user's line of sight in the glasses. This type of technology might seem a long way off. However, Magic Leap headsets, and Microsoft hololenses are already capable of the majority of this. It's by no means unimaginable that the costs of these devices will continue to fall to a level that becomes obtainable to the general public.

As eyekandy continues to innovate the Field Sales Platform (FSP) it future proofs this type of incorporation with little, to no, disruption to the field sales team.

Wearable devices

9 Hand Gesture Product Information

There have been many advances in hand gesture recognition technologies. Pioneers in the industry like Leap motion have developed laser scanning devices to accurately track individual fingers almost 10 years ago. More modern solutions to this problem rely on using advanced AI to just interpret the video from a forward facing camera. While this does pose issues of tracking hands that are at the side or back of a person, Oculus and HTC Vive have already integrated multiple cameras pointing alternate directions to solve these problems.

Future devices will no doubt incorporate these technologies allowing users to freely walk around the aisles of a store using nothing but hand gestures to select products. Glasses will then be able to overlay information not listed about that product on the packaging.

In the commercial world this will be adverts, videos, discounts etc. However for the world of Field merchandising this information could be any, or all of the AR enhancements listed above, and any product information, that would currently be viewable through a tablet or smartphone.

Wearable tech

Conclusion

Sometimes with technology, as in business, as in life - you just have to get on the train with it - even if you're not 100% sure where it's going, you know that if you don't get on, you're 100% going to be left behind.

The eyekandy Field Sales Platform (FSP) not only improves much of the existing merchandiser experience store visitation processes, but also includes new feature enhancements like barcode scanning, image recognition, digital lidar measurement and shelf scanning capabilities to push forward the value the rep can offer in store..

As AI advances with features, such as faster on-device processing, the solutions will be available instantly, all via the merchandisers smartphone. By improving the on site interaction and data capture / process, we can also improve leadership visibility and data capture, ordering process and analytic insights for our partners.

Of course, it’s never as simple as ‘out with the old and in with the new’ when is comes to process and technology, it’s a journey, it’s a blend of legacy databases and processes for a while. Our partners trust eyekandy to navigate the hype, from the deployable technologies, that drive value.

Much of the data inputs don't change, they simply get captured on a more automated, digitised, measurable, accurate, efficient basis that enables the real human effort to be focused on the data and the insights.

As the perfect storm for AR/VR and data heavy technologies arrives, with the combination of ubiquitous 5G, with more capable mixed reality (MR) handset devices from the likes of Apple and Samsung for the mainstream user, the strategic decisions to redirect human effort to more intelligent tasks and integrate emerging technology into the supply chain now, will separate the winners from losers in the next couple of years.

How Are Augmented Reality And SEO Linked?

Firstly, it is well documented that Google has invested heavily in AR through recent years and at Google IO one of their presenters stated that: “they’re actively seeking out ways to make it easier for companies and users to create immersive augmented reality experiences.” It therefore makes sense that a technology which they see as so pivotal for society now, and in the future, plays favourably with their rankings.

Next, Google has incorporated AR into their search page functionality, meaning people browsing a SERP (search engine result page) can access an AR experience directly, which creates a more optimal digital experience.

Finally, there are a number of known factors that are important for SEO which tie in seamlessly with an AR experience. With the advent of ‘WebAR’, which allows shoppers to access an AR experience directly from a web browser vs. app, these benefits have suddenly broadened the reach of AR in everyday consumer behaviour.

What Are These Factors?

1) Dwell time: AR experiences on the product page boost dwell time as shoppers stay longer to experience a product in AR, which is widely known to boost search engine ranking. An example of this from Eyekandy is ‘try on lipstick’ which saw people spending over 80 seconds within the experience trying on the different shades.

2) Mobile usability: AR experiences are optimised for mobile devices which is critical as more than half of all Google searches are conducted from mobile devices. Google also announced years ago that they were rewarding mobile friendly sites within search rankings.

3) Bounce rate: In a study by SEMRush, they found a correlation between bounce rate and Google rankings. Data produced by Eyekandy’s Point & Place® platform shows AR can help reduce bounce rate.

4) Repeat traffic: AR is inherently social with consumers wanting opinions of family and friends when considering product purchases. The Point & Place® platform drives the ‘sharing’ of an AR experience on the shoppers’ device, which in turn leads to repeat traffic.

What Does This Mean?

With Gartner taking AR off of their ‘hype list’ in 2020, it is a clear sign that it is now a mature technology driving business. With greater technological advances year-over-year and as more brands and retailers implement activations, we continue to learn more about the benefits it provides, such as SEO gains.

 

One thing is for sure, AR is only going to become more prevalent in all aspects of our lives with the huge investments tech giants are making in it. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said in reference to AR: You rarely have a new technology where business and consumer both see it as key to them.”

Augmented Reality (AR) solutions in commerce have become increasingly popular amongst marketers as they look to enhance the customer journey. This should not be a surprise to anyone reading this article, given AR provides shoppers with the tools and resources needed to make more informed purchase decisions, while elevating the brand as one that is progressive in their connections strategy. However, setting clear KPIs to measure the success of an AR experience is often more of a discussion point that still doesn’t have clear industry standards.

One question that I often receive during an initial conversation with a prospective client about augmented reality is whether AR is worth the investment. Now, as the Chief Marketing Officer of an AR Agency one would think that my immediate answer is “Yes, that’s pretty obvious!” However, I wholeheartedly believe a successful activation comes down to understanding what a brand marketer is looking to achieve and whether the creative experience and promotion of it can deliver on their objectives.

For example, if you are a consumer electronic, appliance or furniture brand that is looking to achieve more sales, then it makes sense to look at the increase in add-to-cart rate for AR. In fact, our recent Global Augmented Reality Shopping Index provides brands with benchmarks from Eyekandy on what you can expect for performance when implementing AR solutions.

The same measurement strategy does not apply to all industries. For example, CPG or Beauty brands looking to achieve sales from AR activated in retail may not see a high level of return from their investment. From a marketing perspective, I understand the challenge of needing to prove ROI over softer metrics like engagement and brand affinity; however, it is important to be honest with ourselves on what AR can achieve today.

To help guide you on measuring augmented reality; I’ve outlined a few KPIs that will help CPG brands adopt AR as a core strategy to drive innovation and keep your shoppers engaged.

COLLECT CUSTOMER DATA FOR REMARKETING

Engaging in an AR experience allows a brand to build their marketing database by capturing shopper information. By keeping the data capture simple, you now have the opportunity to derive new insights on who your customers are and can market new promotions and offers to them.

We recently partnered with Bacardi to create a fun in-store shopper marketing activation to launch everyone’s favorite carnival game — the Bacardi Augmented Reality Fruit Cannon Game. By using gamification techniques for free swag, Bacardi was able to build their marketing database by capturing contact information that can later be used for their remarketing efforts.

DRIVE SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT IN-STORE

In-store activations using augmented reality offer an opportunity to empower shoppers to share their experience at POS across social channels; driving brand advocacy moments and helping to increase footfall to the retailer.

A good example of this is a recent activation we created with Marks & Spencer for their iconic brand Percy Pig™. Through the use of impactful FSDUs, strong promotion across their owned media assets and a call-to-action to share on social media; we were able to surprise and delight shoppers with a moment in the spotlight to dance with Percy. This simple, yet impactful activation went viral across Instagram with shoppers sharing their experience directly from inside Marks & Spencer stores.

INCREASE BRAND INTERACTION VIA DWELL TIME

Unlike more passive forms of media, Augmented Reality surrounds shoppers in an immersive environment that requires an opt-in to enter the experience. This results in a highly engaged consumer that will spend a significant amount of time (aka dwell time) interacting with your brand.

For example, we partnered with Cazadores RTD (ready-to-drink) to launch a connected packaging experience to discover the brands Mexican heritage that is packed in every can. The experience includes multiple interactive modules that provide information on the product and fun surprises to keep the user engaged. To date, we have seen a 3x lift in dwell time when compared to an average 15 second TV spot.

Can you imagine a world in marketing where someone viewed your commercial multiple times in a row? We sure can with Augmented Reality.

PROVIDE EDUCATION AND INNOVATION AT POINT OF SALE

Most CPG brands have faced the dilemma of investing millions of dollars into national media campaigns only to have their shopper confused at shelf on which product to buy once they are at the shelf of a retailer. With more product SKUs available than ever and increased competition from private label brands, augmented reality is a powerful channel to educate people at shelf about why your product is a better solution. These activations can be launched from the packaging itself using image recognition technology or via a QR code that is placed on pack or on a shelf wobbler.

Our recent work with a leading healthcare company educated shoppers at POS on the dry eye category and why their product helps across all symptoms. We developed a Brand Avatar that was launched at a leading retailer to explain the category and product benefits. It was a winning strategy for both the brand and retailer to leverage innovation in their shopper marketing efforts to drive growth!

In conclusion, I do believe we are arm’s length away from augmented reality becoming a sales driving channel for categories like CPG. However, this requires greater adoption of the retailers to integrate this engaging platform into the day-to-day shopping experiences across all their assets –– ranging from in-store to print and online. Until that day becomes reality (no pun intended), CPG brand should be rigorously testing and learning from AR to drive brand affinity, engagement and advocacy moments. The more prepared brands are for the AR shift in retail categories like Mass and Grocery, the greater the opportunity they will have to win with shoppers.

Are you looking to revolutionize the shopper journey with AR?
BOOK A MEETING with our experts today for a consultation.

 

The internet has fundamentally changed the way we shop; providing consumers with the ease and convenience of being able to make purchases from anywhere, and at anytime. In fact, a recent story on CNBC and data from the NRF (National Retail Federation) states that online sales account for 23% of the $4.53 Trillion of total US Retail Sales in 2021. However, there is a headache brewing for retailers and suppliers as this channel grows to become a significant share of total volume sales — nearly $761 Billion worth of merchandise is returned annually. In fact, the return of products purchased online increased to approximately 20.8% by the end of 2021. That is a daunting percentage of unsatisfied consumers and a big expense when you think about costs like free shipping that reduces your margins.

In order to thrive in a digital first economy, retailers must deploy new strategies to reduce returns to drive a healthy business for their shareholders. This is where tools like shopping in Augmented Reality play a critical role in driving long term value for both the shopper, the retailer and the products they sell. Augmented Reality reduces the imagination gap by letting people place products in their environment to see the physical dimensions before making a purchase. By allowing customers to virtually “try before they buy,” you’ll provide them with more information that will reduce return rates. In fact, recent findings from Eyekandy Insights has uncovered that 63.33% of shoppers state that they would favor a retailer that offers Augmented Reality services over one that does not. And, Shopify has even reported that returns decrease by as much as 40% when AR/3D visualization is added.

SO, WHAT ARE SOME EASY TACTICS THAT RETAILERS AND SUPPLIERS CAN DEPLOY IMMEDIATELY TO SOLVE THE RETAIL RETURN DILEMMA?

It does not matter if you are selling consumer electronics, furniture or cosmetics, implementing Augmented Reality on the product description pages of all ecommerce channels is the foundation to your AR strategy. Services, like Eyekandy’s Point & Place® platform allows you to easily scale AR features to enhance the on site shopping experience. The added benefit is that AR makes shopping more fun for the consumer.

Once you have a solid foundation in place; there are additional tactics you can deploy to assist the customer along on the path to purchase.

AR SALES AVATARS ‘BOTTLE THE LIGHTNING FOR THE PERFECT PITCH

Utilize AR Sales Avatars to help educate shoppers on product benefits. This technology uses animated avatars or volumetric holograms to place your best salesperson in the shoppers space to deliver the perfect pitch. It fuels shopper confidence to make an informed purchase decision, while bringing the ‘art of storyselling’ to your category and product description pages. A major benefit in executing Avatars is 100% control over the narrative on the exact product attributes and features that you want to highlight in a minute or less.

For instance, when a user visits the Product Description Pages (PDPs) of Intel® Evo™, they can launch an AR Sales Avatar that Eyekandy created to tell the brands story of purposeful technology in a highly innovative way.

BLEND LIVE VIDEO WITH AR TO BOOST SHOPPER CONFIDENCE

Integrating Live Chat technology with Augmented Reality is a great way to bring your actual in-store sales team into the consumers home for higher consideration items. From that new workout equipment to your baby registry, live video allows your sales team to guide the shopper on a journey, while consulting them on how the product fits (or looks). It’s a more personalized approach that brings human elements to shopping in AR.

For example, Ebuyer uses live video technology to sell more laptops. As a digital pure play, many of their products are high end servers that require a face to face conversation for the buyer to fully understand the technicalities. The more they can communicate during the selling process, the less likely the transaction will result in an unhappy customer — a win, win for the retailer and the brand!

In conclusion, returns can have a significant impact on your business that results in excess inventory and costs to your bottom line. However, savvy retailers and brands are accelerating their digital toolkits to quickly offer services like Augmented Reality to their customers. It’s a surefire way to future proof your business!

Are you looking to revolutionize the shopper journey with AR?
BOOK A MEETING with our experts today for a consultation.

Consumers are driving a retail revolution as they adopt new ways to discover products. The path to purchase has become a complex fusion of multiple channels, platforms and devices — and, some retailers have struggled to pivot at the speed of technology.

However, the past year has shined a new light on innovation. Whether good or bad, the pandemic forced retailers to accelerate their digital roadmaps to meet the needs of people around the globe. When you look back to reflect, retail companies mobilized concepts like BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store) at the flick of a switch. That is no simple task!

There is also another incredibly powerful advancement for retail that has been quietly metamorphosing over time. Augmented Reality (AR), once viewed as gimmicky, has now become a personalized strategy to connect in-store experiences to a Shoppers home.

Augmented Reality is simply a must have today, especially as Global Tech Giants and Telecom companies make massive investments to revolutionize this growing ecosystem in the next 18 months. In today’s commerce environment, there are three reasons why you must implement AR to delight your customers and convert them to buyers.

1) Consumer Behavior has Changed Forever

Global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.2 Trillion by the end of 2021 according to Forbes and IBM has even reported that the pandemic accelerated the shift to digital shopping by roughly 5 years.

However, the ability to place products directly in your home via Augmented Reality is nothing new. It was born out of a necessity in industries like automotive and home decor. Consumers are now accustomed to “try-before-you-buy” across all classes of trade ranging from virtually seeing the latest shade of lipstick, to deciding if they should get the 65” or 75” OLED TV.

In fact, 63.33% of respondents in a recent Eyekandy study said that they would favor a retailer that offers Augmented Reality services over one that does not. This behavior change and desire for innovation will never go backwards, as it proves what we all have known for quite some time — people demand speed and convenience.

“We were really excited when Eyekandy approached us looking for a UK partner to launch their AR + Live Video solution. The pandemic has meant that bridging online and offline sales became important almost overnight. Whilst our physical stores were lucky enough to remain open during 2020, we, like many others, saw a huge uptick in online business and Eyekandy helped us meet that demand. When I trialled their solutions for myself I was blown away. I was sending screenshots to all my contacts! In a short period of time, over 40% of people who were shown the solution on velorution.com chose to use it – it’s allowed the team at Velorution to close sales efficiently and wholly online, without the customer ever setting foot in store”

Jonathan Cole

Chairman, Velorution

 

2) Retailers are Capturing Ad Revenue Through the Rise of Retail Media

Source: Forrester

Brands are seeking greater accountability for their media investments, while retailers are capitalizing on this need by developing robust retail media offerings that leverage their digital assets as prime real estate. Walmart has been a leader in this space for quite some time, however, companies like Target, Walgreens, The Home Depot and Macy’s are all now seeking a piece of the pie in a market that reached $17 billion in 2020.

As part of these solutions, brands are still looking for a blend of innovation and performance. Augmented reality complements these solutions by offering the ability for retailers to enhance product description pages (PDPs) with rich content experiences that enhance the shopper journey. Many retailers have even stated that adding AR to these pages delivers improvement to their SEO strategy.

 

3) Technology Advancements Has Removed the Friction in AR

The biggest barrier for deploying augmented reality for any retailer was previously limited by technology. In the early days, a shopper would need to download an app or hardware to activate an experience.

With the advent of WebAR, people can now seamlessly access an experience directly from their internet browser. This instantaneously gives retailers access to over 3.6 Billion smartphone users according to Statista.

If you are a retailer that is still considering whether augmented reality is the right opportunity for your business, I can confidently tell you that the answer is YES. The perfect storm has come together between both shopper and brand needs, allowing you to drive incremental revenue through this immersive and engaging platform.

Are you ready to revolutionize your customer journey with augmented reality? Sign up for a free consultation from one of our experts today.

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