How AR is disrupting Retail?5 min read

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The digitization revolution is continuing to affect nearly every aspect of our lives, including the development of AR technology. Smartphones are one of the most visible manifestations of the digital revolution. Retailers have recognized that Augmented Reality technology can completely change the way physical retail outlets and online retail stores are operated today.

Nearly 75% of consumers expect retailers to develop and implement AR experiences into their businesses.

ABI Research forecasts that, by 2022, over 120,000 stores will deploy AR, and the technology is predicted to account for as much as 3% of eCommerce revenue within a year or sooner.

Augmented Reality has emerged as the critical technology for retailers for their physical outlets and as well as their online storefronts. AR provides a high level of liveliness and rapidity to physical stores, just like in online stores. Additionally, it allows customers to try clothes virtually, which makes shopping even more convenient.

Trends in AR

Trends in AR

AR adoption in Retail by Product Categories

AR Map in Retail Adoption

Augmented Reality Use-cases in Retail

AR for In-Store Experiences

Customers can point their mobile cameras at products and see detailed information, receive recommendations, and browse through reviews. This experience in retail stores can be further developed by businesses to create customized offers, special discounts, and promotions based on the store’s location, product, and customer data.


The Crocs LiteRide AR app, provides customers with detailed information about products they view. Using a smartphone, a customer just points a phone camera to desired shoes and gets all detailed information about them.


Accessing the brand’s product information using a mobile phone allows real-time data gathering and easy customization of the information provided. This feature helps boost sales and foster customer loyalty. It also allows companies to gather valuable information on their customers to improve marketing and the overall customer experience.

AR Powered In-Store Navigation

The use of AR technology for providing better navigation guidance in the real world is quite natural. Especially in retail, it is interesting for both in-store and street navigation. When shopping at major retailers, sometimes it can be too tedious to find the right product a customer is looking for, especially when they are unsure about the brand and specific feature set of the product they want to buy.


While connected to a store’s inventory availability system, augmented reality is useful by providing customers with superimposed realistic environment instructions about exactly where, in what row, on which shelf the product or product category is located, along with complementary goods.


American home improvement brand Lowe’s was one of the first to introduce its In-store navigation app. With AR technology applied, customers simply input objects into the search bar, and then their mobile camera guides them to the right area by overlaying the needed directional prompts.

Large products  purchase

Large products purchase

Using AR in retail apps is a great way to shop for large items, like furniture. Instead of trying to figure out what the furniture will look like in the living room, customers can use an AR app to see exactly how the furniture will fit. 


IKEA’s AR app customers see exactly how a furniture item would look and fit in their homes.

AR powered Product Customization

The best shopping experience will not be achieved until the customer is happy with all available variant options for the chosen product. Specifically, women shoppers would want to want to know all of the color and print options available for their chosen apparel and fashion accessories.


With an AR-enabled mobile app, you can use it to become a salesperson. When a customer scans the product code on their smartphone, an app will show them the color and size options for the product. This can make shopping for products independent and easy as pie.

AR in Online Shopping

AR in Online Shopping

Online shopping is on the rise due to the global pandemic and the trend of social isolation. However, many shoppers still prefer to have an immediate physical connection with the product in the store. For example, 70% of people who choose not to buy online say that what helps them buy a product is interacting with it in real life.


 Augmented reality can help bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds by providing experiences such as virtual dressing rooms, try-ons, and 3D holograms of models to give people a sense of the product before they buy it.


The Nike Fit AR App allows customers to measure their feet and get recommendations for the best-choice Nike shoes. The AR app takes into account a significant amount of factors – foot shape, shoe materials, the lacing or stitching pattern, as well as personal preferences and then tells users exactly what size they really have, in any shoe Nike makes.


More than 69% of customers today expect to use AR\VR while they shop at stores or online, and retailers are moving at an unprecedented pace to adopt this immersive tech. Before the pandemic, the market for augmented reality in retail had hit $10 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 46,6% until 2027.


But the key challenge for Retailers lies in understanding the AR tech and its integration within their existing systems. An implementation partner with wide experience and expertise in the area of Markerless and Marker-based AR technology can be a key differentiator for all AR Projects in Retail.


Talk to us to know how we built the World’s First AR Powered Hyper Local Discovery platform and our experience with AR Tech.


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About Gleecus TechLabs Inc


Gleecus TechLabs Inc. is a technology and experience focused organization delivering Digital Transformation Services in Cloud, Microsoft Technologies, Product Development, Mobile, AI & Data Science, Extended Engineering Team Models and User Experience Services.

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