One of the main effects of Pokémon Go has been to draw attention to existing AR apps, that build on current smart device functions — namely GPS and cameras. This works because the cameras allow for a view the environment in real time, which can be “augmented” from the user’s viewpoint. AR’s potential has been recognized by retail for quite a while. For example Lego introduced an AR app a full six years ago, allowing customers to hold a box in front of an in-store monitor and see what the finished model would look like.
More recently, the online store Wayfair launched Wayfair view, allowing shoppers to superimpose potential purchases on their own space to see if the items would fit and how they would look. Ikea has an AR catalog app, that lets shoppers use their smartphones to virtually furnish their rooms with items from the catalog. Other apps allow customers to virtually try on shoes and clothes and in some cases share photos with their social networks.
Retailers can also use AR to enhance and tailor the customer experience. Using a specialized store app, customers can get more information about a product, its availability and potential discounts or promos. By including AR components to store displays, retailers are able to profit from the fact that their customers are often more preoccupied with their phones than the merchandise right in front of them. Apps can also direct customers to particular items, and provide a guided map to the specific shelf, something that is tremendously useful in large stores....
Via Jeff Domansky