15 Cool Augmented Reality Apps for Shopping
As always, retailers are doing their best to harness the newest technological innovations to provide the best shopping experience to buyers. From being able to touch products by hand to shoppable store windows, retailers are leaving no stone unturned, their latest being the use of augmented reality for shopping. With shopping becoming more about a blend of online, mobile and traditional brick-and-mortar stores, brands are looking into more innovative ways to capture customer attention. Augmented reality allows customers to engage with brands in a completely new way.
So, how different is augmented reality (AR) from virtual reality (VR)? Both are controlled by the computer environment and manipulated with instinctive motions. The main difference lies in the blending of the real and virtual, found majorly in AR in which users do not require any specialized hardware at all. Using smartphone apps, one can easily augment reality shopping with the usual traditional ways of selecting products at the store.
Ikea launched their augmented reality catalogue to allow shoppers to visualize how furnitures from the extensive range of products would look inside their home. To make the shopping experience seem as close to the real, the app measures the size of their products to offer a true-to-size aspect ratio whenever possible. Hence, you can virtually step into your room through the app and figure out how well your chosen products fit into your home.
The new catalogue feature lets customers do their shopping from the Ikea Place AR app and place life-size 3D furnitures such as new chairs, sofas, or even shelving their rooms. Many user reports state that the AR induced app has made the furniture selection process easier.
2. Converse Shoes
Converse shoes went a step further and personalized the entire concept of online shoe purchasing through their AR app. From the comfort of their home, buyers can easily have a view of the brand’s inventory and also try it out. Shoppers simply point the smartphone down at their foot. The Shoe Sampler superimposes the selected footwear through the screen at the foot of the user. This shows how the shoe would look after the wearer tries it on. In fact, in addition to this app offering, buyers can also save images of their virtual try-on and share them through the integrated social share feature. People are naturally inclined to seek fashion advice, hence this serves for a great brand promotional technique as well.
3. Warby Parker
The company has a pioneering contribution in bringing augmented reality into the retail space. There are several spectacle manufacturers and eyeglass companies that offer virtual try on glasses using online software. But, with AR technology integrated into their app, Warby Parker allows users to upload a photo. The photo includes the user holding a credit card up to their face. Why a credit card? Because credit cards are usually of a standard size. This helps in calculating the distance between the two pupils (eyes) of the shopper.
4. Burberry Beauty Box
A good example of users benefiting from AR in the beauty niche is by using the Burberry Beauty Box. The nail bar feature allows customers to select their skin tone and apply the nail paint through AR. The finished appearance of how the paint would look in real can be viewed through the app.
5. Shisedo Makeup Mirror
Another exciting app that is a must have for women is the Shishedo makeup mirror. The reality makeup mirror takes an image of the shoppers face to show them what the latest products from the line would look like in reality.
6. De Beers
The high end jewelry maker – De Beers, bought its AR in the market for the Forevermark diamond brand with a unique take on the technology. The brand made a memorable impression by bringing its augmented reality experience for users. De Beers integrated the physical object to make it seem more real for users by enchanting transparency property of AR technology.
The Kinect fitting room for Topshop has effectively involved AR to attract and retain customers. The Russian clothing store’s Moscow location displays the innovative AR fitting room where visitors to the store can simply stand just as they would in front of a mirror. With subtle hand gestures and using virtual buttons, customers can superimpose their selected clothing onto their image. The AR fitting room attracts a lot of customers to find their best look without removing any of their clothes that they are wearing, thus providing a seamless experience.
The drugstore in the U.S is currently looking into AR and testing out their advanced application to make shopping easier for the customer. Available at their store, a tablet mounted on their shopping cart is able to lead customers to the direction of the products that they are searching for without much hassle. Also, the app offers a map of the store where promotional information is displayed as shoppers pass by. This provides a better understanding of the buyer behavior such that they can utilize it to send updates about deals tailored to their interests.
9. IBM App
Customers are more prone to browse their mobile while shopping as they prefer to get information about the products they wish to buy to ensure that the best selection is made. This personal shopping app guides you through AR to browse information about products up the store shelves.
Sayduck AR app helps users to visualize how furnishing products would look like in their homes. The app displays real size visual replicas of their products that can be repositioned to any angle through the smartphone.
11. American Apparel
Yet another example of AR used in retail is the color-changing app of American Apparel. The brand is known for their colorful product collections. With their AR integrated app finding the product in the right color becomes easier than ever before.
Sephora’s Virtual Artist app allows beauty consumers to discover how certain products would look on their face by using the Modiface Technology that scans the lips and the eyes of the user. The app then overlays colors on the lips, place eyeshadows, false lashes, and more, which can then be shared on various social media platforms.
13. Dulux Visualizer
While apps allow you to place furnishings in space through AR, Dulux Visualizer lets you visualize your wall appearance when certain colors are applied to them. Another of the remarkable feature of the app is its ability to match color from furniture or fabric.
The virtual tape takes real life measurements of walls and other household furnishings through their app. The app can also be extensively used outside your home, for instance measuring a field etc.
One of the most popular fast food chains in the U.S launched the AI assistant app that allows users to place orders and pay remotely. The My Starbucks Barista enables customers to speak into the app to place their orders or use the messaging interface, thus having uplifted sales greatly through the AR platform.
Other AR app stores worth mentioning is Uniqlo, Lego, and Yihaodian that have been benefiting customers with their real-like shopping experience over their app. In future, AR will more ably serve consumers to interact in a more digital way.