Home Business Insights & Advice Augmented reality in shopping: How AR is transforming the retail industry

Augmented reality in shopping: How AR is transforming the retail industry

by Sarah Dunsby
17th Apr 23 10:12 am

The retail industry has always been at the forefront of adopting new technologies to enhance customer experience and stay ahead of the competition. Augmented Reality (AR) is no exception. As technology advances and becomes more accessible, businesses are harnessing the power of AR to revolutionise the shopping experience.

In this blog post, we will explore seven ways in which AR is transforming the retail industry.

Virtual try-ons

According to Temu, one of the most exciting AR applications in retail is the virtual try-on feature. Basically, what Temu means is that this technology allows customers to virtually try on clothes, accessories, or makeup without physically touching the items.

Brands like Sephora, Warby Parker, and Adidas have successfully implemented virtual try-ons, giving customers the ability to see how a product would look on them before making a purchase. This not only enhances the shopping experience but also reduces return rates due to sizing or style issues.

In-store navigation and product information

AR can help customers navigate stores and access product information more efficiently. By using their smartphones, shoppers can scan items or shelves to reveal detailed product information, such as ingredients, reviews, and pricing.

Retailers like Walmart and Lowe’s have already started implementing AR-based in-store navigation, making it easier for customers to find the items they are looking for and improving overall satisfaction.

Customisation and personalisation

AR technology enables retailers to offer customisation and personalisation options to their customers. Furniture stores like IKEA and Wayfair have developed AR apps that allow customers to visualise how a piece of furniture would look in their homes before purchasing it.

Similarly, car manufacturers are using AR to showcase customisable features and color options, giving potential buyers a more interactive and personalised shopping experience.

Immersive advertising and marketing

AR is an excellent tool for creating immersive advertising and marketing campaigns. Brands can use AR to create interactive experiences that engage customers and generate buzz around new products.

For example, PepsiCo used AR technology to create an interactive bus stop advertisement, where users could see a virtual world filled with aliens and monsters through their smartphones.

Such campaigns not only capture customers’ attention but also encourage them to share their experiences on social media, increasing brand visibility and reach.

Enhanced customer support

AR technology can also be used to improve customer support in retail settings. For instance, by scanning an item with their smartphone, customers can access interactive tutorials, troubleshooting guides, or even connect with a customer service representative via video chat.

This not only saves time but also ensures that customers receive accurate and efficient assistance.

Data-driven insights

AR has the potential to provide retailers with valuable data-driven insights into customer behavior. By tracking how customers interact with AR applications, retailers can gain a better understanding of their preferences, habits, and needs.

This information can be used to optimise store layouts, product placements, and marketing campaigns to drive sales and improve customer satisfaction.

Training and employee engagement

Finally, AR can be used as an effective training tool for retail employees. By providing immersive, interactive training experiences, AR can help employees learn more quickly and retain information better.

Additionally, AR technology can be used to gamify training, making it more engaging and enjoyable for employees.


Augmented Reality is undoubtedly transforming the retail industry, offering innovative solutions that enhance customer experience and streamline operations. From virtual try-ons to immersive advertising, AR is changing the way customers interact with brands and products, creating new opportunities for businesses to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.

As AR technology continues to develop and become more accessible, we can expect to see even more exciting and groundbreaking applications in the retail sector. Embracing AR now is essential for retailers who want to stay ahead of the curve and capitalise on the immense potential this technology holds.

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