There are a plethora of retailers experimenting with digital technology at the moment. While some seem to be picking and choosing at random, looking for ‘something shiny to show off’, others are taking a more strategic approach to improving the customer experience, or building a real buzz around their brand.
One type of technology that seems in the early stages of offering genuine benefits to the customer is augmented reality. Although sometimes the technology can be a bit on the clunky side, the core idea that it allows customers to see something that isn’t really there opens up endless possibilities to improve the shopping experience.
Whether it means customers can picture their product in situ without leaving the house, or offering a surprising and emotionally engaging experience, here are some of our favourite retailers showing us augmented excellence.
Argos have launched a new iOS application that will allow customers to make magic in their homes. With a touch of a button, they will be able to see augmented versions of LEGO toys – fully functioning and at full scale of each model. From the Star Wars Kessel Run Millennium to the Disney Princess Sleeping Beauty Fairytale Castle, customers will also be able to zoom in and around each piece, viewing minute details. It helps to build a drum roll of excitement around the product before the final and physical box is in the customers hands.
For those of us who have outgrown LEGO and are looking for a more illustrious augmented reality experience, Anthropologie is here to inspire you. It’s range of beautiful boho clothing range has expanded into the realms of homeware, with over 120 shapes, 11 fabrics and 140 colours in hardware and soft furnishings. With a swipe of the screen, the items can be whipped off the shelf and digitally imposed into a rendered room where Anthropology have gone to meticulous efforts to make sure you can zoom in and see the finish of the product in genuine detail. With the new app, customers can make further customisations, too.
Unlike the two examples above, the Kate Spade augmented reality takes you out of your home and on an adventure. It’s less about showing off the features and benefits of a specific product, and more about generating buzz around the brand. With the opening of it’s first physical shop in Paris, the AR app called My Little Paris Tapage, guided customers on a walking tour of the city, visiting various venues and unlocking digital happenings, such as flamingos appearing along the Seine.