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Virtual reality and augmented reality in retail

July 14, 2016

It’s an exciting time to be alive! Technology is moving into every region of our lives like never before. People are out strolling the streets catching Pikachus with Pokemon Go, the biggest ever augmented reality app, and if you don’t have a VR headset to snap your Samsung Galaxy S7 into, then you’re getting out of touch.

It should come as no surprise then that technology is hotting up the in-store retail space like never before. With catchy terms like “click and mortar” swirling around, the time is now to get on board with new in store initiatives in the virtual reality and augmented reality space.

While Australian businesses have been slower to jump into the space than our US counterparts, our market is ripe for innovation. How do we know this? The world is now turning down under when looking for test markets for new products and technologies. Customers are crying out for fun new initiatives, so why not give it to them?

What’s happening in retail in Aus?

Broadway Sydney
Head on over and check out what Broadway Sydney are doing with augmented reality. A simple concept, Broadway is offering customers an app titled ‘Mix It Up’ that helps explore what new and exciting things are going on behind the scenes in the centre’s redevelopment – and what’s in store for the future.

With overlays including new food that they’ll be able to get their hands on soon, Mix It Up is a bold move that’s sure to see Broadway getting accolades from industry and customers alike.

New Balance
Virtual change rooms have been around for a few years now – although they’ve been making a splash overseas instead of in Australia until now. This year’s New Balance Heidi Klum range gave the brand the perfect chance to show off the technology to in store shoppers.

The virtual change rooms, developed by Val Morgan, allowed shoppers to try on the new range all via an interactive screen, and with no changing required – saving customers time and allowing for a fun retail experience.

Loreal and Priceline
In a stroke of genius, Loreal have managed to not only complement Priceline’s in store retail efforts, but also may steal customers away from competitors with their Makeup Genius app.

Using facial recognition, customers can virtually apply Loreal products using the app to try before they buy, after scanning a product or advertisement. Customers can then click to buy via Priceline’s online store if they so please. While this is great for in store at Priceline, it’s also accessible anywhere – so if you’re shopping in a different makeup retailer you can click to buy via Priceline instead. Sneaky and effective!

In store retail is getting a shakeup, and if you’re not trying out new solutions, then you’re going to get left behind. While it’s all well and good to have your Snapchat QR code displayed proudly at the front of your store it’s time to look beyond social media platforms and get into the immersive world of virtual reality and augmented reality.

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