happy customer using smart augmented reality hologram in fashion store to browse and try products

The fall shopping season is upon us. It’s an energizing time of the year in which we would normally refresh our wardrobes. Maybe a new computer or phone? All the things that help you put the right foot forward in a new endeavour. We all desperately want something new – in more ways than one. Yet, everything looks a little (or a lot) different this year. So, it’s a good time to look at what AR Shopping has to offer the retail world. Because we think that conforming to health and safety regulations doesn’t have to suck the fun out of your fall shopping trips.


Contactless Tools for Retail


If your business has been able to re-open your storefront, you’ve already had to make changes. Were those changes made in a desperate scramble to get your doors back open? It’s understandable. Every day you were closed saw a loss in revenue. You weren’t paying staff, but that rent wasn’t going anywhere. So you threw up plexiglass barricades and slapped stickers on the floor. Phew, you made it!


And your customers came back. And they adjusted.


But we all thought, instinctively, that those measures were temporary. Reality has started to filter in. This groove we’ve worn into daily life is here to stay. But it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.


Be the retailer that makes wearing a mask fun.


Be the shop that turns “don’t touch” into a novelty.


What does that look like? Augmented Reality, for a start.


Branded Mask Skins


There are always interesting new ways to apply the technology you think you already know. Take AR filter apps, the technology used by channels like Snapchat and Instagram. Try pairing a location-based download with branded imagery to give your customer’s mask a fun temporary skin.


So many consumers are dwelling on a mask being hot or how hard it is to not pick up an item of interest. Most people can and will get on board with doing the right thing. But if you can go the extra mile and bring a smile to a stress-out shopper’s face, we can’t imagine it won’t help your bottom line in the long run.


Snapchat's iPhone X exclusive lenses

Image Credit: Snapchat


Floor Model Flexibility


Apply technology like this to a floor model of a product customers might previously have been able to touch. This works especially well if you’ve also had to reduce display items to encourage social distancing.


For example, a stroller that comes in five colours and a toy with several animal options can have one representative item each placed six feet apart. Your new AR app can bring the additional inventory to life for shoppers who must conveniently remain spread out.


And when you retrieve the desired product from a high shelf or a back room, you’re now able to assure your customer that the stroller, toy, shirt, shoes … or whatever … has not been handled by extra shoppers.


Try-before-you-buy solutions have typically been implemented as a solution for keeping customers engaged with a business after hours, off-site. But in 2020 when we all need creative solutions, why not thread this kind of AR Shopping into a storefront?




AR Shopping & Hybrid Storefront/Online Models


In spite of how much we all want life to resume a recognizable rhythm, we’ve lurched forward into a world of distancing and sanitation. You may be able to open your doors and let customers into your shop, but while you’re asking them to buy, you’re also asking them to move along in a timely fashion.


Please come in and buy, but don’t touch anything or stay too long. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it.


When conforming to health and safety regulations runs counter to every sales instinct you have, how do you keep your optimistic energy as high as you need? Engage, entertain, rinse, and repeat.


Imagine updating your tags with QR codes that are smart enough to show off related products, gain mailing list subscribers, and engage Instagram followers.


Like the mask skin and floor model ideas above, you can use AR Shopping content to stay connected to customers who had to leave too soon, or who need to take some time to think about additional purchases.


Customer Holding Digital Tablet with AR Interior design for retail storefront

Image Credit: gorodenkoff / Adobe Stock


Two more factors to consider are slower shipping times due to high parcel volume and the average person’s general need to re-enter society. These variables are pushing people who would normally shop online back into retail storefronts. And we may see this balancing act go on for a year or more.


The New Relationship Marketing


Regardless of whether or not you create a new app or incorporate AR Shopping at all, every retailer should take note of the shifting winds in 2020. We’re not just talking about Covid-19, health and sanitation, disposable income, or new purchasing priorities.


The social changes brought about by the events of 2020 are still being shaped by a tumultuous year. But we are already seeing calls for compassion, kindness, tolerance, acceptance, and general efforts to bring out the best in people.


When we talk about relationship marketing now, it’s not a trend. We don’t want you to throw words like ‘authenticity’ into your toolkit. We want you to think about how you can help people. Even people who aren’t yet your customers.


It feels like a tough time to sell. It’s hard to talk about buying and selling when the discussions that seem most important revolve around taking care of people and literally remaking the world. So it’s never been more important to know who your customers are, why they buy from you, what new problems they’re having – and how you can provide real solutions.


Chances are good that your business needs some level of transformation plan before the close of this year. And we think you should be looking at some form of new technology before you finalize those plans.


AR Shopping & Marketing Experts


We know you want to be a part of our collective solutions going forward. We do too. That’s why we’ve spent the last four years honing our products and services, adapting to the changing technology needs of our clients.


If you’re ready to take a look at how you can use Augmented Reality – or whatever kind of technology your business should be using – we are ready to help. Stambol disruptors have ideas that will inspire and amaze along with the technical expertise to make them a reality.


Feature Image Credit: yingyaipumi / Adobe Stock