How Latin American Retailers take advantage of Virtual and Augmented Reality

Oct 26, 2022 | Blog

Latin America may have a lot to say about augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in retail, as more and more companies are using these technologies to improve the overall customer experience, making them unforgettable.

Investments in virtual and augmented reality have increased since the potential that visionary brands see in them will continue to grow. This trend has increased since 2019, the year in which it was projected “that the economic impact of VR and AR in 2020 added to 15.6 billion dollars.” (Forbes Mexico)

In this blog, we show you the advantages VR and AR technologies have for the world, some notable cases in retail, and how you can address the wave of these revolutions in Latin America.

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated artificial environment that can simulate a realistic experience. VR technology tricks your brain into thinking you’re in a different place. When experienced with headsets and sensors, virtual reality can create the illusion that you are physically somewhere else.

What is Augmented Reality?

AR or Augmented Reality is the integration of digital information, with the user’s environment in real time. With AR, users can interact with virtual objects that are placed in their physical space.

How are Virtual and Augmented Reality used in retail?

In Latin America, virtual reality and augmented reality are used in retail to improve the customer experience.

For example, VR headsets can be used to view a product from all angles before making a purchase. Additionally, AR can be used to enhance the shopping experience by adding animations or images of people to the product display.

These technologies are also being used to improve stock management and sales analysis. For example, retailers can use VR to create a digital version of their store that can be used to train employees and test new products.

Additionally, virtual reality can be used to analyze customer behavior by tracking how they interact with products and screens.

Advantages of VR and AR in Retail

As virtual and augmented reality technologies continue to develop, retailers are taking advantage of the opportunities they offer.

  • Improving the Customer Experience

VR allows customers to view a product in a simulated environment, while AR allows customers to see digital information superimposed on the physical world. These technologies can be used to improve the customer experience and increase sales, not only opening new channels but also adding to the creation of pleasant and memorable experiences for customers.

  • Reducing returns and Clarify how the product will look like

Some retailers are already using VR and AR in their stores. For example, IKEA offers an app that allows customers to view furniture in their own homes before purchasing.

This helps reduce the number of returns, as customers can be sure that the furniture will fit in their space. Lowe’s has also developed a virtual reality app that allows customers to see what a new kitchen will look like before making changes.

  • Opening the door to Creativity and WOW Experiences 

Retailers are also using AR to enhance the shopping experience. The potential will depend on how creatively these technologies are used, and having customer experiences in mind may very well improve them.

 

Relevant data on VR and AR in the Retail Industry

  • Retail is projected to have the largest commercial investment in AR/VR technology by 2024, at $7.3 billion (IDC).
  • 61% of customers prefer online stores that offer augmented reality experiences (BigCommerce).
  • 40% of consumers would spend more on products that can be personalized in AR (Threekit).
  • 70% of buyers would be more loyal to brands that provide AR experiences (ZDNet).
  • Virtual reality is expected to make online shopping difficult for companies in the clothing industry. The website pymnts.com predicts that virtual stores will reduce the try-at-home effect by up to 25 in this industry. (PYMNTS).
  • Retailers leveraging augmented reality at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a 19 percent increase in customer engagement and a 90 percent increase in consumer conversions. (Retail Customer Experience).
  • Product pages with augmented reality and 3D experiences led to a 13% increase in average order size and a 21% increase in revenue per visit (Retail Customer Experience).

AR and VR cases that you must live and see to believe

There are notable cases worldwide worth learning about, and preferably experienced, about how augmented and virtual realities are used in the retail industry to improve the customer experience.

To get inspired we share with you some of the most notable retail industry cases according to Forbes magazine expert technologist Bernard Marr:

 

Nike

Nike stores have scanners for customers to use to know information about sneakers or clothes they are interested in, or they are invited to enter the Nike organization’s virtual reality world to walk through different stages of the production chain.

IKEA

Users can also visualize augmented reality on their smartphones by examining furniture footage via augmented reality applications with The Place.

 

L’Oreal

The company delivers services of virtual-reality makeup try-on, in partnership with Facebook. Customers can try the latest beauty brands, such as Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris, Lancôme, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, and Urban Decay.

 

Apple

During the pandemic, the giant used AR technology to showcase its products. Buyers can use AR Quick Look for new iPhone or iMac models, so they can see what they look like in their space or their hand.

 

Asos

This fashion retailer has mock models on their website that you can wear using AR, so you can see how the garments look on different body types.

What challenges do retailers face when implementing VR and AR?

The challenges retailers face when implementing VR and AR are primarily related to the cost of the technology and its lack of widespread use. Like all “new” technology, you have to go through a learning process and for this, we recommend going hand in hand with the experts.

Another challenge is that these technologies can be overwhelming for customers, who may not be used to such immersive experiences.

Retailers also need to create compelling content and experiences that keep customers engaged.

The main thing to keep in mind is the improvement of customer experiences. In this way, putting themselves in the client’s shoes, better deliveries can be made for everyone.

VR and AR in the Latin American Retail Sector 

The retail sector in Latin America is proliferating and is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. This is due, in part, to the increased use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in retail stores globally, and growing adoption by customers seeking better experiences.

“It is estimated that by 2022 there will be approximately 1.1 billion mobile augmented reality users worldwide and by 2024 it will reach 1.7 billion users, which would mean an increase of 1.5 billion from the 200 million observed in 2015, according to data of Statista.” (Forbes México)

How will virtual reality and augmented reality affect Latin American retail?

Latin America is one of the regions where retail is growing the most in the world. And, with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), it is expected to grow even more, as sensory experiences are overflowing the senses, meeting business objectives.

Of course, retailers in Latin America should consider VR and AR experiences to create more engaging shopping experiences for their customers.

Examples of virtual reality can be used to create virtual fitting rooms where customers can try on clothes without having to go to a physical store. AR can be used to show customers what products will look like in their homes before they make a purchase.

Retailers in Latin America are also exploring VR and AR to enhance the customer’s online shopping experience. For example, retailers can use Virtual reality to create 3D images of products that can be rotated and zoomed.

Global trends speak for themselves. AR and VR will be key factors for competitiveness in the global retail industry, and of course Latin America, the questions are when and how.

Going hand in hand with the experts will be essential.

Make sure you have experts in retail technologies to help you make better business decisions. 

Contact our representatives and scale your retail to the next level with Teamwork Commerce, as you prepare for the AR and VR-rich worlds.

Teamwork Commerce is a leading Omnichannel Solution, providing retailers with Point-of Sale, Order Management, Inventory Control, CRM and Analytics. They also boast an ecosystem of integrations with top solutions making unified commerce a seamless activity. Serving top retailers in over 20 countries globally including, Moose Knuckles, Colorado Rockies, Asics, Milwaukee Bucks, Catbird and Paul Stuart. Learn more at www.teamworkcommerce.com

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