Is Augmented Reality The Future Of Retail Marketing?

Augmented Reality is very hot these days with many experts recommending widespread adoption of it across any and all industries. A little caution however may not be a bad thing.

The term “Augmented Reality” has many different meanings and definitions but I like this one best:

Marketing Retail 1

“Augmented reality is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated imagery.”

Augmented Reality is going so much publicity and attention these days that it’s now perfectly acceptable to refer to it as simply AR. And many are predicting that AR will be the cure-all for all that ails you… regardless of industry.

Marketing Retail 1

However for this post, let’s keep it refined to the world of retail. And having worked in retail – I come from a long line of former supermarket workers, there are some basic tenets that will always be the most important when it comes to retail sales:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Customer Service
  • And of course, location, location, location

Any retailer worth his/her weight in coupons knows this to be true and while there are some very cool things going on right with re: AR and retail – see below for some examples, I would caution retailers to NOT forsake traditional marketing methods and techniques for AR.

Marketing Retail 1

Now, if you want to “augment” your current traditional campaigns with some AR, by all means go for it. Just don’t believe a lot of the hype going around that AR is all you need.

It’s the exact same thing being spewed by all the Social Media experts claiming SM will cure all your ails.

Marketing Retail 1

No one singular method, medium, approach, platform and on and on will ever work. There needs to be an integration of carefully selected methods, etc., which are best suited to your particular wants and needs.

As promised, here are some cool AR things going on right now in the world of retail…

So, what do you think of AR?
Is it the future?
Is it a fad?
Have you ever personally used it in a retail setting?