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The Role of Mixed Reality (MR)  in Retail

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A look at the different use cases of Mixed Reality (MR) in Retail and how this emerging technology possesses the potential for massive digital transformation

Mixed Reality (MR) is poised to revolutionize the retail industry, offering a unified view of products, services, and processes. By 2027, immersive shopping technologies are projected to drive over 7% of sales interactions in non-food segments, up from less than 1% in 2022. MR represents a disruptive force that will redefine how retailers engage with customers, necessitating strategic investment to scale unified commerce execution. The use case of MR in retail can be significantly seen in four major areas that are sales and marketing, in-store operations and customer experience.

Sales and Marketing

Mixed Reality (MR) is transforming retail sales and marketing by blending digital and physical experiences. With MR, retailers offer captivating product demos, virtual try-ons, and interactive campaigns, leading to higher conversion rates, fewer returns, and increased customer confidence. For instance, virtual try-on experiences allow customers to explore styles and sizes effortlessly, reducing returns and enhancing sales. Additionally, MR enables interactive product demonstrations, overcoming geographical limitations and boosting engagement. Examples include a furniture retailer’s MR-based app for lifelike product demos and an automotive manufacturer’s use of MR for testing new car prototypes.

 In-Store Operations

Mixed Reality (MR) is driving a tech revolution in in-store operations, offering retailers powerful tools to streamline processes and craft seamless experiences. Interactive navigation and virtual showrooms enhance efficiency and break physical barriers, with around 71% of retail CIOs planning to increase store technology spending, including MR, for more immersive experiences. For instance, virtual showrooms create customizable spaces for customers, surpassing geographical barriers and reducing physical space overheads. Additionally, MR in employee training accelerates skill development and enhances safety with immersive simulations, cutting training costs and improving knowledge retention.

Customer Experience

Mixed Reality (MR) is revolutionizing customer experiences, shaping brand engagement and loyalty in retail. From virtual try-on experiences boosting online confidence to real-time collaboration transcending geographical constraints, MR offers immersive journeys for customers. For instance, interactive product exploration and storytelling enable customers to interact with 3D models and discover product stories, enhancing understanding and brand connection. Additionally, real-time collaboration with experts allows remote specialists to assist onsite, improving problem-solving and workflow efficiency. Examples include a global automotive brand using MR for life-size product presentations and a US home security leader employing MR-based virtual assistants for customer service, resulting in major cost savings and satisfaction.

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