U.S. retail prepares for an AR holiday season
Apple now offers the world’s most popular Augmented Reality (AR) platform and retail is just one of many industries that is maxxing out on Apple product support – and it looks like we’re going to have an AR holiday season, according to Adobe Analytics.
Mobile is everywhere
This year’s Adobe Analytics survey shows some optimism at retail, but also reveals a couple of trends that will become increasingly important in the way people interact with their local retailers.
The survey also represents the importance of mobile to the retail segment. Retailers said social media influencer programs (62%) are going to be important for driving holiday sales, as are mobile apps (73%).
Buy online/pick-up in-store is also becoming incredibly popular – and nearly all retailers say physical presence gives them an edge over Internet only retailers. Almost half say these arrangements are giving them “significant proportion of sales”.
Interestingly, no one seems to be talking about Beacon tech.
Retail AR, is now the time?
One of the biggest revelations is that 56% of retailers say that they’re creating experiential shopping such as mock show-rooms/AR experiences to better engage with customers.
This means everything from changing rooms in which you can try AR versions of clothes in shops to AR experiences at home that let you place furniture (IKEA), carpets, change home décor and more.
Gary Specter, vice president, global head of GTM, Commercial Business, at Adobe said:
“Today’s consumers want to experience a brand, and these more immersive moments are playing a role in driving actual transactions. The good news is this survey finds that more than two-thirds of retailers understand this consumer expectation, and they have a few experiences up their sleeves for the holidays.”
The second interesting take away is around voice. Adobe claims just 7% of retailers are currently using voice tech as a sales tool, while 62% are investigating or plans to leverage it as a sales tool in the future. That’s still a pretty big number when you consider:
- Voice tech is only now crossing the AI augmented/human divide, with services like Business Chat and firms like Nuance carving the way.
- Retailers haven’t completely wised up to the need to ensure good SERP on local search results using voice interlocuters such as Apple Watch or AirPods.
- While voice first interfaces are clearly heading for prime time, they aren’t there yet. This suggests retailers should think about the first mover advantages they may realize in the event their core markets are also first adopters for the technology.
- Most retailers will still wait and see as their audiences may have different needs.
The omnichannel shopper
We also see some insights into the omnichannel nature of today’s retail experiences.
“The biggest concern for retailers when it comes to selling products online is staying price competitive (40%), followed by shipping time (23%) then converting visits (22%),” said Adobe Analytics.
It will be interesting to see how this shopping season goes….