Report: Augmented Reality Retail Adoption to Be Driven by Online Shoppers

Augmented Reality will see major adoption in the retail sector, driven more by use by online shoppers and the retail workforce, rather than use by customers in the brick and mortar environment, according to ABI Research.

AR experiences can prove extremely useful for online customers unable to interact with the physical products they intend to purchase, according to ABI’s Augmented Reality in Retail report.

ABI forecasts that, by 2020, 3% of e-commerce revenue will be generated because of augmented reality experiences. That equates to $122 billion in revenue worldwide.

“The relative ease of integrating AR into existing m-commerce platforms and the impact this can have on the user experience will largely drive customer demand,” said Nick Finill, senior analyst at ABI Research, in a statement.

The benefits of using AR will not overcome the barriers which exist in physical retail, however, which is inherently less reliant on the use of a mobile device.

“For consumers in brick and mortar stores, however, AR can disrupt the customer journey and provides little additional value overall,” Finill said in a statement.

For the in-store employee, AR promises to deliver operational efficiencies and raise the quality of the service delivered, according to ABI.

Smart glasses from manufacturers such as Vuzix are already starting to be used by retail employees to assist with front- and back-of-store operations, according to ABI. ABI forecasts that by 2022 more than 120,000 stores will be using AR smart glasses globally, with deployments evenly split across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. This will be driven by the need for efficiency savings to compete with rival retailers and the online sector generally.

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