New research reveals that augmented reality could lead to increased store footfall and conversion rates for brick-and-mortar retailers.

The research was carried out by Warwick Business School. The study: Enabling smart retail settings via mobile augmented reality shopping apps.

And the conclusion:

  • 48 per cent of customers questioned are happier with the items purchased after using mobile AR apps
  • 41.2 per cent are more likely to purchase from the retailer
  • 41.1 per cent are more likely to tell others about the retailer
  • 39.0 per cent are more likely to visit the retailer again
  • 37.22 per cent are more satisfied with the retailer
  • 29.2 per cent are more loyal to the retailer
Augmented reality mobile applications for shopping can boost retailer performance by many measures: increased market share, sales and profitability,” said Scott Dacko, Associate Professor of Marketing and Strategic Management at Warwick Business School, who authored the research.

According to the research, such benefits arise in part because AR shopping apps enable increased consumer certainty that what they are buying is what they want, as well as the ability of AR to let consumers see product demonstrations and receive more complete information before making a purchase.

The study also finds that AR shopping app users believe the added benefits of using these apps include:

  • Getting more complete information on products (56.6 per cent)
  • Being more certain they are buying what they wanted (42.2 per cent)
  • Having the opportunity to “try out” a product before buying it (27.3 per cent)
  • Seeing demonstrations of products before purchasing them (26.9 per cent)
  • Buying a product that is more personalised (23.5 per cent)
However, the research found that having to give out too much personal information is the most frequently cited (31.4%) drawback among consumers who used AR shopping apps.

“Consumers are fearful of the Big Brother aspect, of being bombarded with marketing messages and of identity theft if their information is stored or hacked,” said Dr Dacko.

Additional drawbacks include:

  • Not integrated enough with all my shopping (27.8 per cent)
  • Not fast enough to use regularly (26.9 per cent)
  • Not reliable enough to use regularly (21.6 per cent)
  • Time consuming to learn (20.1 per cent)