How Augmented Reality is Changing the Way We Shop

Updated: 23 September 2023

Augmented Reality

23 September 2023

How Augmented Reality is Changing the Way We Shop

The way we shop has changed a lot over the last few years. The COVID-19 pandemic saw most shops being forced to close for weeks on end, sending many of us to our tablets and phones to shop. That trend has continued and in 2022, just over 30% of shopping was done online.   

Online shopping is an easy and convenient way for us to buy anything from groceries to clothes and armchairs. But can it ever be a substitute for actually seeing a product in real life? How can you tell whether the turquoise flower on the sofa you’ve found online will be the right shade for your colour scheme? 

That’s where augmented reality (AR) comes in to give consumers a more immersive shopping experience, helping them to visualise how things like furniture will look in their homes.

What is augmented reality?

In simple terms, AR technology creates an interactive experience by adding digital elements to the physical world. That could mean adding visual, sound, or other sensory effects to something that already exists. That’s the key difference between augmented reality and virtual reality which creates an artificial environment.

There are many examples of AR from filters that can be added to photos and videos on apps such as Snapchat, to displaying information on your car windscreen or projecting X-ray images onto a patient’s body during surgery.

How AR is changing the way we shop?

Technology has played a big part in our changing shopping habits. Using our phones to do the weekly food shop while we’re sat on the train helps us to manage our busy lives. Augmented reality in retail is the latest technology to have an impact on the way we shop. It allows us to visualise how something will look in our home or on our body, without us having to set foot inside a shop.

So, if you’re looking for a new sofa and don’t want to spend hours going around furniture shops trying to find a colour match to the paint on your walls, you don’t have to. Using a store’s interactive tools, you can add an image of the sofa you’ve got your eye on to a digital photo of your living room. You’ll be able to see straight away whether the colour goes with your scheme. Then you either delete and move on until you find the right match, or click to buy. And if you need a second opinion, you can send it to friends and family to ask them what they think. All from the comfort of your own home.

Social online shopping

Social media is a big part of many people’s lives. We’re heavily influenced in our buying choices by what we see online through endorsements from people we follow and product reviews from people we trust. Being able to test a product by it being virtually superimposed over your own or a room in your home, makes it easier to feel confident that it’s what we’re looking for.  

If you’re looking for innovative technological design solutions that help your business flourish, get in touch with the team at JBH Design. We do 3D and virtual design like no one else.


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