Mixed reception for AR in physical retail, ABI Research
Augmented Reality (AR) will see major adoption in the retail sector, but not in the way many have predicted, according to a report by ABI Research. It will struggle to take root among customers in the bricks and mortar environment, but uptake will be driven by the retail workforce and online shoppers.
“For consumers in brick and mortar stores, AR can disrupt the customer journey and provides little additional value overall,” says Nick Finill, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. Whereas for the in-store employee, the tech promises to deliver operational efficiencies and raise the quality of the service delivered. Smart glasses from manufacturers such as Vuzix are already starting to be used to assist with front and back-of-store operations.
ABI Research forecasts that by 2022 over 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. It also predicts that, by 2020, 3% of e-commerce revenue will be generated because of AR experiences. That equates to $122 billion in revenue worldwide.
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