Why IKEA still leads the way in retail’s AR department
A bit like Pokemon Go, IKEA has become a standard bearer for all the best bits of AR.
Already a year old, the IKEA Place app has launched a thousand flat packs (well, many more I would imagine) and snatched second place in the free app rankings on Apple’s App Store (using ARKit). Take that, Pikachu.
The app allows shopping to place virtual furniture in a room, before committing to buy. What better way to find out if a yellow Grundtal fits nicely into that corner in your bathroom? That’s a piece of furniture, by the way – not another Pokemon character.
IKEA cleverly established what their biggest ‘pain-point’ was as a retailer. (I’m sure we’ve all been there)
when, as a customer, you purchase the piece of furniture. You take home the flat-pack and spend hours over the estimated assembly time to construct it, only to discover it’s slightly too big to fit where you wanted it to go. Well, rewind, through the arduous assembly, arguments, blood, sweat and tears – which were all for nothing. Enter IKEA Place and this could have been solved. Thus resulting in a happy customer.
But in a retail world that rarely stops to catch its breath, how else is Augmented Reality being used to tempt shoppers?
Amazon, unsurprisingly, has leapt on the bandwagon. In fact, it has taken IKEA’s Place app a step further. Instead of just furniture, the AR View app gives shoppers a whole new range of items to ‘place’ in their homes, from pressure cookers in the kitchen to pictures on a wall.
Another tech giant to dip its toes into AR is Ebay, albeit from a slightly different angle. The online auction giant lets sellers to find the right sized box for their items using an AR view that also fires off details of postage rates from shipping companies.
Stepping onto the high street, search functions can help shoppers to find what they want.
Imagine pointing an AR-enabled device at a high street and being able to see your most wanted items or even menus, right there on screen. Google Maps already offers this capability and it can only expand from there.
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