5 retail technology trends to watch in 2019

This article was originally published on RetailDive

Augmented reality and virtual reality find homes in narrow spaces

Retailers may be tired of hearing what these technologies potentially can do for them, as it’s a sales pitch they have been hearing for years. 

In late 2017 and early 2018, an initial round of AR features in mobile apps targeted buyers of furniture and home decor, giving them a way to visualize those items in their own home environments. But, there are signs that AR and VR will be leveraged in stores and could figure prominently in omnichannel shopping and store operations.

Most recently, Walmart Labs developed an AR-based product comparison scanner for its mobile app that can be used in-store to scan entire shelf sections to compare product details, rather than using a barcode scanner to look up products one at a time. This and other types of retail AR app features could leverage visual search to become more useful and valuable to shoppers and retailers.

On the virtual reality front, Macy’s this month is due to expand use of Marxent’s VR technology to 90 of its stores. The retailer provides shoppers with a VR headset to help them design their own room settings by visualizing and moving around 3D images of different furniture items. Early on, it saw a 60% increase in sales when customers used the technology, as well as a decline in returns, all of which convinced Macy’s to buy into VR to a greater extent.

Meanwhile, Walgreens, Home Depot and Walmart, among others, also have started working with InContext Solutions to use VR technology to help them with planning store designs and merchandise placement.

Read the entire article at RetailDive.com.

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