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In the retail market, augmented reality and robotics have numerous roles to increase efficiency, minimize costs and maximize consumer service.
A robot unexpectedly appears to us as we step into a shopping store to pick up clothing, telling us what kind of fabric we like and which brand. Besides, the robot watches us and picks the same fabric we were asking for. Isn’t it unbelievable? Imagine what, this scene isn’t from some upcoming science-fiction script, rather this is a blurry vision of what grocery stores are going to look like in the future.
By incorporating cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence, big data analytics, augmented reality, virtual reality, and robotics, the retail industry is overhauling its market processes. In the digital development of retail stores around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic had a considerable part to play. The cliched face of department stores has altered e-commerce and omnichannel retail (Sales and marketing that gives a truly optimized retail experience to consumers by integrating consumer interfaces from brick and mortar to smartphone browsing).
Many merchants have moved to digital platforms to allow pick-up and delivery, dubbed dark markets, leaving behind their traditional stores. The emphasis has turned to consumer service and customization, which will boost profits. Since customer involvement in today’s retail industry is an important factor, many retailers have adopted technology such as AI and augmented reality for respectable business. Yeah, in-store experiences will never be replaced by online retailers, and so physical stores are here to stay. Let us explore the retail industry’s effect of virtual reality and robotics to figure out whether it is feasible to choose one over the other.
How is the consumer market complemented by augmented reality?
Ikea released ‘Ikea Location’ in 2017, an app that incorporates virtual reality and encourages consumers to reimagine a room by positioning furnishings with 3D representations. ‘Ikea Location’ makes the decision-making process simpler for consumers and delivers a suitable commodity.
Augmented reality makes customers feel and visualize and make a trial of the product at any corner of the world. It helps, in the absence of physical stores, the creation of a direct link with customers. In the retail sector, Augmented reality guarantees customized consumer experiences that are essential for customer physical resistance and business growth. According to the Markets and Markets report, it is predicted that Augmented Reality will hit $72.7 billion by 2024.
The uses and benefits of augmented reality in the retail industry are warehouse management, supply management, inventory tracking systems, and simplifying distribution processes in a B2B environment.
Augmented reality continues to integrate web and in-store environments along with machine learning and artificial intelligence. To sustain self-check-out processes, minimize time wastage, and make product selection simpler for the consumers, these devices can be implemented into retail stores.
The onset of Robots at retail stores
With the long queues in department shops, the rising innovation young consumer clients get impatient and wait for a customer service agent to come and assist them. While the shopping sector has been moving online for the past few years, there will be no more brick and mortar shops. In contrast to online outlets, traditional retail stores offer a more tailored and actual environment.
As retailers look to cut costs and simplify processes, particularly in the supply chain, robots can only become more embedded in day-to-day retail operations, assuming greater positions and communicating with employees and customers as AI becomes intelligent, according to the Forbes
Retail stores may use robotics to provide more offerings to consumers. The robots can help consumers locate individual items much quicker and better than their human counterparts, as well as chat with customers to solve their problems.
Robots have contributed to back-end market functions, such as inventory operations, distribution, development, and more. Robots joining retail shops, however, is not a nascent idea. For example, a robot Marty celebrated its first birthday in 2020. Robot Marty is a googly-eyed robot that helps in stores, supermarkets to clean up activities and roll out at 172 giant eatery stores and 325 stop and store sites outside the US.
Since there is a certain apprehension surrounding AI and robots taking over the human race, it is hard for people to consider them without a doubt.
Augmented reality versus Robots
We should conclude that both are similarly good at doing their parts by evaluating the capacities of augmented reality and robotics and their potential to transform the retail industry. They will not take over each other and, thus, the market remains a great technical blessing. Although in both online and physical shops, Augmented reality can be used, robots appear to suit best in physical retail stores. Augmented reality, robotics, and other technology are on their way to transforming the way companies think, market, work, and communicate with their clients.