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Augmented reality (AR) is changing the way we shop, and there are more and more projects in the retail sector. By merging the physical and digital worlds, AR creates new opportunities for retailers to engage with customers and improve the shopping experience. AR in retail can be useful for both in-store experiences and online shops. In this article, we look at the benefits of AR in retail and how it is changing the industry for both retailers and consumers.

AR in retail: in-store

Augmented reality offers experiences that appeal to customers in a way that was previously impossible. In-store AR experiences can be used for a variety of purposes, such as enhancing product demonstrations or creating interactive displays. One example of an in-store AR experience is the “Magic Mirror” concept, which allows customers to virtually try on clothes or accessories before they buy. Another example is the use of AR-enabled shopping apps, which customers can use to call up product information, reviews and recommendations in real time. In addition, some retailers have implemented AR displays that show 3D product models or provide interactive educational content. All in all, this leads to more business visitors. To learn more about in-store AR experiences, check out these helpful resources from Retail Dive or Digital Trends.

AR in retail: Online

By using AR, e-commerce brands can create 3D product models that allow customers to see what the product looks like in the real environment. This helps to increase the conversion rate and reduce returns. Brands such as Ikea and Wayfair have integrated AR into their mobile apps so that customers can virtually place furniture in their home before making a purchase. Sephora has also integrated AR technology into an app and offers its customers the opportunity to try on make-up virtually. In addition, brands such as Adidas and Nike have unveiled AR-enabled products that allow customers to view and interact with products in new and exciting ways.

Improved customer engagement

One of the biggest advantages of augmented reality for retailers is the opportunity to improve customer loyalty. AR allows customers to interact with products in a way that was previously not possible, creating a more immersive and personalised shopping experience. For example, customers can use AR to virtually try on clothes, see how furniture would look in their home or even try on make-up without having to physically apply it. This increased commitment can lead to higher customer satisfaction and ultimately to higher sales for retailers.

Improved product visualisation

Augmented reality enables retailers to offer their customers a more realistic and interactive product visualisation. By using AR, customers can see what the products would look like in real life and get a better feel for their size, shape and colour. This can be particularly useful for products that are difficult to visualise, such as furniture or home accessories. By providing customers with a more accurate representation of products, retailers can increase customer confidence in their purchases and reduce the likelihood of returns.

Personalised shopping experience

Augmented reality technology enables retailers to offer their customers a personalised shopping experience. For example, products can be configured using 3D and AR. In addition, retailers can use AR to provide personalised product recommendations based on customers’ browsing and purchasing behaviour, creating a tailored shopping experience.

Increased sales and turnover

One of the biggest advantages of augmented reality in retail is the potential for higher sales and earnings. By offering their customers a personalised and interactive shopping experience, retailers can increase customer loyalty and retention. This can lead to higher conversion rates and a higher average order value. In addition, by reducing the likelihood of returns through virtual try-on experiences, retailers can save on the cost of returns and restocking. Overall, the use of augmented reality technology can lead to a significant increase in sales and earnings in the retail sector.

Competitive advantage

AR can give retailers a competitive edge in the crowded retail market. By offering a unique and innovative shopping experience, retailers can differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract new customers. In addition, the use of augmented reality in retail can help to stay ahead of the curve in terms of technology and consumer trends. Consumers increasingly want a more immersive and interactive shopping experience, and retailers that can deliver this with AR are more likely to be successful in the long run.

Bonus: How to get started with AR in retail

1. 3D models

If you do not yet have 3D models, the first step is to create these models. There are various options for creating 3D models. Find out more here.

2. AR-Platform

The 3D models are ready? Then you either develop an AR platform yourself (usually expensive and difficult) or you use existing providers such as Mazing.

3. Integration

Depending on the shop system, you can use plugins to implement your AR experience or simply HTML codes.

4. AR marketing

It’s no use having a technology, you have to market it accordingly and educate your potential customers. You can find out more here.


Augmented reality in retail is definitely a game changer for companies – both for physical stores and online stores. In both cases, AR can be used in an individualized way in order to benefit from it. It is important to choose the right method and platform for you – Mazing will be happy to support you in this.

Ready to integrate 3D into eCommerce?