Category Archives: Software Outsourcing

The Impact of AR on Retail

The Impact of Augmented Reality on Retail

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that allows overlaying digital content like images, videos and 3D objects onto the real world, thereby give the illusion of being a part of it. One of the most famous examples of AR is Pokémon Go, which overlays a virtual Pokémon (a 3D cartoon character) onto the real world. AR also offers tremendous possibilities outside of the Gaming Industry, especially in Retail.

The adage “Customer Is God” is a golden rule. It isn’t surprising, therefore, that any business that solves its customer’s problems effectively, gets rewarded with the customer’s loyalty, money, and trust. AR is fast becoming an invaluable tool in the hands of Retail businesses that aim to constantly impress their customer base and stay ahead of the competition.

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Let’s look at some of the issues that concern the customers of this industry.

Customer Problems

With Online Retail:

  • High Time Consumption – Let’s say you order cloth from an e-commerce website. Typically it will take a few days for the product to reach you. You then gauge it on all the parameters that matter – size, color, texture, etc. If the product does not meet your expectations, you are likely to exchange the item, triggering the cycle to repeat.
  • Return Costs – If the business doesn’t bear the shipment cost of returns, customers are likely to pay for it.
  • Problems with large items – It requires a very vivid imagination to see how a new couch would look in a room. Will it look good with the rest of the furniture? Or will it even fit in the first place?

With Offline Retail:

  • Too much work – It takes a lot of time and energy going around dozens of stores and looking for the right items and then trying various permutations and combinations to check if they look well together.

With both Online and Offline Retail:

  • Un-try-able Products – Some products can’t be tried on. For example, It’s hard to imagine how a particular hair color would look on you, or if that dragon tattoo would be too much for you to carry.
  • Un-personalized Shopping Experience – Currently the preferences of a customer are unknown to the business. Consequently, the suggestions given to the customers are un-personalized and work on a hit-and-trial basis.
  • Hygiene Issues – Whether you have germophobia or otherwise, there is always a risk of contracting a disease owing to the dress being tried on earlier by an infected person.
  • It ain’t fun – Going from store to store, from one website and mobile app to another and trying on or imagining how every product would look like on you is an exhausting experience and is not fun for most. And in online retail, even after so much effort, one can never know if the product will turn out to be expected.

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Let’s look at some of the issues that concern the businesses of this industry.

Business Problems

With Online Retail:

  • Shipment Costs – The trade-off between bearing the shipment costs of product-returns vis-a-vis making the customers pay for it is a tough choice for any business.

Doing Offline Retail:

  • Compensation for salespeople – Since the whole process is very manual, from the salesperson showing the items to the customer to making the sale, a constant involvement is needed.

Problems common to Online and Offline Retail:

  • Conversion Rates – Due to a lack of personalized suggestions and ads, and a tiring shopping experience, conversion rates of businesses are lower than they can be.
  • Brand Awareness – Extensive marketing is needed for businesses to create awareness of their brands, and it is invariably a very expensive matter.
  • Customer Acquisition – Customer Acquisition costs eat up a big portion of a business’s profits. These are mainly un-targeted advertisements having low conversion rates.

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How AR helps solve these problems

Try And Buy Functionality:  AR can overlay any item onto the real world to make it seem like it is a part of it. Powerful Machine Learning (ML) algorithms can detect the face and body of a person in an image or even in real-time. An application using a combination of AR and ML can allow its users to try on a virtual version of any item they would like to buy, from the comfort of their houses. Another possible feature is the placement of virtual 3D models of furniture inside a user’s house. Such features will reduce the number of returns the buyer makes which helps save time and reduce the return.

Saves User’s Time and Energy:  as now they have the whole inventory of products available to them and they can try anything on with a click rather than manually trying every item on.

Eliminate Hygiene-related Problems: Trying items in this new way is much efficient and can be made as aesthetically appealing as needed, making the whole process a joyous experience for the user.

Increase Brand Awareness: Users can click a picture of them trying on an item and can share it on social media. This will lead to free marketing and increased brand awareness.

Automated Processes: For offline retail, the need for a salesperson is heavily reduced. A user will enter a fitting room with a screen instead of a mirror and a camera attached to the screen. Users can touch and select their choice of clothing from the screen and can try a virtual version of it instantly. If they like the item they can ask to try the real item on. Hence the need for a salesperson is reduced considerably.

Attracting Customers and Increasing Conversion Rates: A screen mounted with a camera-enabled with AR can show how someone standing in front of the mirror would look like wearing a certain item. Such a setup outside a retail store will attract flocks of customers who after seeing them trying on a virtual item would want to buy it if it looked good.

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Things To Know Before Introducing AR Into A Business

Accuracy: An AR experience that isn’t accurate will not be useful for the customers or the business. For example, a user won’t like if the sunglasses they’re trying on, fits on their forehead instead of eyes, or if the virtual couch they are trying to place doesn’t rest on the ground properly.

Speed: An AR experience must be fast and lag-free. Long loading time and high latency always drive the user away.

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If you have any queries in this field, talk to Mindfire Solutions. For over 20+ years now, we have been the preferred Software Development Partner of over 1000+ Small and Medium-sized enterprises across the globe.

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How To Overcome Cross-Cultural Issues In Global Software Outsourcing?

How to overcome cross-cultural issues in global software outsourcing

Software outsourcing has been a booming business since 1990’s. The reasons are reduced cost, access to wide range of labor markets and improved performance. Today a lot of software development occurs at offshore locations as companies get plenty of talented resource at low cost. Most software development vendors place small teams at client locations to smoothly execute projects. This may sometimes be troublesome if the person does not have some understanding of the country’s culture. Some particular societies tend to have distinct ways of working, and this may lead to cross-cultural issues while attempting collaboration or may sometimes lead to project failure. To avoid project failure  companies should learn to overcome cross-cultural issues in global software outsourcing.

Continue reading How To Overcome Cross-Cultural Issues In Global Software Outsourcing?

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