Incorporating AR and VR into your marketing strategy is a sure-fire way to keep your business ahead of the curve – especially if you’re in the retail sector.

This immersive type of advertising is proving to be a real game-changer for companies that are searching for new and exciting ways to promote their products before and during store visits.

Here, we discuss various ways that both AR and VR can be used to not only boost sales in-store, but also address common challenges in the retail environment.

Deliver the right message to the right shopper with acute personalisation

Every retailer knows that what attracts one customer may be a real turn-off for another. Different demographics have different wants, needs and pain points, and up until now, it has been nigh on impossible to personalise every single in-store ad according to their exact requirements.

But through augmented 2D and 3D animated content, you can now present a customer with an ad – and, in fact, and entire shopping experience – that captures their attention and appeals to their lifestyle, all within the same physical setting. It’s an efficient and highly effective way of targeting those who are most likely to buy from you.

Help your audience navigate your shop with interactive maps

Customers often struggle to locate one particular item amidst a sea of bright POS stands and cluttered aisles – and this can be incredibly frustrating for those who are visiting the shop for a specific product, especially if they are strapped for time.

Make it quick and easy for them to find what they’re looking for. Present them with an augmented view of the store which overlays the physical space with text or visuals that can help them pin-point the item they’re after.

Embrace gamification

AR and VR can be used to turn even the dullest of shopping trips into a fun game that offers valuable prizes to engaged customers.

Many retailers are now giving their customers the option to download an app that delivers money-off vouchers and exclusive rewards to those who take part in an in-store AR challenge while they’re going about their weekly shop. This approach encourages a more satisfying experience for the customer, and the app is an especially useful way to keep children entertained instore.

Capture more customer data

These maps and apps can help you find out more about each customer’s preferences and shopping behaviours, too. You can get to know how your shoppers are interacting with their environment and navigating their way around your store, then use this data to improve their experience and optimise sales. You could even use VR to present this important information to management in a visual context to help them better understand the store’s performance.

Train your staff more efficiently

Ads, maps and games aside, your team are ultimately responsible for your customers’ experience when they visit your store. VR can be used to add interactivity and realism to staff training courses. For example, you could create an app that places your employee in a seemingly real-life retail environment, such as a checkout, and presents them with various scenarios that test their knowledge and approach. Staff will have a better understanding of what’s required of them, and will come away from their training feeling much more confident and competent in their role.