Interview • 21.11.2019

Enhanced, interactive, virtual – It’s all about the experience!

AR and VR can boost online and offline retail

Man in suit smiles frontally into camera
Source: commercetools

New technologies permeate all aspects of the retail business, whether it’s self-checkouts, AI or robotics. Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) are yet other components in this setting. 

In this interview with iXtenso, Kelly Goetsch, Chief Product Officer at commercetools GmbH talks about how these technologies can unlock online and offline possibilities, explains why they are important when it comes to the purchase decision and reveals the role they might play in the future.

Mr. Goetsch, what trends do you see in consumer buying behavior?

Kelly Goetsch: Whether you buy clothing, luxury items or technology – it’s obvious that the lines between online and offline retail continue to blur - and customers like this trend.

Virtual and augmented reality have become increasingly important in this context. 

AR and VR elevate the customer shopping experience to a whole new level. Retailers can leverage immersive technologies to customize any space to fit customer wants and needs. This enables each customer to have a personalized shopping experience based on his or her individual preferences. Customers are thus more likely to stay longer at the store, buy something and return to it again.

Hands holding a tablet with 3D designs
Source: PantherMedia / ekkasit919

Let's say a retailer wants to use these technologies. What are some real-world applications?

There are many ways to use AR and VR in retail settings. Even small retail spaces can be transformed into a megastore with the help of AR and VR solutions, turning them into an experience for the customer.

AR devices can give customers relevant and personalized content when they view products. This might include overlaid customer or expert reviews, additional product information or allergy warnings. What’s more, AR can incorporate personal information such as shoe size to directly determine product availability.

“Virtual stores” use VR for example. The technology allows customers to visit a virtual store anytime, anywhere, where a projection of an AI-based or humanoid assistant offers support. This virtual assistant gives personalized recommendations and presents products in real-time.

Speaking of purchase decision: Why is it important to create a positive experience that prompts customers to buy products?

Adding inspiration and information can have a positive impact on the purchase decision. Retailers often wrongly assume that customers already know what they are going to buy when they enter a store or visit a website. In reality, the experience at the store plays a crucial role in the decision. 

What potential do you see in AR and VR?

I see huge potential because we have not fully tapped into it yet. The fact that large tech giants like Google and Facebook invest in this technology proves that AR and VR are becoming increasingly important. It's still hard to say where all this is going to take us - but there are endless possibilities and the sooner retailers realize it, the sooner they can turn it to their advantage.

Interview: Katja Laska

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Silver Surfers: Older adults ride the wave of mobile technology and shop...
01.08.2019   #online trading #e-commerce

Silver Surfers: Older adults ride the wave of mobile technology and shop online

The increasing importance of e-commerce for senior citizens

You are wrong if you think it’s mostly young people who spend time online. Older adults are also increasingly embracing online shopping with enthusiasm.In this interview, Spencer Hinzen, Director of Sales, Central Region, Ruckus Networks, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: drs//POS – The POS system for many check-out situations...
13.09.2019   #pos systems #cashpoints

drs//POS – The POS system for many check-out situations

With the POS system developed by Superdata you are put in the picture

The POS acts as an ear in the store. It affects how timely, and with what information, decision makers at the head office are in a position to assess developments in the store and are able to respond appropriately to the situation.With our POS ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Pay cash? Via code!
26.08.2019   #mobile payment #app

Pay cash? Via code!

Shop online, pay the bill offline

Barzahlen.de relies on good old cash. The concept of the Berlin start-up: shop online, pay in cash at the store. Swimming against the trend of fast online shopping and mobile payment is paying off, says Weina Wang, Head of Retail. In an interview, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New year brings new regulations
13.09.2019   #data management #receipt printer

New year brings new regulations

What are the big changes for German point of sales systems come 2020?

Big changes are coming to Germany’s point of sale systems starting January 1, 2020. Two terms that are tossed around in this connection are "Belegausgabepflicht" (Receipt Provision Ordinance) and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Mobile payments at the supermarket checkout
05.08.2019   #mobile payment #smartphone

Mobile payments at the supermarket checkout

An early adopter’s experience of mobile payments

Or: "What’s that you’re doing with your watch?“I still remember the first time I used mobile payment technology and paid for items with my smartphone at a supermarket checkout: It was October 17, 2018, exactly seven days after ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Irma: flagship store in Copenhagen
30.10.2019   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #price labelling

Irma: flagship store in Copenhagen

Denmark's oldest grocery chain opens a new store

At the same time Irma, a Danish grocery chain, could celebrate its 133rd birthday, the chain also opened a new flagship store at Østerport station in Copenhagen. Besides showing renewal and being able to ensure the customers updated prices ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Innovative ICA store triples revenue
22.08.2019   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #price labelling

Innovative ICA store triples revenue

Automatic price updates and product information at the shelf

Since ICA merchant, Jan Sikström, took over the ICA Ettan store in Sundsvall (Sweden) in 2016, he has almost tripled the turnover from SEK 15 million to SEK 40 million. Today, the store has 15 employees and approximately 5,000 different items ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Smart meters: Be proactive and reap the benefits...
12.08.2019   #energy optimization #electrical installation

Smart meters: Be proactive and reap the benefits

The Metering Point Operation Act calls for smart meter rollout

The black and analog electric meter box has become obsolete: The mandatory smart meter rollout will commence in a few months. What does the installation of digital, smart electric meters mean for retailers and chain stores? ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Retail Asia Conference & Expo (RACE)
07.10.2019   #online trading #retail

Retail Asia Conference & Expo (RACE)

As the leading retail exhibition in Asia, RACE is taken place from 6 – 8 May 2020.

As the leading retail exhibition in Asia, RACE is recognised as the must-join event among the industry’s most influential retailers and customers. RACE features three focus areas: Retail technology, retail design & in-store marketing ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Making Deeper Connections at ISE 2020
21.11.2019   #digital signage #video

Making Deeper Connections at ISE 2020

Visitor registration opens; exciting new features; most conferences ever; opening address confirmed

Visitor registration opens today for ISE 2020, which is set to be the most compelling Integrated Systems Europe show ever. Taking place at the RAI Amsterdam on 11-14 February 2020, ISE is the world’s leading event for the professional systems ...

Supplier

iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH
Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH
Aschmattstr. 8
76532 Baden-Baden
Superdata GmbH
Superdata GmbH
Ruhrstr. 90
22761 Hamburg