28 AR Examples – The Definitive Guide to Augmented Reality in Retail
Top 28 use cases for AR in retail
Marxent has nearly a decade of experience in researching, inventing and understanding uses of AR in retail scenarios. We’ve seen dozens of examples of Augmented Reality in retail and selected this collection as the most useful and relevant. Discover 28 AR retail use cases, including examples from home improvement, furniture, jewelry, and beauty retailers. New to augmented reality and looking for basic info? visit our AR Basics for Retail guide.
Video recap of 10 best Augmented Reality retail mobile apps of 2019
Looking for an overview of top AR apps in retail? Watch this quick video featuring the 10 best Augmented Reality retail apps of 2019.
Explore AR retail use cases
The best examples of “at home” AR retail experiences are in the furniture, DIY and beauty categories. These are designed to solve major consumer consideration crises, such as selecting a paint color or choosing a sectional, side table, lamp or coffee table that matches existing decor. Some of the challenges of putting 3D content into real world spaces include ensuring that the scale of the objects is sensical, accelerating tracking to reduce latency, realism, and color accuracy. Gap also offers a virtual fitting room app. Here’s our own countdown of the best examples in, Furniture AR, Beauty AR, Jewelry AR, Home Improvement AR.
Examples of Augmented Reality by Furniture Retailers
Consumers are well aware that Augmented Reality is available for furniture shopping from various retailers, and over 60 percent of consumers want to shop for furniture using AR. The use case is similar across retailers of furniture, home decor, and small appliances. Below is a list of nine Augmented Reality apps for furniture, including Amazon’s AR View app which includes a lot of products, but mostly home decor rather than furniture.*
*Click the plus sign at the end of each grey bar to expand and see each AR use case.
1. IKEA Place
The marketing around the IKEA Place ARKit app focused on the question “Will it fit?” The IKEA Place AR experience was developed with the particular problem of fit in mind — and to allow customers to avoid mistakes and returns by allowing for 3D at-home furniture preview.
In a pre-ARKit attempt at using Augmented Reality for furniture retail, IKEA used AR to help customers determine fit and preferences virtually interacting with the IKEA catalog. IKEA Place was first published back in 2011, but has been updated multiple times since the initial release.
2. Macy’s Augmented Reality Furniture App
Macy’s uses a 3D Cloud-based Augmented Reality API to make 3D AR furniture available in their native iOS app. Consumers shopping for furniture using the Macy’s native iOS app simply tap the “View In My Room” button on the product detail page of the furniture that they’re interested in visualizing. This launches the AR camera feature and allows them to place the 3D furniture into the context of their own homes.
3. Houzz – View In My Room 3D
In one app, Houzz customers can get ideas for their home renovations, shop for products, and find professionals in their area to do the work. In the company’s View In My Room 3D, users combine items and see how they will look together and in their rooms.
“It’s hard to shop for furniture” – that’s why Houzz developed View In My Room 3D. It’s not just about colors, but dimensions and size. View In My Room 3D works on iPhones and iPad and makes hundreds of thousands of products available through AR.
4. Bob’s Discount Furniture App with Augmented Reality
5. Magnolia Market – Shopify AR app
6. American Furniture Warehouse – AFW Visualizer app
8. Pottery Barn – 3D Room View
9. Amazon AR View App
More home decor and small appliances than actual furniture, this at-home AR-enabled shopping experience is a part of Amazon’s native iOS app. Amazon’s AR View requires an iPhone 6S or newer running iOS 11. Download and open the main Amazon app then click on the camera next to the search bar .From the floating menu, choose “AR view.”
Examples of Augmented Reality in Beauty Industry
1. Sephora Virtual Artist
Sephora’s Virtual Artist is the Augmented Reality beauty app that started it all. Initially, the app allowed users to upload a selfie and “virtually try on” various products that could be purchased from Sephora. In 2018 it was updated to allow users to view themselves moving in real-time as their selected makeup application moves with them. According to Retail Dive, the update was backed by research showing a 22 percent drop in conversion rates when virtual products did not line up or appear correctly on the user’s face.
2. L’Oréal Paris
The L’Oreal Makeup Genius app lets customers try on makeup, blend different shades on their faces, and mix products to get the results they want. By scanning the product’s bar code in a store or selecting the product online, the app will apply it to the customer’s face using Augmented Reality. L’Oreal owns Modiface, the company behind Sephora’s Virtual Artist app.
3. Sally Hansen ManiMatch – Holition
A few years ago, Sally Hansen, a Coty company, attempted to make finding the perfect nail polish as easy as opening an app. With a quick scan of your hand, the app can unlock over 200 shades of Sally Hansen nail polish to try-on in real time. One of the features that they touted at the time was a color suggestion engine that provided personalized choices based on the shoppers skin tone. Shoppers could also buy shades directly from the app. There was definitely interest among beauty consumers, but Coty let the app fizzle. The app is still available in the App Store, but was last updated in 2016.
4. Wanna Nails – Manicure Try On
Examples of Augmented Reality in Jewelry Shopping
1. Diamond Hedge
On average, shoppers spend around $6,000 on the purchase of a diamond engagement ring, according to PYMNTS.com. While purveyors of fine jewelry such as Blue Nile, Zales, James Allen, and Kay used photo-based Augmented Reality experience in early attempts to help shoppers visualize their options, Diamond Hedge took a slightly more ambitious approach. The Diamond Hedge app for iOS and Android uses the phone camera to track the base of the finger and place a ring on it real time. So you’re looking at an AR ring on your real hand in the real world, rather than on a photo of your hand.
2. Wanna Jewelry
3. Bella Luce - Augmented Reality Jewelry Try On
Another one from the archives of 2011, the Bella Luce Augmented Reality jewelry try-on app was developed by the luxury AR experience company, Holition. The app relies on a piece of paper as a marker to place the ring on the shopper’s finger in real-time AR. Holition created a similar brand activation experience for watch try-on for Tissot around the same time.
Augmented Reality Jewelry Try On.
4. Tissot - Augmented Reality Watch Try-On at Selfridges
In 2010, luxury watch company Tissot invested in an Augmented Reality brand activation that ran for a limited time at Selfridges London. Holition, the developer of the app, claims that the activation led to an 85% lift in sales during the course of the promotion. It was great for PR due to the experimental nature of the shopping experience. Similar to the Bella Luna experience (both experiences were pre-markerless AR) shoppers had to wear or hold a paper watch band with an AR marker to try on Tissot’s AR watches.
Examples of Augmented Reality in Home Improvement
2. Lowe’s Home Improvement - Measured by Lowe's
3. Home Depot
4. Sherwin Williams
The Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap mobile app is focused on the problem of helping customers to narrow down their color choices. It allows people to match colors using photos or see how a color will look in a room. Benjamin Moore offers a similar experience, with a web-based AR tool that allows people to see how paint colors will appear. Customers can upload a photo from a computer, define areas, and select a paint color to see how it will look.
Augmented Reality Retail Apps for Fashion and Footwear
1. Gap – Gap Dressing Room AR App by Avametric
2. Nike SNKRS
Designed by a special office located in Manhattan called S23NYC (a reference to Michael Jordan’s number), the Nike SNKRS app is an experimental project that has been aimed at engaging with the quintessential sneaker collector, or what Fast Company refers to as “obsessed superfans.” The app uses a combination of exclusive promotions, geofencing and Augmented Reality to help fans unlock rare sneakers.
3. RIXO London
5. Converse – The Converse Sampler App
7. Airwalk – Invisible Pop Up Store by GoldRun
GoldRun founder Vivan Rosenthal was very early to the market with Augmented Reality solutions for retailers, specializing in a combination of AR and location-based marketing. To build brand awareness, back in 2010, the sneaker brand Airwalk created invisible pop-up stores in various locations in partnership with GoldRun. The app did millions in sales and the exclusive products sold out. In addition to Airwalk, Nike, AXE body spray and others created GoldRun AR real-world treasure hunt experiences (think of it as Pokemon GO for brands) between 2010 and 2013. In 2014, the company changed direction and its name (now it’s Snaps), and became a conversation cloud company.