E-COMMERCE

RETAILERS USING AR AND VR TO ADAPT QUICKLY: Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications are enabling retailers to more quickly determine the optimal layout for their stores, Retail TouchPoints reports. These programs allow companies to vary certain aspects of their store structure within virtual stores and then simulate customer behavior to gauge shoppers’ responses to potential new arrangements and displays. Using this technology, retailers can determine how their customers would react to major changes such as updated fixtures or rearranged aisles in as little as 10 days, where the process would normally take 15 to 20 weeks, according to Mark Hardy, CEO of InContext Solutions.

The use of a service like this may help brick-and-mortar retailers be more responsive to customer preferences. One of the main advantages of e-commerce is that cosmetic changes can be made very quickly to a website, and data about traffic and customer preferences is easier to collect. The ability to virtually test scenarios and only implement the successful ones may help brick-and-mortar retailers get closer to this level of adaptability.

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