The high street is in danger, and some stores are turning to futuristic technologies to help stave off the likes of Amazon and JD.com. But what exactly is possible, and where could it lead us?
Retail sales are moving to online, as we all know, and could represent half of the UK retail market by the end of the decade. While there’s something to be said for the halo effect: when a shopper is more likely to spend money in a store after buying products from them online, and vice versa, it’s unlikely to fully make up for the British consumer’s overall decrease in interest in the high street
What then can retailers do to make a trip to the shops less of a chore, and more of a day out? Some stores in the UK have tried anything from live music to home baking workshops, but there’s a piece of technology currently being trialled in stores around the world: Augmented Reality, or AR. While it doesn’t have quite the sci-fi legacy of its big sister Virtual Reality, AR is a wider and more versatile medium, ranging in 2020 from smartphone apps to bulky thousand-pound headsets. But it seems that all kinds of industries have been utilising AR technology in an attempt to entice customers through their doors.
Special thanks for this blog goes to Geolytix for allowing us to feature it here and to Josh Reynolds, the author.