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How to leverage mixed reality to augment your storefront experience

luxury shop window MR

Before diving into the specifics of mixed reality in luxury retail, let’s recap some definitions.

What is virtual reality?

VR (Virtual Reality) consists in the creation of a fully virtual environment which can be experienced using a special headset (e.g. HTC Vive, Oculus Quest,…). The virtual environment can be an imaginary world or a recreation of reality (using for instance 360° footage). VR users can interact with virtual objects. It is an immersive experience completely disconnected from the outside world. We advise VR for training purposes, when it makes sense to fully (re)create a controlled environment.

What is augmented reality?

AR (augmented reality) consists in the addition of a virtual layer on top of the physical world. It can be experienced through special glasses (e.g. Microsoft Hololens, Magic Leap,…) or simply via the screen of a smartphone. Anything can be superimposed onto our physical surroundings: static images, animated content, text, etc. Tourism / travel augmented guides are a great example of AR applications.

What is mixed reality?

In the MR (Mixed Reality) approach, augmented reality closely interacts with the physical surroundings. The typical example is a virtual watch face displayed on a physical bracelet. The bracelet triggers the apparition of the digital add-on.

Depending on the complexity of the implementation, the end user can either solely superimpose the digital object on specific triggers or fully interact with the digital overlay, as if it was part of reality.

Now, let’s dive in.

Since anything you can dream of can be superimposed on reality, there’s no limit to your imagination.

Nevertheless, here are a few concrete examples which can inspire your thought process.

Extend your operations after-hours

There are always risks to display expensive items in a shop window at night. 

Using mixing reality, you can enable nocturnal window shoppers to enjoy a presentation of your premium collection using their smartphone. 

Leveraging the magic of mixed reality, a window shopper can even extract an item on display outside of the shop window: displaying one of your watches on their own wrist, trying on a dress straight on the pavement (more about this later), saving a piece of furniture on their smartphone to see how it fits in their living room when they’ll be back home, etc.

They can even share their experience on social media.

Attach information to the products on display

Using mixed reality, window shoppers can access additional information about the items on display (e.g. the biography of an artist in front of a painting or the details of the materials of a luxury bag).

AR in ART,

Offer the convenience of magic mirrors

Smart magic mirrors enable passers-by to test make-up products or try on clothes in augmented reality.

Smart magic mirrors in shop windows
Smart magic mirrors in shop windows

Expand the catalogue

You can’t display all your stock in the storefront window.

But mixed reality can help you expand the catalogue, for a specific category (variants) or for items not even represented in your physical display.

It’s like bringing e-commerce onto the high street.

Mastercard Saks MR Experience
Mastercard Saks MR Experience

You can even make physical triggers shoppable through mixed reality, generating extra income in the middle of the night!

Luxury at your customers’ fingertips, whenever they want, the ultimate form of convenience.

Facilitate the arrangement of shop windows

Mixed reality can help your teams properly implement the arrangement of shop windows, following detailed on-screen instructions given via the headset, superimposed on the physical setup.

Magic Leap headset, which can be used for merchandising purposes

Local visual merchandisers can be remotely assisted to solve specific placement issues. 

This smooth process ensures full compliance with the brand guidelines.

Contact us to discuss how you can leverage mixed reality to augment your retail experience

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