Or not. Last December we talked about how retailers are using technology such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to drive customer engagement and sales during the holiday shopping rush. Today we’re looking at how retailers and landlords are using these technologies to enhance consumer engagement year-round.
Augmented reality is a new tool that retailers have been using to help people visualize products in their home, or on themselves. As consumers increasingly value experience, ease of access, and quality of service in their purchase decision-making, AR is proving to be a valuable tool for companies.
Within real estate, landlords are incorporating new technologies into their leasing programs. Where once they may have been required to perform a complete build-out and spec unit, AR and VR may now provide a more cost-effective tool to show the potential for a space.
Just about. It can also show you what the house would like like without a roof, with a new roof, or even what’s under the roof. The potential of AR for commercial real estate use was showcased at the ICSC RECon in Las Vegas last year. Ben Friedman of Imbibe built a 3D model of a redevelopment project for a client. The technology allowed prospective tenants a look at what the future development would look like through a virtual reality walk-through of the property. Friedman described the experience saying, “Being able to pitch a movie theater, for example, or a food hall, and not just have that single, inactive and unexciting still image but to enable them to see and walk around and experience the property to scale is a tremendous asset”
For companies who use this technology, experiences and interactions with AR and VR will provide even more data about what consumers buy, what influences their purchasing decisions, and how they engage with commercial spaces. Data (as always) is king, and while AR and VR technologies will enhance consumer experience and could drive spending, what may be most valuable is the information that experts will be able to access to further understand consumer spending habits and market trends.
“With advancements in augmented and virtual realities, you can expect to see once technology-immune industries like commercial real estate to experience rapid growth in online competition”
– Dave Correia, Analyst, Goman+York