Stimulating customers to come to a store and dilating the purchasing experience into environments of mixed reality, Augmented Reality (AR) can be conceptualized as a new strategic/operative marketing approach able to bring to life the retail stores. In actual fact, AR − as an addition of information in real environments, since 3D virtual objects are integrated into a 3D real environment in real time, enhancing the user’s perception of and interaction with the real world (Azuma, 1997; Caudell and Mitzell,1992) – redesigns retail spaces by promoting a different mode of customer perceptions and sense making (Hoffman and Novak, 2012). According to the technology acceptance model (TAM − Davis, 1989, 1993) and its contextualization in applying augmented reality in stores (Olson et al., 2012) some elements are widely assumed to be relevant drivers of the user’s acceptance and the intention to use the technology. The main factors are: perceived usefulness, as the ability to access relevant product information via augmented reality applications (apps); perceived ease of use, as the user-friendliness of the application; perceived enjoyment − as the extent to which the activity of using a technology ‘is perceived to be enjoyable in its own right’ (Spreer and Kallweit, 2014, p. 21). Moreover, interacting with augmented reality through gesture controls seems to be promising from the users’ perspective. Stand alone installations, instant 3D models, QR codes, concept kiosks, apps, and so on, allow customers to virtually interact with the offer and other consumers as well, exchanging information, impressions and comments. In this sense, reality is socially augmented and the shopping experience itself becomes a social experience. Consumers try on products in a social atmosphere, linking the application to e-commerce offers interesting opportunities (Raajan et al., 2013). As a consequence of these technological and time changes in the contact between customer and goods/services, retailers need to modify their distributive strategies in order to accommodate today’s fast-paced shoppers. Optimization of local search, aggregation platforms and offer buildings and local referral marketing on social networks (Kang et al., 2015) are the main areas to connect brick-and-mortar shopping experience with the benefits of digital channels (Heinemann and Gaiser, 2015, p. 55). Thus, purchases take place in new spaces pending among digital and physical organization. In this way the integration of the channels, both physical and digital, aims at realizing a single intuitive and integrated distribution system, synthesized in the use of smart shopping carts and then of mobile devices and augmented solutions. Along with the objective of consumer behavior of going through cross-media and bridge-experiences, new retailers’ challenge consists in developing an integration able to enrich the user experience. At last, the omni-channel approach provides that a full interaction can be triggered by customer and a full integration is controlled by retailers (Verhoef et al., 2015; Beck and Rygl, 2015).

Augmented Reality in Stores for a New Customer Experience: The Case of ‘The Supermarket of the Future’ at Expo 2015

CUOMO, Maria Teresa;FESTA, GIUSEPPE;METALLO, Gerardino;TORTORA, DEBORA
2016

Abstract

Stimulating customers to come to a store and dilating the purchasing experience into environments of mixed reality, Augmented Reality (AR) can be conceptualized as a new strategic/operative marketing approach able to bring to life the retail stores. In actual fact, AR − as an addition of information in real environments, since 3D virtual objects are integrated into a 3D real environment in real time, enhancing the user’s perception of and interaction with the real world (Azuma, 1997; Caudell and Mitzell,1992) – redesigns retail spaces by promoting a different mode of customer perceptions and sense making (Hoffman and Novak, 2012). According to the technology acceptance model (TAM − Davis, 1989, 1993) and its contextualization in applying augmented reality in stores (Olson et al., 2012) some elements are widely assumed to be relevant drivers of the user’s acceptance and the intention to use the technology. The main factors are: perceived usefulness, as the ability to access relevant product information via augmented reality applications (apps); perceived ease of use, as the user-friendliness of the application; perceived enjoyment − as the extent to which the activity of using a technology ‘is perceived to be enjoyable in its own right’ (Spreer and Kallweit, 2014, p. 21). Moreover, interacting with augmented reality through gesture controls seems to be promising from the users’ perspective. Stand alone installations, instant 3D models, QR codes, concept kiosks, apps, and so on, allow customers to virtually interact with the offer and other consumers as well, exchanging information, impressions and comments. In this sense, reality is socially augmented and the shopping experience itself becomes a social experience. Consumers try on products in a social atmosphere, linking the application to e-commerce offers interesting opportunities (Raajan et al., 2013). As a consequence of these technological and time changes in the contact between customer and goods/services, retailers need to modify their distributive strategies in order to accommodate today’s fast-paced shoppers. Optimization of local search, aggregation platforms and offer buildings and local referral marketing on social networks (Kang et al., 2015) are the main areas to connect brick-and-mortar shopping experience with the benefits of digital channels (Heinemann and Gaiser, 2015, p. 55). Thus, purchases take place in new spaces pending among digital and physical organization. In this way the integration of the channels, both physical and digital, aims at realizing a single intuitive and integrated distribution system, synthesized in the use of smart shopping carts and then of mobile devices and augmented solutions. Along with the objective of consumer behavior of going through cross-media and bridge-experiences, new retailers’ challenge consists in developing an integration able to enrich the user experience. At last, the omni-channel approach provides that a full interaction can be triggered by customer and a full integration is controlled by retailers (Verhoef et al., 2015; Beck and Rygl, 2015).
978-1-85924-614-6
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4670468
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