Guest contribution • 14.02.2022

Using augmented reality in online retail

Snap Inc’s new AR glasses – soon part of everyday life?

A portrait of the author Dr. Ulrich Clemens
Dr. Ulrich Clemens is chief marketing officer at Scanblue
Source: Scanblue

We are seeing a steady rise in the use of augmented reality apps on smartphones and tablets. California-based Snap Inc., the company behind the Snapchat app, is making new inroads into expanding the field of AR vision and with it possible applications for augmented reality via smart glasses.

The "Spectacles 4" look like a pair of futuristic sunglasses and, at just 134 grams, are only slightly heavier than your average, everyday eyeglasses. This makes them particularly attractive for e-commerce.

You might initially wonder: "AR glasses? For every day? Is that something I really need?" And, in light of the Google Glass debacle, might even be inclined to dismiss them outright.

But these spectacles are worth a closer look. To date, augmented reality apps that integrate digital content into the real world have primarily been used on small smartphone or somewhat larger tablet screens. A considerable limitation that might not be immediately apparent, since the excitement of adding a virtual sofa to a real environment initially outweighs it. But it is exactly this limitation that everyday AR glasses will eliminate.

An image of a shoe displayed on a tablet
Source: Scanblue

Enriching real environments with virtual objects

Experts are confident we’ll be seeing such AR glasses soon. It has long been rumoured that Apple and Facebook are quite far along in the development process. The idea is to enrich the user's real environment with virtual objects - without the limitation of looking at a smartphone.

That Snap Inc. is the one kicking off the race for a new generation of AR glasses is only surprising at first glance. In the AR field, Snapchat already offers users a range of exciting features and has been purposefully developing its app in recent years from something just for fun into a powerful marketing and e-commerce channel.

Snapchat can be used to scan and immediately identify products, companies, and brands, for example. A direct shopping feature – where users don’t have to leave the portal – was updated just at the start of this year.

Marketing and e-commerce with AR

The new AR glasses are the next important step. Outfitted with two cameras, four microphones, two speakers and a translucent display with up to 2,000 nits of peak brightness, they can track hands, markers and, of course, the surface of an environment. This presents exciting new options - and not just for the gaming industry. Using AR to expand reality is also a logical and, above all, very promising step for marketing and e-commerce. Augmented reality enhances product presentation, increases involvement, and can be an effective tool in significantly reducing customer returns.

A picture of a tent displayed on a tablet
Source: Scanblue

It doesn't get more personal: augmented reality at home

E-commerce managers understand the importance of perfecting the customer journey today: In the face of ever-increasing competition, offering customers relevant and interesting information, services, and offers is the key to success.  AR adds a new dimension to the shopping experience. Buyers can view products in their actual environment, increasing personal involvement and attractiveness. Products are also much easier to assess than from a simple photo in an online store. This cuts down on returns, which are expensive for retailers and annoying for customers.

Let’s look at an example: Vorwerk’s very popular Thermomix, a one-of-a-kind kitchen appliance.  Buyers can and want to use their Thermomix every day, so they don’t want the hassle of digging it out of a cupboard each time. But will it fit on the worktop? And will it be an attractive addition to the kitchen? Thanks to AR, customers can answer these questions without bringing in an actual Thermomix by using a smartphone to add a virtual Thermomix to the kitchen and view it from all angles.  

AR support is also a good way to select just the right TRIO lamp. Not only can customers view models from all sides on a smartphone; they can also place or hang them where they would actually go in their homes. This means a buyer can already see what the new lamp will look like in a room before placing an order.

Spectacles 4 is currently being tested with selected customers and the official market launch is still a way off. Still, retailers and manufacturers should be getting ready for this expansion in product presentation because one thing is very clear: Adventurous early adopters with the financial means will be eager to take advantage of every opportunity to try out the new technology, especially during the initial phase. This means AR content will be more in demand than ever before.

Author: Dr. Ulrich Clemens, Scanblue

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: EuroCIS 2022: Electronic shelf labels – electronically labeled...
04.12.2021   #Tech in Retail #electronic shelf labels (ESL)

EuroCIS 2022: Electronic shelf labels – electronically labeled

Digital prices conquer the space

More and more retailers are trying out electronic shelf labels. Why? More speed in price changes and less manual work for staff are only two of the many reasons.EuroCIS from 15-17 February 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany, will showcase a wide range ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Top 5 robot trends 2022
24.02.2022   #Tech in Retail #trend research

Top 5 robot trends 2022

IFR reports on increase of adoption, easier operation and automation

The operational stock of industrial robots hit a new record of about 3 million units worldwide – increasing by 13% on average each year (2015-2020). The International Federation of Robotics analyzes the top 5 trends shaping robotics and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Perfect Corp. unveils new beauty technology
29.11.2021   #digital marketing #services

Perfect Corp. unveils new beauty technology

AI-based solution for online manicure experiences

Perfect Corp., has announced the launch of its state-of-the-art AI-powered AR Virtual Try-On for Nails solution. The unique digital manicure experience revolutionizes the nail polish and nail art shopping journey by providing beauty shoppers with a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Electronic shelf labels - electronically labeled...
15.03.2022   #digitization #coronavirus

Electronic shelf labels - electronically labeled

On the way to becoming a standard: Digital prices conquer the space

More and more retailers are trying out electronic shelf labels. Why? More speed in price changes and less manual work for staff are only two of the many reasons. EuroCIS, The Leading Trade Fair for Retail Technology, from 31 May - 02 June 2022 in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Payment market and retail: The trends for 2022...
07.01.2022   #mobile payment #sustainability

Payment market and retail: The trends for 2022

Secure, personalized, convenient – How will e-payment develop in the near future?

Over the past two years, consumer shopping habits have changed significantly – especially in Germany and Europe – and with them the structural orientation of retailers and companies. Convenient online shopping and digital payment methods ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Fostering engaged and connected store associates with real-time solutions...
24.03.2022   #online trading #personnel management

Fostering engaged and connected store associates with real-time solutions

Smart store communication solutions increase employee motivation and responsiveness

As fall shifts to winter, retailers are preparing themselves for the upcoming holiday season. During these months, they face significant pressure to provide a superior experience for both their employees and customers, all while maximizing profits ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Israeli companies cooperate on smart shopping carts...
18.12.2021   #food retail #Tech in Retail

Israeli companies cooperate on smart shopping carts

Supermarket chain Machsanei Hashuk integrates solution by WalkOut for intelligent shopping carts

The Israeli company WalkOut, the developer of an autonomous end-to-end frictionless shopping solution, announces an extensive cooperation agreement with Machsanei Hashuk, one of the largest supermarket chains in Israel. As part of the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Sainsbury’s introduces contactless, checkout-free shopping with...
28.12.2021   #brick and mortar retail #coronavirus

Sainsbury’s introduces contactless, checkout-free shopping with SmartShop Pick & Go

New initiative available at Holborn Circus using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology

Sainsbury’s is launching a new in-store digital innovation with a contactless, checkout-free way to shop. Building on the success of SmartShop, which grew 173% last year, SmartShop Pick & Go is using Amazon’s Just Walk Out ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Albertsons Companies launches new digital meal planning features...
16.01.2022   #customer satisfaction #mobile shopping

Albertsons Companies launches new digital meal planning features

Shoppers can now complete meal planning and shopping in under 10 minutes and easily keep essentials stocked at home

Albertsons Companies, Inc. announced the launch of two new digital offerings – meal planning and Schedule & Save. The new capabilities will offer loyalty members integrated menu planning and shopping list creation and the ability to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Amazon Go or Amazon No?
07.02.2022   #brick and mortar retail #self-checkout systems

"Amazon Go" or "Amazon No"?

Our iXtenso editor tested a “just-walk-out store” from Amazon in Chicago

Is Amazon's ambitious "Amazon Go" project quietly going under? Or is it about to catch on and become ubiquitous? I tried to find answers to these questions at a store in Chicago.  ...


Wiener Strasse 10
10999 Berlin
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen
shopreme gmbh
Brückenkopfgasse 1
8020 Graz
Stockumer Kirchstraße 61
40474 Düsseldorf
iXtenso - retail trends
iXtenso - retail trends
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
Shin Heung Precision Co., Ltd. SAM4S
Flat C-911, Woorim Lion's Valley 168, Gasan Digital 1-Ro, Geumcheon-gu
08507 Seoul
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Otto-Hirsch-Brücken 17
70329 Stuttgart
SALTO Systems GmbH
SALTO Systems GmbH
Schwelmer Str. 245
42389 Wuppertal