New retail tech helps build brand loyalty

Retailers that make the best use of new technology are more likely to build a loyal customer base, according to new research.

Mixed reality agency DigitalBridge found that UK consumers are more loyal to brands that offer access to technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), BusinessCloud reports.

In a survey, 50% of consumers said they would be be more loyal to a company that offered AR visualisation either in-store or online. The figure rises to 69% among those aged 18-24, and this group also said it would be more likely to shop with a brand that offered AI tools like chatbots.

However, the potential is not limited to a particular demographic, as 59% of 25-34 year olds, 48% of 35-44 year olds and 46% of 45-54 year olds said that new technology plays a key role in converting them into loyal customers.

Being able to preview products in the real world to see what they would look like and being able to “try on” multiple options before spending money are seen as the key advantages of AR in retail.

“Technology has completely changed how people shop and engage with businesses and brands but now the pressure is on to improve every point of the consumer experience,” said DigitalBridge CEO David Levine.

Many consumers have had their first taste of AR thanks to the new augmented reality features on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

“Since the new iPhones launched we have seen an explosion of augmented reality tools and consumers clearly see this technology as the thing that will move the retail sector into the future,” Levine said. “Being able to preview products virtually at home before spending money is something retailers have never been able to let their customers do, but AR makes this a possibility and is something that will become more the norm as the technology continues to improve.”

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