The past few years have been filled with the fear of an impending “retail apocalypse” that will leave all physical stores empty and abandoned in its wake. In 2017 alone, 21 major retailers filed for bankruptcy. But in their State of Retail 2017 report, TimeTrade found that more than 70% of consumers would still prefer to shop a brick and mortar store over its online counterpart. If consumers still want to shop in store, what is actually contributing to the retail apocalypse?
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are taking the world by storm, and many retail stores are dabbling in the growing technology trend. Big-name furniture stores are starting to offer apps that allow users to virtually “place” an item in their home to see how it will look and if it fits in their space. Retail clothing stores are creating virtual dressing room apps that allow consumers to virtually “try on” clothing from the comfort of their own homes. All they need to gain access to this technology is an app and a smartphone camera.