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Emma McRae B00488107


AUgmentedreality in retail (Next PLC)


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Benefits for consumer

References & Question

Augmented Reality evolution

What is AR?

Benefits for NEXT

Why use AR?


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  • Augmented reality (AR) is a technology which incorporates virtual reality with in-person reality.
  • AR has been defined by Olsson et al (2013, p 288) as a technique ‘to combine real and computer-generated digital information into the user’s view of the physical world in such a way they appear as one environment’.
  • Augmented reality has become more popular due to consumers desire to bridge the gap between shopping in-store and online.
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What is Augmented reality?

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An article by H&M Group (2021) discussed how the retail company had begun to use AI to strengthen the shopping experience of their consumers. Within the article Frans Borgstrand is quoted saying "By creating digital twins of our products, customers can try on clothes virtually”. Creating 'digital twins' of their products allows consumers greater freedom in their shopping experience and allows for a more comfortable experience from their own home. Virtual try-on saves the consumer time and travel expenses whilst allowing them to try-on the product without the stress of in-person shopping and try-on. This also allows the consumer to make the most of their shopping experience with less stress and strain.The way in which H&M use AI to provide the consumer with more detail and better viewing experiences for their products is closely related to that of how augmented reality could change shopping experiences for Next consumers.

Why use AR?

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  • AR can be beneficial to not only organisations but the employees:
  • Employees within the retail industry can use AR for more realistic training situations without the consistent travel and expenses, the incorporation of the virtual world alongside the real environment and surroundings could improve the efficiency and understanding of training sessions employees must complete.
  • AR could also be beneficial to the organisation and employees as additional experience with day-to-day scenarios and tasks can be provided through Augmented reality. Examples of this could be sales transactions, sales floor knowledge and retail environment awareness. Using the virtual aspect to create these real life scenarios which employes complete daily. Overall this could improve performance and productivity.
  • The benefits which Augmented reality provides for retail employees will massively benefit Next as a retail company as the improved efficiency, performance and morale of employees due to the use of AR will be highlighted within their customer service and sales.
Figure1: Next PLC (2024) Figure 2: Ayshford (2023)

What are the benefits to next PLC AND EMPLOYEES?

-Augmented reality can provide consumers with an authentic shopping experience with improved efficiency whilst saving time, common questions & quieries and resources.- AR allows customers to test products before making the final decision to purchase. Due to the incorporation of both virutal reality and real-life reality, consumers can use this tool online to view the product digitally in their own home environment. This gives the consumer an accurate idea of the products size, design and whether they wish to purchase the product. -Augmented reality can also improve customer service as the feature allows consumers to view and learn about their products before purchase, this can eliminate some confusion and save time with common questions and complaints. -Overall AR can greatly benefit the consumer as the feature provides a better insight into products before purchase whilst allowing the consumer to see the product in their home, making the final purchase decision easier with less confusion and queries. Figure 1: Next PLC (2024)


Figure 1: Milgram and Kishino (1994)Figure 2: Forbes (2018)

Augmented reality in the present day comes as an evolution of technology from previous ideas and visions. Figure 1 shows the '90s vision for future technology. Milgram and kishino proposed the idea of 'Mixed Reality' which is essentially Augmented reality minus the technological advancements in the present day. Figure 2 illustrates the differences between VR, AR and MR.Augmented reality or Mixed Reality would be the most beneficial to Next plc as unlike VR, both technologies allow the consumer to view both the real-life environment as well as the virtual environment. This provides the consumer with more information, detail and awareness of the product before purchase.

The Evolution of AR

Yungiang Chen et al 2019 J. Phys: Conf. Ser. 1237 022082 Available at: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/1237/2/022082/meta Accessed: 22/03/24 N/A Augmented Reality explained in 1 minute | Augmented Reality for Beginners | AR Available at: https://youtu.be/wwzAqTZKfss?si=zNk91izjagscSCzK Accessed: 23/03/24 Relation between Participants’ Conceptual Knowledge Level & Dimensions of Felder–Silverman Method. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cae.21853?casa_token=oVCQx3Ah0y0AAAAA%3AKIYiF73oQQfupXW6dwK2rK2QdPejGP_JSKVtJUiQbX7FL7iogl1a97G52LsK_bod23B3JZozfARIjYg Accessed: 26/03/24 Bonetti, F., Warnaby, G., Quinn, L. (2018). Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Physical and Online Retailing: A Review, Synthesis and Research Agenda. In: Jung, T., tom Dieck, M. (eds) Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Progress in IS. Springer, Cham. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-64027-3_9 Accessed: 24/03/24 Ayshford, “Got a niche product to sell? Augmented reality might help” Published online 02/06/23. Available at: https://www.forbesindia.com/article/kellogg-school-of-management/got-a-niche-product-to-sell-augmented-reality-might-help/85323/1 Accessed: 25/03/24 Reality-virtuality Continuum (Milgram and Kishino 1994) Figure 1-3: Available at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frvir.2021.647997/full Accessed: 26/03/24 N/A Next PLC (2024) Available at: https://www.nextplc.co.uk/about-next/at-a-glance Accessed: 25/03/24 N/A Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/02/02/the-difference-between-virtual-reality-augmented-reality-and-mixed-reality/ Accessed: 25/03/24 Olsson, T., Lagerstam, E., Karkkainen, T., & Vaananen, K. (2013). Expected user experience of mobile augmented reality services: a user study in the context of shopping centres. Personal and ubiquitous Computing, 17(2), P 288 H&M Group (2021) Taking Sustainable fashion to a new level of tech Available at: https://hmgroup.com/our-stories/taking-sustainable-fashion-to-a-new-level-with-tech/ Accessed: 26/03/24


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