According to an article by Fast Company, Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items worldwide in 2017 through Prime alone, all of which required packaging material that ended up on the scrapheap. Package waste is a huge issue for the retail industry, labelled by many in the recycling business as the Amazon Effect.
To the credit of the innovators at Amazon – with nothing more than cardboard boxes, they have out-manoeuvered the retail industry with eco-friendly boxes that offer an augmented reality experience. The new boxes use less material than previous boxes and feature a large white pumpkin on the side, where customers can draw whatever design they desire and see it come to life via augmented reality. Customers need to download Amazon’s AR app and scan the QR code on the box with their phone camera. Once the code is scanned, an animated recreation of the drawing will come to life on screen, similar to Snapchat’s AR filters.
With 5G around the corner retailers should be seriously investing in AR platforms and content. According to the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield 2020 retail report:
– 81% of customers are willing to pay more for experiences
– 75% of shoppers expect the majority of retail space to be taken up by experiences by 2025
Integration of augmented reality in marketing aims to build consumer relationships, boost sales and add value to the shopping experience.