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FOUR QUESTIONS RETAILERS NEED TO ASK ABOUT AUGMENTED REALITY

by Darrell K. Rigby, Mikey Vu, and Asit Goel

Whether they are shopping for spectacles or a sofa, consumers have no shortage of augmented reality apps to assist them these days. Following the viral success of Pokémon Go in 2016, hordes of retailers have embraced the technology.

Nintendo’s cellphone-enabled treasure hunt was the first big showcase for AR’s innovative blend of real-world and computer-generated images. Now the retail sector is using AR to sell items as diverse as furniture, cosmetics, home improvement products, and fashion.

Executives like the way that AR could help make online shopping feel as good as—or better than—shopping in person. Sephora’s app does this brilliantly, ...

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