London Dynamics – the augmented reality (AR) start-up founded by Michael Valdsgaard, former head of digital transformation at IKEA – has developed a next-generation AR platform that enables retail brands to revolutionise the way customers interact and explore their products digitally to increase sales, strengthen brand loyalty and reduce the rate of returns.
In addition to a range of AR integrations for products from wearables to furniture to customisable luxury items, London Dynamics is also showcasing the cutting-edge skillsets required for the development of lightweight, browser-based, app-free solutions. These are capable of rendering true-to-life 3D models, textures and lighting, all on a platform that can scale to the demands of global retailers. Most importantly, London Dynamics is developing solutions which are platform agnostic so immediately available to anyone.
With so many more people engaging with brands and retailers online, AR provides businesses with significant advantages to nurture engagement, build relationships and emotional connections, as well as convert sales in a very competitive marketplace. Early adopters of the technology have already realised the benefits of personalised and targeted marketing. AR can help retail leaders offer their customers the next level of online shopping by enabling ‘try before you buy’ for any ecommerce platform.
“The evidence of massive disruption buffeting retailers in the UK can’t be denied,” says Valdsgaard. “The Office of National Statistics reported that as much as 21 per cent of retail sales were made online in December 2019, an increase of six per cent, while over 10 thousand in-store retail jobs were cut in the first weeks of 2020 alone. Lasting change isn’t coming for retail, it’s already here, and AR has similarly arrived to offer a new and powerful way to respond to changing customer demographics and demands.”
Valdsgaard continues: “With London Dynamics, I want retailers and brands to have an accessible, ‘plug and play’ solution for AR; allowing their customers to make better purchase decisions and convert sales by adding a physical experience to online shopping. Without a shadow of a doubt, AR has the potential to entirely overturn the way we look for, buy, and sell things online.”
He concludes: “The UK has a credible claim as one of the largest and most sophisticated retail markets in the world. This presents huge opportunity for retailers, and technologists like us. With access to the right talent, infrastructure and a digitally fluent and urban customer base, London has real potential to become the global launchpad for the most ambitious and exciting retail experiences in the world.”