How Augmented Technology is Changing the Retail Shopping Experience

by Yan Simard

Today’s consumers are highly spend-savvy. When they’re on the fence about a large purchase, be it a new vehicle, a luxury wardrobe addition, a designer purse, one thing's for certain: they’re not going to slap their hard-earned money down at a moment’s notice.

They need to know they are making the right purchase decision. They want to know that the make, model, brand and look add up to the perfect “fit” for them.

Until recently, this meant eyeing a product up in-store and returning home to conduct an ample amount of research into said product. Where is it made? How is it made? What type of guarantee or warranty does it have? Which colours or sizes does it come in? What have other consumers thought of it? These questions simply can’t be answered on an in-store price tag.

Once the consumer is satisfied by the information she’s collected, she may then run the idea by her friends and family via social networks, seeking their opinions to help make the final purchasing decision. And once she’s finally made up her mind? Well, there’s no guarantee she’ll return to make her purchase from the brick-and-mortar store she first saw the product in.

Augmented shopping is a mobile technology that greatly improves the purchasing process for consumers and luxury brands/retailers alike. It’s changing the way the world thinks of retail—in a big way. Here’s how:


There is a disconnect between the in-store and online shopping experiences. Augmented retail bridges this gap, creating a best-of-both-worlds scenario that yields the best possible customer experience.


An augmented shopping experience puts the information consumers would normally research at home at their fingertips while they are still in that brick-and-mortar store. Product information, peer reviews, videos, live help (no more waiting for the next available associate) and social sharing are all made available online in an easy-to-access format on their mobile devices. No app required.

Augmented shopping builds on the fact that consumers love to use their mobile devices for product research. In fact, 60% of consumers do product or service research “several times a month” via a mobile device. 90% of those mobile searches will lead to action.


Giving consumers access to the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision greatly increases the chance they will opt to make their purchases while they are still in-store. There’s no going home to research or shopping around.

Further, real-time targeted incentives pushed to the mobile devices of consumers while they are contemplating a particular product can help convert more window shoppers into customers. Did you know that 57% of shoppers say they would not have bought an item if they did not have a mobile coupon? What’s more is that 91% of those who received a mobile coupon said they were more likely to purchase from the store again.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of the augmented shopping experience from a brand and retailer’s perspective is the invaluable insight gained through consumer analytics. Information such as which products were viewed, when, how often, in which locations, whether they were purchased and if incentives were used are all examples of consumer data that was previously all but untrackable.

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Using Zaptap occurs in two simple steps. First look for the Zaptap tag on a product, then tap your phone on the tag. And voila! You now have enhanced product information including videos of the item in action, user reviews, special offers and coupons, and the ability to share your experiences with your friends—and solicit their advice and feedback—all in real-time. Zaptap is completely free for... more

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Yan Simard

Yan Simard

Zaptap was born when founder and CEO, Yan Simard, realized that information for retail items is often not readily available when it’s needed most; when consumers are in-store or using the item. As a result, Zaptap became the solution and is quickly becoming the global leader of Augmented Consumer Experience. Before he was offering Augmented Retail Experiences to retailers and creating social... more

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