Contact Us

How Augmented Reality Will Continue To Take Retail By Storm


As retailers continue to embrace technology in hopes of catering to changing consumer preferences, CBRE Americas head of retail Melina Cordero said phenomena like Pokémon Go will continue to hit the industry in the near future.

The augmented reality game took real estate by storm when it launched this month, reviving neighborhoods and bringing foot traffic to retail destinations that may have been struggling to compete with e-commerce.

Bars and restaurants around the country are benefiting as most Pokéstops are near their establishments, and Melina (below) tells Bisnow as time progresses, she wouldn't be surprised if retailers and restaurants became sponsors of the location-based game.

“It's the merging of the digital and the physical…How do we get the best of both worlds and minimize the negative? It’s an interesting opportunity for restaurants and cafés and (at some point) they may start paying to be locations," she says. "I’m sure people are furiously trying to come up with similar games that achieve the same geospatial concept.”

Retailers Embrace Technology


Ten years ago the traditional mall could thrive on a few department store anchors and a couple of dozen boutiques, but today shoppers require more of an experience, an incentive to get them off the couch and into physical stores.

Though some retailers have struggled to incorporate tech into their business models in the past—which resulted in the closing and consolidation of several stores due to slow sales—many have adapted. In a May report, CBRE said 92% of retail sales still take place in brick-and-mortar locations and consumer preferences still swing in favor of in-store purchases.

In the end the retailers' goal is to get consumers to make purchases in the physical stores as opposed to online. And augmented reality will increasingly be used to do so.

Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality


Bisnow has told you about the perks of virtual reality for the industry, such as the immersive experiences that allow developers, brokers and potential tenants to experience a project before it exists, and the cost-cutting and time-saving that can streamline a difficult project through the design phase.

The perks of augmented reality are fairly similar. Where virtual reality is interactive, allowing users to see a different reality, and interact with it in real time, augmented reality displays a 3D virtual layer on top of the real world.

And though it's been growing in popularity for a few years, the new Pokémon Go app has revolutionized how retailers can use the technology to boost sales.

In the past, retailers have used augmented reality to boost sales. Furniture stores have created apps that allow patrons to see what potential furniture or decor would look like in their homes, and apparel retailers have allowed customers to see what clothes will look like on them. And as Pokémon Go continues to grow, Melina says the game will soon inspire the creation of a new wave of tech, and the retail sector is sure to benefit.

“What’s interesting about it is that all shapes, sizes and ages of people are playing,” Melina says. “I walked out of the office in DC one day and there were two grown men holding their phones playing Pokémon Go. It’s created an interesting community.”