Title: Augmenting reality: fusing consumers' experiences and interactions with immersive technologies in physical retail settings

Authors: Francesca Bonetti; Eleonora Pantano; Gary Warnaby; Lee Quinn

Addresses: School of Materials, The University of Manchester, UK; University of the Arts London, London, UK ' Department of Management, University of Bristol, UK ' Institute of Place Management, Faculty of Business and Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK ' Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University, UK

Abstract: Drawing upon previous research into immersive environments and technology-enhanced stores, this exploratory study elucidates the concept of the 'augmented store' – a physical store modified to accommodate augmented reality (AR) technology. In doing so, it extends previous research conducted in experimental laboratory settings to an empirical real-world scenario. Qualitative data gathered from interviews with, and observation of, consumers using AR technology in-store are analysed to provide naturalistic understandings of interactions with, and perceptions of, a physical store enhanced with AR technology. Findings suggest that consumers appreciate the ability to experience an enhanced, more immersive store environment arising from the AR experience. They perceive interaction with the augmented store to be 'realistic' and articulated hedonic motivations as drivers for interaction in this shopping environment. The augmented store appears to stimulate brand engagement, increasing consumers' desire to shop at the retailer, providing managerial opportunities to reinforce brand positioning.

Keywords: retailing; human-computer interaction; augmented store; augmented reality; consumer behaviour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2019.104592

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2019 Vol.13 No.3/4, pp.260 - 284

Received: 29 Nov 2018
Accepted: 11 Mar 2019

Published online: 20 Jan 2020 *

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