Designing Augmented Reality Services for Enhanced Customer Experiences in Retail

Nageswaran Vaidyanathan, Stefan Henningsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose: To deliver superior customer experiences, retailers are increasingly turning to augmented reality (AR) technologies for new digital services that can enhance their customer interactions. The potential of AR has been validated in lab experiments, but when implemented in real-world contexts, its commercial impact has been limited. Therefore, this paper investigates how to design AR-based services (AR services) that enhance customer experiences in retail.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper uses a conceptual research approach to integrate research on AR in the context of retail, combining customer, retailer, and technical perspectives with the design thinking method to demonstrate how the challenge of AR service design can be addressed through design thinking.

Findings: The paper develops propositions that explain how a design thinking method is useful in the design of effective AR services. The paper also articulates principles for how to implement the design thinking method in the specific context of AR for enhanced customer experiences.

Practical implications: The study documents critical practices for retailers seeking to be competitive with superior customer experiences under the increasing digitalization of retailer-customer interactions.

Originality/value: The study contributes to the service design literature by answering the call to develop moderately abstracted explanations of how different digital technologies can be used to provision new services in different application domains, with the focus here being the design of AR services in the context of retail.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)78-99
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 7 September 2022.


  • Augmented reality
  • Retailing
  • Customer experience
  • Design thinking

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