Enriching Retail Customer Experience Using Augmented Reality

Nageswaran Vaidyanathan

Research output: Book/ReportPhD thesis

2362 Downloads (Pure)


This thesis investigates Augmented Reality (AR) as a technology with important implications for addressing and enhancing customer experiences in the retail industry. Technical inventions in devices such as mobile handsets, head-worn glasses, interactive mirrors, and a range of wearable devices have paved the ground for AR and other immersive technologies to spread rapidly into new contexts of use. In the retail domain, this inroad of AR happens at a time when the industry is subject to a significant transformation that involves changes to structures, processes, and roles and, ultimately, a fundamental shift in the competitive logic, from enabling an efficient transaction to the formation of holistic customer experiences. Positioning AR as part of this industry-level transformation, the thesis seeks to explain the relationship between AR and customer experiences as well as provide guidance for the design of AR solutions which will have a positive impact on such experiences.
The research employs an integrated customer experience framework to analyze the impact of the AR solution in two qualitative case studies, one based on a head-mounted device to enrich an in-shop experience, and the other based on a smartphone app to enrich a mobile experience. With this analysis, the thesis develops an explanatory model that connects AR solution characteristics to the production and perception of customer experiences, through nine distinct impact mechanisms.
Then, building on the explanatory model to articulate guidance for the design of AR solutions, the thesis argues the need to turn to human-centered approaches that can fit evolving technological possibilities to context-specific requirements for enhanced customer experiences. By analyzing two additional cases with a focus on the design process, the thesis specifies a human-centered approach and a set of actionable guidelines that cover how to effectively use human-centered approaches in the context of AR design for enhanced retail experiences.
The thesis documents the potentially transformative impact of AR on how customer experiences are created by retailers and perceived by consumers in retail. However, the analysis demonstrates that these effects require an AR design approach that considers the holistic customer experience. When seeking to leverage emergent technical possibilities, the use scenario must be relevant both to the actors involved in the production of the experience, and to the intended users who should perceive the experience positively.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [Phd]
Number of pages242
ISBN (Print)9788793956766
ISBN (Electronic)9788793956773
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesPhD Series

Cite this