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How augmented reality is transforming the retail industry

Retailers want cost-effective solutions and strategies to upscale their operations. Augmented reality (AR) offers a wide range of functionalities that leverages costs and saves time.

Manage the supply chain in real time

Store managers are required to keep track of items both in the store and in the inventory, place bulk orders, and manage order fulfillment. Using Zoho Lens, store managers can effectively manage operations all from one place, like getting an estimate from sales staff, checking inventory before placing orders, and processing customer’s requests or returns just by connecting to staff’s smartphone cameras or smart glasses.

Augmented Reality in Retail Industry

Collaborate from any location

Problems with machine-handling equipment (MHE) and in-store machinery like forklifts, trucks, point-of-service machines, and cash registers can slow down retail operations and inevitably affect customers’ in-store experience. Store managers can get immediate virtual help from technicians to fix those issues and minimize third-party expenses and maintenance downtime.

Augmented Reality in Retail Industry

Maintain a multipurpose knowledge base

Zoho Lens allows you to record sessions, take notes and snapshots, and store them in one place. Operators can keep a record of the products passing through each stage of inventory handling along with the process involved, which can be accessed by staff for training, quality assurance, and auditing purposes.

Augmented Reality in Retail Industry

Provide an immersive training experience

Managers can immediately deploy newly hired personnel for inventory management and provide on-site training with minimal risks using visual pointers and annotations. They can also add specific instructions to individual annotations that can be viewed anytime during the session.

Augmented Reality in Retail Industry

Handle goods hands-free

Order fulfillment and processing returns need to be done swiftly to maintain customer satisfaction, and these processes can be delayed if the staff is hurdled by paper lists and receipts. Zoho Lens has partnered with global smart glass manufacturers like Vuzix, Epson, and Realwear so you can receive AR work instructions and scan inventory lists without disrupting your workflow.

Augmented Reality in Retail Industry

Here's how Zoho Lens' augmented reality works in the retail industry

Transform the way you provide retail services and enhance your customers’ post-purchase experience in just three steps.


Get Connected

Managers can start or schedule a remote session with a customer from any device. They can send the customer an invite through SMS or email or send an employee the join link.


See what your customer sees

Once the customer joins the session, you can view the purchased product through their live camera stream.


Collaborate through text, voice chat, and AR tools

Managers can quickly communicate to the customer through text or voice chat. With AR annotations, they can analyze the issue in depth and guide the customer towards

Optimize the retail experience with these key features

Below are just some of the many features in Zoho Lens that can help retail managers improve their processes.

Live camera streaming

Managers can access any smartphone or smart glass camera and view the camera stream through their preferred browser, effectively minimizing travel time.

Highlight 3D objects

Supervisors can use AR tools during a remote session to draw shapes or place arrows directly on the live camera stream to draw attention to specific handling units during picking, packing, and dispatching.

Text and voice chat

Managers can give quick instructions or receive updates on inventory using the text and voice chat features.


Operators in charge of order planning or picking can take snapshots to keep track of handling units that are being shipped for future reference and analysis.

Multi-participant sessions

When handling emergencies, managers can work with warehouse teams in a single session to sort things out. External experts can be invited to brainstorm the best solution at a moment's notice.


Managers can provide omni-channel help and support to customers by integrating Zoho Lens with their online store and inventory management systems using API and mobile SDK to seamlessly initiate AR sessions on their devices, effectively optimizing their retail operations.

Live text scan

Supervisors can scan product information for restocking inventory and send them to warehouse staff on the go, reducing process times and improving productivity.

QR and barcode scanning

Logistics staff can speed up order fulfillment and minimize returns by scanning the QR codes/barcodes on tags and labels and dispatching them accordingly.

Freeze the camera stream

Workers can freeze the camera stream while handling shipments and cargo to get detailed instructions from supervisors and execute them simultaneously in the session.


Managers can get a broad overview as well as detailed reports of the remote sessions initiated by store personnel using the session analytics feature. This will help to identify areas of improvement in both backend and frontend operations.

Sign up now and experience AR in the retail industry for free!