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Designing augmented reality services for enhanced customer experiences in retail

Nageswaran Vaidyanathan (Department of Digitalization, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark) (Duck Creek Technologies, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Stefan Henningsson (Department of Digitalization, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 7 September 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




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.


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.


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.


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.



This paper forms part of a special section “Impacts of extended Reality Technologies on Consumption and Service Experiences”, guest edited by Wided Batat, Wafa Hammedi and Paula C. Peter.


Vaidyanathan, N. and Henningsson, S. (2023), "Designing augmented reality services for enhanced customer experiences in retail", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 78-99.



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