There was a time when we only thought about the things AR/VR could do for us let alone actually think about the limitless number of applications we built leveraging such technology.
At present, Augmented Reality is blurring the lines between what is real and computer generated by overwhelming our senses in how we experience different things.
AR is everywhere. According to a report by Global Market Insights, by 2024, The international market for AR products will increase by 80%, with a figure of $165 billion. It’s no wonder why everyone today is working on some kind of augmented reality for his or her brand or product. Right now, more than 543 start-ups are listed under the category of Augmented Reality on Angelist.
Apart from the ‘traditional’ AR applications, I come to the main point, what about the prospect of using Augmented Reality for marketing? How helpful or effective is Augmented Reality for marketing? One could wonder.
AR enables brands to cash in on amazing opportunities that create immersive experiences for customers and extend the “brand-consumer” relationship beyond what traditional TV and print advertising could ever do.
To tell you how, I have jotted down my top 5 takeaways on why you should choose AR in your marketing strategy:
1: The Prime Platform for Increasing Customer Engagement
The more effective your marketing strategy is in grabbing your customer’s attention, the higher your customer engagement.
AR is the sparkling element that boosts customer engagement through the roof.
Shailesh Rao, the Co-founder of GoldRun, A company focused on campaigning dynamic promotional campaigns using AR, says:
“Effective marketing and effective advertising is always just about really good stories. One of the first things we realized about augmented reality is that it would give us the opportunity to bring the user into that story.”
As soon as a customer sees a brand or product providing an AR experience, they develop ‘must be a great brand’ perception instantly and whether they want to buy the product or not, they subconsciously feel inclined to, at the very least, checking the product out. In that process, most customers end up buying something they did not initially intend on buying and that’s your catch!
That’s how AR pushes people down the purchase tunnel and it’s been proving very effective lately.
2: Enhance Digital Shopping Experience
Online shopping requires no advocacy for how beneficial AR has been lately.
Previously, shopping online, the biggest road bump was not getting what you actually ordered. AR introduced the ‘try before you buy’ experience to digital shoppers with apps like the IKEA furniture app.
Talk about Customer engagement, Return on Investment Even Higher sales. Using AR as part of your marketing strategy increases all positive engagement metrics for your business.
All the big players in the E-commerce industry are already employing AR based experiences.
Amazon with their AR view, EBay following closely behind with their AR app, it will be in no time that the online retail industry will completely transform by AR experiences.
Because if the big boys are doing it, you know very well the whole world will be doing it as well.
No better time than today on preparing for Augmented Reality, because in the near future, any online store that does not provide AR based experience, will miss a huge chunk of a very juicy market.
3: Bridges Digital and in Store Experiences Together
We are living in digital times. If you are not going digital, you are not going anywhere.
I just told you about how AR is influencing the digital shopping experience, the same principle can be applied to an in store shopping experience as well. Because I can tell you from personal experience, there have been times where I bought the wrong curtain for my lounge and had to fight with refund policies.
My point, using AR you can save your customers from regretting their choices later and ultimately, have more satisfied and loyal customers for your brand Because stats suggests that 61% of consumers go for stores that offer AR experiences while 40% of these would be willing to pay more for a product if they get to experience it through AR.
So, In a nutshell, It’s all about the experience! Sometimes actually visiting a store does the job, sometimes going online. For both scenarios, AR is that extra kick that keeps your customers hooked.
4: Quick Product Information
Not every customer you encounter will be the same. There are people who REALLY like to take their time before committing to a product. They search and search and then search some more and when they are done searching, they tend to comparing their options.
According to the statistics in the article 50 mobile stats and facts, 69% of Consumers aged 18 to 39 use mobile devices to search on products before they buy them and this figure applies to people worldwide! Imagine the opportunity.
For this group of people, retailers could leverage AR through mobile apps and overlay product information on products. I can think of no better example than the Blippar app to best justify my point. Using this app, you can find great information about anything from a cup of tea, to a bag of groceries, to clothes. At present Blippar is estimated to have generated a revenue of $12 million dollars and this is after the dwindling progress they have been experiencing lately.
Ever the heard the phrase, Content is king?
AR can very well display the same content with an extra interactive, compelling and attention grabbing edge and garner a wider reach of customers.
5: Sell More Interactively
I have been more focused on how AR helps the purchasing end of the tunnel, but what about the selling end?
You get higher sales with AR as part of your retail process? How?
Forget the traditional print and paper advertising campaigns. Imagine billboards without any material wasted. You could reach more customers with even less resources exhausted. Brick and mortar stores could provide the try before you buy experience alongside customers trying things on themselves. Take for example the Sephora shopping experience. Having to put makeup on and off is a strain in itself. Their shopping experience allows their customers to try different lips colors etc with an app. Customers feel relaxed and get to try a lot more colors and you get to showcase more products in lesser time.
Higher sales for you, higher satisfaction for your customers, It’s a win-win for everyone!
And this is just me talking about reserving your resources, so many other brilliant ways how AR could boost your sales.
You can picturize the market potential for AR with these stats:
To summarize, just remember what Uncle Ben said to Spiderman: ‘With great power, comes great responsibility.’
AR is great, no doubt about that and it holds limitless possibilities for the world of retail, but it is still in its early stages. How you use it will primarily define how beneficial it becomes for you. Analyze your marketing needs first and then incorporate an Augmented Reality touch to your customer experience and you will soar higher than you did before.
Learn more about CitrusBits’ augmented reality development services.