Posted on 2021-09-03 15:01:08, by Seawind

Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging trend in marketing and sales strategies. It allows brands to give customers unique experiences with the convenience of tapping into their mobile devices. AR gives you another tool when it comes to driving sales and enhancing brand value through mobile devices. Brands can use AR to allow consumers to try products before they buy them, with augmented shopping experiences becoming increasingly popular. From testing makeup to test driving a possible new car.

“AR gives you another tool in your belt when it comes to driving sales and enhancing brand value through mobile devices

Benefits of Augmented Reality

1. VR AND AR create a rich, immersive, and interactive user experience

Marketers have been saying, ‘‘Content is the king’’ until quite recently, but now with VR and AR, the users have become both content consumers and content creators. With a personalized headset and VR solutions, VR enthusiasts can travel to the place of their dreams, attend their favorite sports game or experience certain emotions in their body, mind, and soul as if those events are happening not only in front of them but also to them. Similarly, augmented reality enables users to give a personal touch to the published or online content that they ‘‘augment’’ with the little help of customized smartphone apps and markers which provide extra information. For example, in the supermarket, consumers learn as they screen with AR apps what prices are on sale; they may also get additional data about houses in their neighborhood which they want to buy or rent and they test their knowledge about brands as they play the treasure hunt games.

2. Personalized content is tailored to user’s particular needs and adopted fast

We are adopting technology faster and faster. For instance, the telephone reached 50% of US households in several decades, beginning before 1900, whereas cell phones achieved a 40% penetration rate in just 10 years. It is estimated that virtual and augmented reality will disrupt business models as they are the fourth major platform shift after PC, web, and mobile devices. The main benefit of VR and AR would be that it creates such value through personalized content and new business models.

CEOs and marketers who make decisions in the companies will learn through time how to use these technologies to the best advantage of their businesses. Digi-capital has identified that 80% of AR/VR revenue by 2020 will come from AR/VR hardware sales, eCommerce sales, ad spend, and mobile data/voice. If we translate these revenues into numbers VR would amount to $30B and AR to $90B, whereas $120B would be for AR/VR revenue combined by 2020.

3. AR AND VR allow readers to truly connect with the published content

In the world of publishing, the prints will not disappear, they just evolve thanks to VR and AR, creating a new storytelling medium and revenue stream. At the moment The Wall Street Journal and InStyle is several of many brands that intend to integrate VR.  The New York Times created a VR mobile app that tells stories in an “immersive, 360-degree video experience.” In the VR film, The Displaced they portrayed refugee children and sent 1.2 million Google Cardboard units. The unique storytelling and advanced technology built huge anticipation and empathy during the launch. Although skeptics may emphasize that the major barrier to wider adoption of virtual reality is that users need to have gear and that big brands such as NYT had to send thousands of Google Cardboard pieces to get their app downloaded, it is just a matter of time when users will buy themselves headsets to access customized and captivating content, in the same way as smartphones, became one of the top gadgets.

Augmented reality in publishing has similar advantages over virtual reality as in other industries: no wearables are required to adopt, on smartphones all the content can be accessed, and the otherwise motionless content becomes life and boosted with extra information. If you scan brochures and catalogs with an AR app you may make a purchase and view styling tips. Disney created an augmented reality app that projects characters from the coloring book while you are still working on them. Our company made the white-label of Red Riding Hood as we brought to life fairy tales for a showcase.

4. Virtual and augmented reality can reduce language barriers

For example, Theatre in Paris together with Atos and the French start-up Optinvent created the augmented reality solution where theatre-goers were able to see subtitles simultaneously with the theatre show. This intersection of cultural events and technology is expected to spill over to other entertainment industries such as sports games or concerts, making them accessible to those who do not speak the language.

All the communication technology we have had so far, from the telegraph to the internet was an attempt to replicate the fundamental human interaction: connecting face-to-face. Nowadays we substitute the lack of face-to-face interaction on the internet with many options (videos, photos, memes, gifs, texts) to create this wish-you-were–here effect. Therefore, augmented and virtual reality may remove this last frontier of missing physical contact with another person order to. What if Google translates on steroids in the future to become AR apps with advanced markers that translate simultaneously people’s conversations. Imagine people who can share a location, visit their dream destination and even understand each other in foreign languages thanks to VR.

5. Brand awareness gets increased via social shares

At the back of the mind of marketers, too many emotions take place. Sometimes there is even a slight fear that their brand message will get ignored. ‘‘To which extent are people aware of our brand?’’ is one of the questions marketers keep asking themselves. Virtual and augmented reality are the new channels for increasing brand awareness because they have the personalized characteristics of social media, yet people can experience content on a deeper level, from the first-person perspective. Coca-Cola in Poland promoted the spirits of Christmas with the Oculus Rift as the users could become Santa Claus for a day.

These new technologies are beneficial even for celebrity brands such as Michelle Obama or Sir Paul McCartney. The 360-video about the healthy routine that the Verge created with Michelle Obama was identified as one of the best explainer videos marketers can learn from. Fans of Paul McCartney could experience being with him on the stage at Candlestick Park thanks to the 360 video that Jaunt produced.

Even new brands can get ahead strong if they harness the power of AR and VR. When VR and AR apps make it possible and effortless for people to extra share their experience on social networks even more buzz is out there and friends-of-friends get interested in trying out the same. Therefore, although virtual and augmented reality has not become mainstream in marketing labs worldwide, very soon these solutions will get their part of the marketing budget. They will appear with social media, the most cost-effective marketing tool when it comes to profiling target groups and providing to them exactly what they want.

6. AR AND VR help in customer buying decisions

As consumers interact with AR and VR solutions, marketers can measure this engagement and activate certain metrics over the other ones. Parents interacted longer with the ad for children's construction toy when it was presented to them in the format of AR (83 seconds vs. 12 seconds of traditional marketing). Because such solutions are tried out longer as the purchase decision tool, the likelihood that the item would be bought increases.

The ultimate purpose of any business is to make sales. The ultimate purpose of an efficient and scalable business is to make sales to satisfied customers who will come back again and again. Once potential users have been wowed by the immersive and interactive experience of VR and AR, their expectations from brands have increased. Brands that use these technologies creatively will set a new standard of surprise and appear in eyes of their consumers as the first choice.

Examples of Augmented Reality

Walmart – testing AR for inventory


In October 2020, Walmart announced that it would be turning four of its physical retail stores into ‘test stores’ to try out new technology (to enhance all stores to become both physical shopping destinations and online fulfillment centers).

An important element of these stores is inventory control, with one test involving an app that is designed to speed up the time it takes to transport items from the backroom to the sales floor. The app uses augmented reality to do so, allowing employees to hold up a handheld device (which will then highlight the boxes ready to go), rather than scanning each box.

This is one example of augmented reality being used to enhance internal processes, effectively creating a more seamless and faster workflow. Despite not being visible to customers, Walmart says that “regardless, it’s the customer who will benefit”, with the technology ultimately helping to enhance the customer experience by putting more products on shelves, faster than before.

IKEA Studio app

Ikea’s design lab, Space10, recently revamped Ikea’s AR offering to create a more functional and immersive experience. Previously, the Ikea Place app allowed users to place virtual furniture in a room. Now using LiDAR sensors in iPhones, the all-new Ikea Studio app enables users to capture entire 3D room plans and re-design them, incorporating everything from windows and door frames to wall colors and rugs.

Currently, in beta, Ikea Studio is not yet linked to the Ikea website, meaning it offers a somewhat siloed user experience (with no shopping functionality involved). According to Wired, however, this version of Ikea Studio was largely built in preparation for the arrival of Apple Glass, which could create a more immersive and realistic AR experience.

Tommy Campbell, digital design lead at SPACE10, told Wired: “We’ve made very deliberate decisions to paint the vision of Studio as one that can exist on both the smartphone or in a glasses-like setting. We’ve also used a new renderer reality kit from Apple that lets us achieve a level of detail on these models that haven’t been seen before in IKEA’s AR portfolio.”

Amazon – hair coloring at Amazon Salon

Amazon Salon, the e-commerce giant’s first-ever bricks-and-mortar hair salon was partly set up to trial new retail technology. One example is ‘Point and Learn’, which as Amazon explains, means “customers can simply point at the product they are interested in on a display shelf and the relevant information, including brand videos and educational content, will appear on a display screen.” To then buy the products, customers can scan the relevant QR code on the shelf to visit the product page on the e-commerce site.

In addition to this tool, customers will also be able to experiment with different hair shades using AR technology, before actually getting their hair done. As well as being a way to drive sales of its professional beauty products, the Amazon Salon is largely a vehicle for testing AR technologies (which Amazon could implement in other retail locations), and a way of gathering unique customer data that could also be applied on its e-commerce site.

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