Every innovation in technology opens the door for marketers to try new ways to delight their customers. And one of such innovations is augmented reality.
AR has many real-world applications, and one realm that AR is transforming is the brand-customer relationship. 71% of customers said that they’d shop more often if retailers used AR.
When it comes to marketing, brands are using immersive digital experiences to engage and retain customers. Companies that have incorporated AR into their marketing strategies have seen up to 40% higher conversion rates.
Here’s an article about how you can learn from global brands and change the game for your own company.
The Rise of Augmented Reality and How It Disrupted Every Single Industry
Augmented Reality is a technology that enables users to superimpose virtual 3D objects onto their physical world with a mobile device.
Many brands are embracing AR wholeheartedly. For instance, Lenskart was one of the early adopters of AR, but it has continued evolving its offerings. Both their website and app involve the ‘3D Try On’ feature. The app captures your face from all angles— and then when you try on a frame, it shows how the frame might look on you from all angles. The frames are aligned impeccably to your face, and you get a real-life-like experience. Companies like Lenskart show us how to incorporate augmented reality in e-commerce to increase customer engagement and sales.
Although AR was first introduced as a disruptor, Forbes reveals that AR companies are tilting towards working on industrial applications rather than customer software.
Now that you’ve known how AR affects our buying decisions, let us see how AR takes customer experience on an entirely new level.
1.Kills All the Uncertainty Before Purchases
Last year, the estimated worth of the e-commerce market was more than $25 trillion. Despite this fact, there’s still a major roadblock in customers’ minds about online shopping— people can’t try the products before buying. According to Shopify, the return rates in e-commerce are approximately five times higher than brick-and-mortar stores.
Thankfully, AR can address this issue. Brands can build interactive apps using augmented reality to give customers a feel-real impression of a product. For example, IKEA enables you to visualize how furniture would look in your house before you buy it. All you have to do is scan a room with your mobile device and pick some products from their digital catalog. You can decide after seeing the true-to-size, three-dimensional representation of the product in front of you!
Even Gucci has added an AR feature to its app that lets you ‘try’ sneakers by pointing your smartphone’s camera downwards.
Hence, companies can use AR to give a visual representation of the product to customers and drastically boost customer satisfaction.
2. Provides Information Like Never Before
Augmented Reality is gaining a foot in every industry. This technology augments everything from products to services and from passing information to guided tours. You can design a museum tour that’d run on at its pace, give extensive details along the way, suggestions for the next related exhibition, and act as a virtual guide using AR.
Do you know sports stadiums have already put AR to use? An augmented reality app allows ticket buyers to preview seating arrangements, giving them a clear picture of what the match would look like live, just by aiming the camera at their wall.
One can also maneuver augmented assistance to enhance or even replace traditional written manuals. Automotive giants Hyundai and Mercedes have successfully replaced vague manuals with virtual assistants. You can check this Toyota AR Demo video to see how AR has become the new and immersive way to explain everything from essential operations to everyday maintenance.
It doesn’t stop at replacing instruction manuals. Large indoor locations can use augmented reality to give helpful maps for navigating confusing routes. For example, airlines can use augmented assistance at airports to help passengers along to their destination gates. Similarly, shopping malls, factories, hospitals, and universities can use this technology to remove confusion in navigating their campuses.
3. Helps You Add Value Using Interactive Packaging
The impact of augmented reality on customer service goes right from the pre-sale to purchase. The best example is the interactive packaging. With this initiative, customers can see compelling visuals by pointing their phones at a product’s packaging.
Heinz has been using interactive packaging to deliver useful insights into the product. Back in 2011, Heinz used AR to give customers a range of recipes using tomato ketchup.
Using image tracking or code scans, you can lend more information about your products or services to prospective customers. For example, if your customers scan your card or brochure, it could open a short product demonstration and a link to your eCommerce website. This is a rock-solid way to leave a lasting impression on new contacts. This comes handy, especially when you forget to bring your company’s card or brochure to an important meeting. The perks of using AR aren’t limited to reminding your customer about your business. It also creates the perception of your company as a tech-savvy and customer-focused organization.
4. Creates a Buzz Around Your Company
One of the most common ways to integrate AR into marketing and advertising is by connecting the digital to the physical world. Simply put, you need to upgrade your average poster, print ad, and in-store signage.
This will drive a tremendous interest in your product, service, or company as it is more likely to capture the customers’ imagination. Not only this, but this kind of marketing is more likely to go viral, reaching millions of viewers and generating maximum exposure.
Pepsi had done it way before its time. To promote their Pepsi Max drink, they put ads on every bus stop in London. But unlike the typical poster ad, it was AR-driven. It was linked back, through smart marketing, to the Pepsi brand, creating buzz around their products.
The brand partnership is another way to reach new audiences. One common way we see brands using AR to create awareness is through Snapchat. Netflix, before it released the hit series, “Stranger Things” had partnered with Snapchat to launch an AR application that turned the users’ living room into a living picture of the world from the show. Even Starbucks commonly partners with Snapchat to sponsor filters that keep customers in the loop.
How about you creating your next AR-enabled marketing campaign?
5. Gives You an Edge in Service and Product Support
AR is transforming service and supports 360°. Instead of contacting a support representative, you can incorporate an interactive AR application that provides the information they need. This puts resources like FAQ pages and helpsheet documents at customers’ fingertips. They can find answers to some of their common questions instantly. This saves your team’s as well as the customer’s time. Imagine how delighted your customers would be when their problems are solved at lightning speed.
For instance, take ‘Ask Mercedes‘ virtual assistant. Through this assistant, drivers can know different functionalities, report problems in the machine, and so on, hence taking user-experience to a whole new level.
Companies like RE’FLEKT have started providing customers with AR apps to report defects. They can hold their phones and pinpoint defective products in real-time. Hence, it forges a better understanding of the customer’s issues and smooth communication of theirs with the service agent.
Are You Employing Augmented Reality to Take User Experience a Notch Up?
AR is proving out to be a real game-changer. In retail, the implications of AR are gigantic and promising to build an excellent customer journey. Global firms have already gotten into the race of using AR to serve their customers better. Everything from virtual dressing rooms, call center solutions, virtual team collaborations to interactive virtual assistants is employed by companies to create new and exciting ways to retain their existing customers and acquire new ones.
Hence it’s high time that you too jump the bandwagon and use augmented reality to give your users a delightful experience.