Reality Check Using Augmented Reality: What’s Next in Customer Engagement


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Have you ever walked into a store with the goal of buying something specific, say a few items for a party you are hosting, only to wander aimlessly through the aisles, underwhelmed by the choices and leaving feeling frustrated? This happened to me recently in a well-known clothing retail store. This store didn’t have apparel signage, the shelves were close to bare, and the sales clerks were less than helpful. When I couldn’t find I was looking for, I started thinking about what augmented reality could do to not just keep me in the store but also turn me into an engaged, loyal customer.

As many may know, augmented reality is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.

Although augmented reality has been around for quite some time, it has recently gained greater awareness and adoption, especially with the growing use of Smartphones. No longer just an interesting or novel technology, it is becoming a realistic communications and marketing channel. For example, in 2009 Yelp launched its Smartphone application with an augmented reality “Easter egg” in it. This allowed users to view an overlay of restaurants in their area with current ratings through their camera.

In the retail scenario I described, augmented reality apps could help a person when they walk into a store by pointing out items on sale, sizes available, and when the next shipment was coming in or how to order it online. Although this would be the job of sales clerk within the actual store, as the holidays get nearer an augmented reality app could help when a store is overcrowded or when a person is just browsing and doesn’t need assistance. Aside from the consumer advantages, an augmented reality app could turn the user into an entry in the retailer’s database marketing software, allowing the store to initiate a pop up that offers a coupon for a certain item in the store if they join a customer rewards program or mailing list.

I know it’s challenging to keep track of every hot new meme being created, but I strongly believe that augmented reality is an emerging communications and marketing channel with very real e-commerce applications. For marketers who haven’t considered how augmented reality can be integrated into existing programs, maybe the time is now to start planning for the future of customer engagement — and new revenue streams.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alexis Karlin
B2B marketing professional, Alexis Karlin, brings high quality experience to the table at Percussion Software. Her creative marketing skills help drive high quality leads to the sales team. She imparts her passion for social media to other team members, to help promote brand awareness for the organization. Through organization and enthusiasm she is able to show marketing isn't just about process and technology, it is about the passion behind the brand.


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