With the introduction of AR and VR technologies, customer experience is getting transformed. Having tremendous potential for businesses in different areas, AR-based applications can attract more customers and increase sales. How can businesses leverage augmented reality in their marketing and sales strategies? In our article, we’ll dive deep into the issues and provide several examples of how you can apply the innovation within your organization.
AR Marketing Campaigns to Attract Customers
With the appearance of AR and VR technologies, sales and marketing campaigns can bring more business benefits than ever before. Combining real and virtual interactive elements, businesses can now develop progressive AR-based marketing and sales strategies.
AR can be used in many ways for attracting and engaging audiences with AR applications, experiencing AR in a web browser, using its presentations, etc.
So how to use augmented reality for marketing? Below are a few real-life examples that may inspire you to invest in AR to engage your customers.
Ikea: Place a Tree on It
In 2017 Ikea released their AR-based app to help their consumers preview Ikea’s Christmas tree at home. How does it work? Users activate their mobile phone’s camera with an app, focusing on the floor for the AR feature to identify the room’s space.
Then they can choose one of Ikea’s trees and drag and drop it to see how it fits their room’s environment.
Burger King: Burn That AD
In 2019 Burger King integrated a new AR capability into their app in Brazil. It allowed users to scan any competitor’s ad and burn it virtually. What was the goal? Users not only had fun while using the feature but also got a free whopper after the ad is flamed in a virtual environment.
Amazon Salon: Hair Colouring
Another example of how retail giants adopted AR technology in their business is Amazon Salon’s app allowing customers to try a product before they purchase it. According to Amazon’s explanation, ‘’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.’’ They can also try and experiment with different hair shades with AR technology integrated into the app.
Indeed, implementing AR capabilities may be costly for small businesses, but here are some benefits to demonstrate how retailers can benefit from AR:
- Increased conversions
- Reduced returns
- Enhanced connections between brick-and-mortar and online shops
- Improved brand awareness
- High level of customer services
- Better customer loyalty
Using Augmented Reality for Retail Marketing
According to Mobile Marketer’s report, only 1% of retailers are using AR or VR in the customer buying experience, while 71% of consumers say they would shop more often if they use AR. As you see from the statistics, AR is being slowly adopted by retailers. Still, AR applications can boost retail marketing. In retail, AR serves as a bridge to connect online and offline segments, enabling users to be more interactive while shopping.
Below, you’ll find several use cases of how to engage customers with an augmented reality app.
Scanning Products and Brand Awareness
To motivate your customers to leverage your application is offering them to use it while they’re in your store. For example, you can suggest scanning products and provide them with a virtual promo code or discount coupon as a reward for this interaction. You may ask how it connects brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce? This kind of interaction will help you improve brand awareness while boosting the omnichannel experience.
Customers will remember your brand’s application while visiting your store, and an online discount will inspire them to use your application for a shopping experience.
Augmented Customer Service and Easy In-Store Experience
40% of consumers say that they would pay more for a product that they could customize in AR. While shopping online, consumers can’t touch or try a product, which tends to lead to less confidence and more returns. With augmented customer services, for example, they can see how the product will suit their house, while for retailers, it means a higher customer engagement level and potential growth in sales.
Among AR-based features retailers can integrate into their apps are:
- Matching colors in augmented reality
- Visualizing large objects at home
- Trying products virtually when buying online
- Magic mirrors for trying clothes when buying offline
- AR-powered descriptions and guidelines on your product’s characteristics and usage
Augmented reality can be beneficial not only for retail but also for other industries, too. With AR, travel agencies, museums, and other similar organizations can provide new guided tours with no human guide involved or extending an environment with immersive technologies.
For example, museums can provide on-site tour guides using AR technology where past life is virtually reproduced and visualized at cultural heritage sites.
Augmented Reality for B2B
When selling products to businesses, you need to be able to present them to clients. With AR, B2B sales can be enhanced by using dynamic sales presentation materials to change the way clients interact with products. Augmented reality can be significantly beneficial for creative businesses where visualization is the only way to demonstrate how the product will look when it’s delivered. For example, when preparing a design for your client’s house, you can offer to have a viral tour around their future house. To implement this AR capability, you can use Microsoft HoloLens as an excellent platform for this purpose.
Augmented reality is an effective marketing tool that works both for B2C and B2B businesses. No matter what industry you operate in, it’s worth leveraging augmented reality services to integrate AR into your application. With augmented reality, you can significantly boost your sales and brand awareness by adding new tools to your marketing campaign, including product scanning, interactive in-store experience, etc. AR applications and capabilities will help your customers make more informed decisions before purchasing, which will result in lower return rates and increased brand loyalty. For this reason, you should seriously consider investing in AR to deliver customer experiences that are more immersive and meaningful.