5 Reasons Why You Should Use Augmented Reality in Your Business Practices
Augmented Reality (AR) has reshaped the way businesses interact with their customers, employees, stakeholders and many others. When it comes to technology and business, there are no limitations in terms of what you can do. Originality and creativity are key, so the more creative and original you are in terms of technological approach towards your business, the better.
So, can your business benefit from AR? The answer is absolutely yes! And it does not matter what kind of business you are in – as long as you use your imagination, you can create magic with augmented reality. Many businesses have adopted different ways of using AR and thus added value to customer experience or improved their overall business practices.
But before jumping into more details of this exciting topic, first I would like to outline the differences between augmented and virtual reality. If you are familiar with them, you can skip this part and go directly onto the examples.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have reshaped the way we see the world around us. They are somehow related, yet quite different. AR adds something to our current reality. VR puts you into an isolated reality. In other words, VR makes you feel like you are in another place. It mentally teleports you somewhere else. AR does not move you elsewhere, it just augments your current state of presence.
With augmented reality, you can make planets and stars appear around you. Virtual reality will “teleport” you directly to space.
So, after I have briefly outlined the differences between the augmented and virtual reality, we can start exploring some of the most interesting ways companies have adopted AR in their business practices and why you should do it too.
Probably you have heard about the IKEA app, which enables users to place virtual IKEA furniture in their own home. Augmented reality made it possible for customers to see how the furniture they want to purchase will look in their home. Yet not only IKEA, but many other brands from different sectors have already started experimenting with AR, creating incredible experiences for their customers.
Top beauty brands like Sephora and L’Oreal allow their customers to engage and experiment with their makeup products via their smartphones, virtually. By using face detection and augmented reality, users are being able to test different makeup products on their faces, without actually having to put anything on their face.
Another example are Lacoste and Converse. Both companies use AR in order to provide their customers with a whole new level of experience, while trying on shoes, virtually. Whenever a customer wants to try their shoes, all they have to do is simply to point their camera at their feet and the app will overlay a projection of the shoes on their feet. Yes, trying on shoes became that simple!
So, our reasons of why you should adopt AR into your business practices:
#1 Increased customer engagement
Customers will definitely benefit from the new features brands have provided them with! For example, by using the IKEA app, which is said to be 98% accurate, you could find the perfect furniture which will fit in your predefined space.
So, after you can use the app at home to see that the new sofa you want to buy will fit your living room perfectly, wouldn’t it be so much easier for you to just order it, rather than checking other furniture retailers (and actually take measurements of the furniture, because they don’t have an AR functionality in their app)? Which leads us to the next reason…
#2 Customers will have a better shopping experience
There is one major problem with online services – they are not the same as having the physical experience. Probably many times you have wanted to purchase something online but the doubt that it might not be exactly the thing you needed, has discouraged you.
However, this problem has been resolved with AR. Via the augmented reality, customers are actually able to have a real shopping experience, virtually shop and actually try any item, if they wish to.
AR has removed the doubts around “will it actually look the same when it arrives” and it has provided customers with an accurate prediction of what they can expect. Also…
#3 AR gives you a competitive advantage
There is a chance your competitors haven’t adapted AR in their business practices yet. So be the innovative one, be the one who provides your customers with a whole new level of experience! For sure they will love it and this will put you in a competitive advantage! Don’t wait to be the second one or the last one to adopt AR. It will not be as intriguing once everybody else has done it.
Even if your competitors have already done it, the quicker you adapt, the better. You don’t want your customers to think your competitor is being the cooler one, right? And yes, you can still be the cooler one, don’t copy-paste what your competitor did, just be creative!
What Pepsi did was to transform the bus shelter display into a window, which made unbelievable scenarios unfold before the eyes of people, such as UFO’s flying in the sky, disappearing busses, giant robots walking on the street and many others.
We did something similar for “Forbes Bulgaria”. Now, instead of just reading the magazine, you can see the ads in it becoming “alive” in front of your eyes. All you have to do is just open the “Forbes Bulgaria” app while reading the magazine, and point it towards one of the advertisements and you will see that they will immediately enliven.
Cool, right? As I said, creativity is key and you can use AR for basically anything, which leads us to our #4 reason:
#4 Customers will notice your campaign (and remember it!)
Billboards are boring. TV advertisements also. But what isn’t boring is being different when creating your marketing and advertising campaigns in a way that will make you stand out.
You can rely on AR for this. Gather your team, generate some creative ideas and be sure that people will talk about your campaign for months!
#5 And lastly – Customers just love augmented reality
According to a research made by Google, 34% of users said they would use AR while shopping, where 61% of them said they would prefer to shop in stores offering augmented reality feature. This pretty much says that customers will expect your business to have an augmented reality features anyway.
So, did you figure out your AR approach?
Don’t leave yet…
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