If people could see a view of the physical, real-world environment or even interact with it, will it make consumers much more engaged and feel more likely to purchase the products or services?
Thanks to more and more people owning smartphones and new technology development, Augmented Reality (AR) has grown in popularity over the last twelve months. AR brings a whole new experience in digital world and personalizes the in-store shopping experience. It is new trend that many brands are trying to use AR to create a visual view of the physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data, which interacts in brand new way with consumers as well as builds deeper relationships with the consumers.
There are more and more people have downloaded Mobile augmented reality apps now. AR apps let users take an alternative look at the world around them through their mobile device’s camera enhanced with a digital overlay. Retailers could use these to let customers virtually try on an item of clothing in-store or find out more about a product simply by pointing their phone at it. Some developers also combine physical toys with games on smartphones and tablets by using AR technology.
In fact, the job of AR is to make shopping more fun and accessible. For example, a German shoes company created AR technology in store that let people to try out shoes in real-time. The point was to allow people to see what the shoes would look like so if they liked it, they could purchase it directly; if they need others’ opinions, they can snap shot the image and upload to Facebook. Moreover, print media also can a great channel to drive readers to AR world. For example, many fashion companies add AR to a magazine and encourage readers to download and try it. This is a great way of educating consumers about what AR as well as making them to buy the items immediately.
However, there are still a lot of barriers we need to overcome to make AR more useful and prevalent. Here are some tips for us to think about before making AR:
- Consumer Awareness: Raising consumer awareness is key to the success of the mobile augmented reality industry. Most of people should be educated in what mobile augmented reality can do for them.
- Immediacy: The nature of AR as a technology poses a significant time hurdle to marketers trying to engage hurried audiences. For AR to work, it must be fast and easy.
- Content: For AR to work, audiences have to be willing to purposefully request a brand’s content. Therefore, the content has to be exponentially more compelling than that of other channels and more useful.
- Emotion/ Entertainment: This approach to AR is best suited for marketing strategies that demand a more evocative and sensory connection with customers.
If AR apps can be enabled to allow users to make purchases after viewing AR advertising content, this could become a key revenue stream for the mobile AR industry. In addition, the companies can measure exactly how each person interacts with their products and services, when they do it and where; all hugely valuable information when it comes to analyzing which locations and designs are working for them and even which demographics, too.
In general, the goal of AR is to create an emotional connection between what the buyer is searching for and what the product can offer. That is, it gives the product a personal feel and experience when consumers can picture it in their own world no matter in-store or out-store.
Looking forward to seeing the progress of AR applications.
Y.C. Nov.18, 2012