Augmented Reality (AR) for selling has allowed retailers to offer an immersive experience to their customers. Consumers can now have real-time interactions with products while remaining in their own environment. AR acts as a bridge between physical stores and online shopping experiences, and retailers are now starting to take advantage of this technology’s opportunities when integrated into a sales strategy.
Augmented Reality for Retail Statistics
A consumer AR survey conducted by Google found that 66% of consumers are interested in using augmented reality technology to assist them when shopping. The director of product management at Google, Jennifer Liu, highlights the importance of this technology in e-commerce: “For many consumers, it is the best alternative to having the product in their own home.”
Augmented Reality helps bring products to life with detailed information, allowing customers to feel confident about their purchasing decisions. Google also found that six out of ten people would like to visualize where and how a product may fit into their lives. By making this visualization possible before committing to a purchase, AR technology improves the customer experience.
Here are other numbers proving that augmented reality technology is starting to take off in the sales field:
- Global AR advertising revenue grew from half a billion dollars in 2019 to $1.41 billion in 2020.
- According to eMarketer, more than 83 million people in the U.S. use AR at least once per month, and 43 million would use social media AR (approximately 21% of social media users).
- In June 2020, a study found that 35% of U.S. people surveyed had used AR to visualize furniture or vehicle customizations.
- As of June 2020, a survey of U.S. retailers revealed that 20% expected to invest in AR for their store, up from just 8% six months earlier.
How retailers are using Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality makes it possible for customers to preview products and experience services in their environment and time, right before deciding to make a purchase. With AR, they are more likely to choose the right product the first time.
1. Virtual Try-On Solutions
This is great for online shoppers to know how the items work for them. Customers want to be sure about what they are getting and, similar to being in a physical store, they would like to see how a product looks on them. This way, they understand what they are buying and can reduce their precaution and insecurities within the purchasing process.
2. Preview Placement
Is this couch matching my living room? How would this colour look on the walls? These are real and common concerns for customers when searching for this kind of product.
Preview placement gives them a real-time glimpse of how the product would look placed in their environment.
3. Interactive Business Cards
Did you know you can implement AR technology to elements like business cards? This can be a great idea to create a unique and interactive experience when scanning the QR code on its back with a camera phone. People will remember your brand for a long time.
4. Social Media Filters
Communicate through filters on your social media to increase engagement with your people and boost your marketing. It is a simple and easy way to increase engagement without pressuring your audience.
5. AR Packaging
From a marketing point of view, the packaging of a product is an opportunity to make a product attractive and create unique value for consumers. Adding AR technology to packaging will create a lasting impression of the brand on our public and a unique shopping experience and higher engagement.
And we haven’t even mentioned the viral marketing opportunities.
Grow your business with Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality used in retail allows companies to inform and connect with their clients and continue to engage consumers after making a purchase. In addition, younger generations are looking for more interactive shopping experiences that incorporate AR and VR technology.
1. Increase engagement with customers
AR is purely interactive, which makes it easier for your clients to get hooked in your store. The more time they spend store, the more chances to make a purchase. And even if they end up not buying anything, the improved engagement means that they have developed a relationship with your brand and your products, and it is more likely for them to remember you in the future.
2. Reach new customers
We live in a boisterous world, and an engaging augmented reality campaign can be the perfect way to create a big buzz and get people’s attention.
3. Reduce returns
AR allows you to give customers a lot more information about a product than with other static elements such as an image or even a video. You can offer 3D views of a product or show what would it look like on the consumer or in his space. This makes them less likely to receive the product only to find that it doesn’t look as expected.
How to bring Augmented Reality to your business.
Alright, picture now that you decided to make use of AR in your business. What now?
1. Set up your business goals.
The first step is to clarify what you want to achieve. Figuring out your vision and goals is essential before moving to any technical aspects of AR function. You must know what you want to commit to choosing the correct tools and techniques.
And the second question you must ask yourself is, how does it help your customers? This is what can turn your AR application into success. You must know precisely what you want to achieve with the customer experience.
2. Choose the AR tools that best fit your strategy.
Now that you have a plan, it is time to start creating. It would help if you began to identify those tools you would use, and do so; you might want to have a look at a few aspects:
- Compatibility: These are the devices you plan to run your AR elements (laptops, mobile devices, AR glasses…). It would be best if you also made sure that the platform chosen can support every operating system.
- License type: if you plan to create your app, many AR solutions offer free and commercial licenses.
- Capabilities: you need to evaluate the features of each platform and take the ones that better match what you need.
3. Release your new tool.
Once you have created your tool, you want the world to know about it. Here is some advice:
- Demo video: promotional and informational videos to show how to use your tool and what can you do with it. You could even highlight the benefits of using it, which will create some value for the customers.
- Display instructions: make sure you have clear directions for everyone to understand what they need to do to get the most out of the customer experience.
- Shareable content: allow users to share their AR experience with their community, friends, and social media contacts.