Augmented reality hit or putty?
As augmented reality developers say, "people are divided into those who use augmented reality and those who will use it." So is it worth going one step further and saying that companies are divided into those who use AR to boost sales and those who will?
Mintel, interpreting consumer trends, has detailed three that are in effect in the near term.
The first trend is "in control." Consumers in the current times want to have maximum influence on their purchasing decisions but also on the brand with which they integrate. The uncertain global situation forces companies to build a sense of trust in the company and what it offers.
Another trend is for brands to promote values and act consistently with them, so-called "value marketing." Nowadays, people are increasingly sensitive and aware of social and environmental topics. Users/customers want to feel that the company is not just for making money. The brand should change the world for the better, whether through environmental activities, minority rights or activation of socially excluded people.
The next and most important trend is "enjoyment everywhere." The search for enjoyment and fun, has become extremely important for consumers who face the consequences of global crises on a daily basis. Brands that focus on innovative, user-pleasing solutions linked to fun are becoming fashionable. The company should focus on positive communication, emotions, experiences and experiences. This is where augmented reality (AR) comes to the rescue, which is gaining in popularity every year, and its elements have been used for several years by such big platforms as Instagram, Facebook and Google.
AR for whom
Augmented reality is 2D or 3D graphics superimposed on a screen showing a real-time view from the phone's camera. They can be combined with animations and sound effects. Today's graphics programs offer the possibility of creating truly realistic designs, with changes in colors and shadows depending on the intensity and incidence of light.
Google's search engine, among others, uses this solution. It was already announced at the Google I/O conference in 2019 that the platform is innovating with AR effects. Currently, after typing a search term such as "giant panda" into the search engine's mobile version, Google, in addition to thousands of suggested pages, images and graphics, also displays augmented reality material - "see the giant panda in 3D." Just click on this message and point your phone's camera into space, and within seconds a giant panda will appear in your kitchen or living room, eating bamboo shoots.Google has recently made a clear bet on Customer Experience, combined with educational and fun elements, which seems to be a hit.
AR effects used by users on platforms such as Snapchat, TikTok, Instargram and Facebook are another hit. In 2019, Facebook and Instagram launched the free Spark AR Studio software. The tool allows users to create AR games, facial animations, 3D products and immersive packaging from scratch.
What AR will give you
When a customer engages in learning about a brand and product before buying, his senses begin to sharpen. He focuses on the brand and product, nothing distracts him. Perhaps this is why companies and celebrities are able to spend considerable sums on dedicated AR effects assigned to their social media accounts. With these solutions, users spend much more time visiting a given profile. This time positively affects the account's reach and consolidates brand awareness. I These effects become an alternative to expensive ads on the site.
Facebook was the first to launch paid ads with AR effects. A company can schedule an ad with an augmented reality model. When the user clicks on the post, the model will automatically be inserted into the selected space. It is also possible to add a CTA button, such as "contact us." It is worth considering the use of this tool in advertising campaigns, if only because the portal now gathers more than a billion users.
AR ads offer incredible sales opportunities and a real benefit to the audience. Before buying a new piece of furniture, the customer has a chance to insert it in his apartment in a 1:1 ratio, check if the texture and color scheme suits him. He doesn't have to go to a furniture showroom, take measurements or think about transportation. He makes decisions consciously in the comfort of his home. Such a solution also has a benefit for sellers. This is because it minimizes the risk of costly returns, in the customer satisfaction with the purchasing process increases, and the company's use of AR effects builds its prestige in the consumer's mind.
AR who and how?
Several big brands have used augmented reality to increase sales in the B2B and B2C sectors. These include:
- Pepsi, which superimposed AR effects on a seemingly glassed-in bus stop. Travelers waiting for the bus faced falling comets, tentacles emerging from the sidewalk or tigers running down the street.
- Sephora, created an app in which users using a filter can virtually apply some 3,000 colors and shades of lipstick to their faces.
- Hyundai, for users of its cars, created an app to facilitate their maintenance and care.
- Rimmel, thanks to a dedicated app, allows users to scan another person's makeup and apply it to their face
- Ikea gives you the ability to virtually insert your furniture and furnishings into a space.
Rozszerzona rzeczywistość jest bardzo praktycznym rozwiązaniem. Dlatego też zaczyna pojawiać w przemyśle. Polska firma Labora Energy, produkująca peleciarki (maszyny przetwarzające trociny w pelet), korzytsa z modeli AR maszyn, aby stolarnie i tartaki mogły weryfikować ich rozmiary. Drzwi Cal, wykorzystują modele drzwi w rozszerzonej rzeczywistości, Iniron modele schodów i balustrad, a firma Meron modele wind.Rozwiązanie to będzie również pomocne przy wyposażaniu fabryk czy hal magazynowych.
AR do it yourself!
The precursor of augmented reality in Poland is the company See My Model. It has created a platform that allows you to adapt your own product models to AR and 360-degree viewing The whole process takes a few minutes and supports the most popular 3D file formats. In addition, once the model is converted, a QR Code and link are generated. All you have to do is click on the link or scan the QR Code and point your phone's camera at the desired space. The service also offers other functionalities for its users, such as personalization of the 360-degree preview window, glocalization of the audience or statistics to determine interest in our products.
The company also creates 3D models of products on request.
In addition, companies with products in different versions can use the online configurator. The customer can change the product's size, color or texture within a certain range.
Among See My Model's clients are companies in the furniture, construction, interior design and industrial sectors. So as you can see, augmented reality is applicable in many industries.
What do we do with it?
And while the use of AR by brands looks very innovative, it doesn't require complicated solutions or often even the installation of additional applications. All you need is Internet access and a reasonably new smartphone. Augmented reality can be summarized as an innovative solution that engages the user, teaches through play, allows to purchase things in an informed manner, and perpetuates the brand image in the eyes of the consumer.
AR is the future, but it's worth remembering that it's currently at a stage where it's still possible to plan a strategy of action with this solution, choose the best elements and implement the process among staff and familiarize customers with it. If we miss a key moment, we could fall far behind the competition.
m #AR keting
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