What is Augmented Reality and How is it Going to Affect Digital Marketing
Augmented reality (AR) has been having a wider impact across all areas of the web.
Social media has been the one to experience the impact the most. Social media is one of the most preferred marketing channels these days. Customers’ lives are influenced by social media sites up to a great extent.
Marketers are finding numerous ways to change and evolve to meet their customer expectations. With advancements in technology, consumer needs and expectations change, and it is important that marketers are ready to face the changing consumer desires.
AR has already become one of the latest tools that are being applied to marketing and sales, in a very short span of time. With this, all customers need to do is tap into their mobile device, where they will enjoy the customized experience that their brands have in store for them.
Before we find out how Augmented reality can be applied to marketing, it is important to understand what AR is.
People often confuse AR with VR, which is entirely different from the former. However, both might exhibit similar features; VR comprises designing a new environment, representing or imitating the real and fictional environments. It is more like time travel – where you can either travel back in time or travel ahead of time – into the future, which is unpredictable – and unfurl a whole lot of surprises.
But with AR, you get to view the real world virtually, which is projected using computer-infused augmentations. This projection is intended at providing users with a seamless experience. Remember the experience offered by the IKEA app, allowing shoppers to view IKEA products in an amazing graphics environment.
Well, the difference here is that with VR, the users get to see an environment generated by the computer, while with AR, a real-world focus is available – where elements are introduced to enhance the user experience.
Here are different ways in which AR can be implemented in your marketing strategies:
1. Customer is the king
The customer was, is, and will always be the king. Do you know what the modern-day customer yearns for? It is to try products before they make a purchase decision. Samples of mobile devices, test drives, and even trial rooms for putting on dresses, etc. have been introduced as one of the sales strategies these days. Shopping or sales experiences that are inclined toward the augmentative plane is the trend these days.
Let us deeply examine some interesting examples. How simple it would be if you could try on makeup and even dresses, without having to be present in the shop physically. With AR, the shopper can now try on a number of products, before they finally decide which one meets their expectations and needs.
The advancements in the field of technology have been such that, investors, experts, stakeholders, businesses, and AR developers are coming up with new applications of AR. A number of social media platforms are marketing using AR technology, for example, Facebook’s and Apple’s AR applications. A number of industries have been experimenting with AR technology. Reputed brands, including L’Oreal, have already started implementing sales strategies that let customers try on make-up items.
Also, the dressing room is another area where businesses are implementing AR. Initially, customers used to carry dozens of clothing to try in the dressing rooms, with the staff barging in to rearrange rejected items, the task used to be daunting. But with AR, a virtual fitting room is the answer to all the dressing room woes.
2. Social media
Social media is already a platform to sell and buy. With the application of AR, shopping becomes an amazing experience altogether. Just like shopping via websites, people are not required to be physically present in a store. All they have to do is visit the virtual store, try on the items, and then place an order online.
3. Participating in events
What a delight it would be to attend a live event from your home, dressed in your favourite pyjamas. A number of brands and businesses are implementing this technology to reach out to their people. All you have to do is download the respective AR app and start connecting.
This is in continuation of the event participation that we discussed earlier. Using interactive AR videos, businesses can now reach out to their audiences. These videos could be demo videos (guiding customers through a step-by-step process on how the product works) or in some cases, where a service is being sold, it would help people understand the kind of experience the service will shower them with.
5. AR could influence targeting patterns
Most of the SEOs are working with many tools on ensuring their keywords rank high on the search engines. But going forward, we might have to put up with scenarios where the bid for each keyword would be higher. This means a careful planning strategy would be required for keyword selection and bidding. As AR enters the scene, searches, that were more keyword- and demographic-centered, will now focus more on images. So search engines would have to work in that direction.
6. Change in website designs
These days, we say websites that are capable of taking the user on a tour of their content. We have websites in 2D, 3D, but we do not know what the future driven by technologies, such as AR and VR, will hold. There would need to be a paradigm shift from the way content is presented now to how it needs to be presented in AR and VR. The experience would be the key to the consumer’s heart.
Such kind of upcoming changes will make the marketer’s job even more challenging.
It is high time that marketers along with developers also embrace AR and introduce it into their strategies to help take their sales targets to the next level.