Reality isn’t what it use to be. Augmented reality (AR) is a mediated reality, where the view of reality is modified by a computer which enhances our perception of reality.Long a staple of science fiction, it’s trickling into the real world through the iPhone and similar ultra-smart mobile phones. AR brings an image, product label or even shop window to life. The transition to touch and gesture interfaces doesn’t mean that the old modes of human-computer interaction go away. Just as TV didn’t replace radio, augmented reality won’t obliterate previous interfaces. The keyboard might still be the best interface for writing a book.
As shoppers turn to blend of online, mobile and brick-and-mortar shopping for their convenience, brands are adopting AR technology to capture customer attention and increase performance of ads and sales. They view it as an ideal way of delivering persuasive messages to the audience. AR injects a playful, fun element into an everyday product and adds a sense of excitement to the entire process of purchasing which appeals to most of the customers. Customers are lapping up AR integration in store and brands are beginning to take a note.
Imagine a bottle of ketchup sitting on your counter. You open the app and point it at the bottle and suddenly the image of a recipe book, attached to the bottle, appears on the phone’s screen. You move the phone around and the image moves and you flip through the book by swiping the pages with your finger on the phone.
Marketers are already utilizing Augmented Reality to encourage customers to engage with products.
1. IKEA for example uses AR to give a virtual preview of furniture in a room. The IKEA Catalogue app makes all the new inspiration and products move out of the catalogue and into your home, literally. With the augmented reality feature you can see how more than 400 products in the IKEA Catalogue fit in your everyday life.
2. The Converse Sampler iPhone App also uses augmented reality to allow shoppers to virtually try on any shoe from their range, simply by pointing their phone at their leg. Customers simply select a shoe from the app’s catalogue and see it appear on their foot. Customers can even buy directly thorough the app meaning they don’t need to leave their homes.
It seems that the sky is the limit. Interactive ads and packaging may be what augmented reality marketing looks like today, but who knows what may be there tomorrow?
You should have a base of what is already working. You need a quality website. You need to be on social media. You need to monitor your online reputation and respond accordingly. However, you may now want to consider this as a way to take you to the next level.
Augmented reality can have a powerful impact on customer relationships, conversion rates and sales. However, jumping on the bandwagon without a clear strategy in place can do more harm than good.
Have you embraced augmented reality?