If you’ve ever thought about investing in augmented reality (AR) technology to promote your business, the best time to go about actualizing your ideas is now.
Businesses from different industries are beginning to see the value of AR-enhanced strategies. It is only a matter of time until this technology becomes the norm.
But you’re probably thinking, “What’s the point of integrating AR into my business strategy? Will it be another gimmick? Is there any real way for my audience to relate better with my brand by simply using novel AR ideas?”
You shouldn’t be surprised to find most of the time, the answer to the last question is yes. AR presently offers an array of experiences some of us might not have even thought of in the past. It’s exciting to see where continuous advancements in tech can take us in the future, and the number of things we can do with it today is already mind-blowing.
5 Augmented Reality (AR) Ideas That Will Build the Customer Base of Your Business
An advantage of going to shops and being physically present there is consumers are able to easily ascertain whether they like a product or not.
To find out how certain clothing items look on their bodies, customers can head to the dressing room and don the outfit in front of the mirror. If they’re browsing around for makeup, customers can easily make use of testers to see how different shades complement their skin tones.
But frequenting shops today is highly discouraged because COVID-19. And there is no way of telling whether normalcy is in our near or distant future.
The resulting effect on stores’ brick-and-mortar sales is one many businesses dread. Some have nearly closed, and some have closed for good. Take Kendra Scott’s jewelry brand for example. Early into the pandemic, its stores closed for a time. Thankfully, the luxury jewelry brand immediately recalibrated its strategy and implemented a virtual try-on tool.
Why Use Virtual Try-Ons?
Virtual try-ons are a handy way to help your customers remotely decide if they think your product is good for them. It’s a simple approach that can bring even the smallest of brands the biggest competitive advantage. Among the five AR ideas in this article, this is the most popular use of augmented reality technology.
Imagine customers going through your online store, finding it has a capacity for remote try-ons, and visualizing items on themselves. By simply adding a virtual try-on feature to your shop, you instantly move them from being interested in your product to desiring it.
The virtual try-on approach to AR can have a wide range of applications. But what we’ve noticed so far is its significant impact on fashion companies and cosmetics brands.
NarraSoft’s art team has even experienced working on similar projects for clients. We were specifically tasked to make high-resolution 3D renderings of their clothing and accessories, which their customers can virtually try on with a mobile app or web app.
This AR trend can last even in a post-pandemic setting. Consumers have 24/7 access to their phones, so it’s only wise to give them the option to try out items from your shop even before shopping. That they can pick and try items prior to physically visiting your shop is a huge plus for the company and for the customer’s overall shopping experience.
No matter how many times a company renders its product’s image on the screen or on a piece of paper, the fact remains that there are some things customers simply cannot visualize.
Often, these things involve large items, such as couches and desks, that customers can’t prematurely transport without incurring some form of risk. And sometimes, these items don’t yet exist.
Inconvenience is a huge deterrent to a shopper’s desire to purchase. Without any visual means to know whether a product or service will solve their problems, customers are likely to find an alternative solution. And if you don’t provide them with the right visualization tool, chances are their alternative solution will involve a competitor who does.
You can easily prevent this with an AR-enhanced strategy, one that allows your target audience to see the output of your product or service. This type of AR approach is applicable to a variety of businesses.
Industries That Benefit from AR-Based Visualization
Furniture and interior design companies benefit a lot from branded AR mobile applications. With this tool, interested buyers are able to gauge an item’s size relative to their space! But why is this a big deal for furniture and interior design brands?
For one, if customers can already view something as bulky as furniture in their space before purchasing it, they are less likely to return the item. And it’s all thanks to the minimal risks in design and measurement resulting from AR usage.
Another reason why it’s important for homeware brands to utilize AR technology is that salespeople in-store can actually give customers a positive buying experience, one that’s free from the hassle of measuring couches, tables, or cabinets and one that, instead, focuses on highlighting their features.
Ultimately, both the company and the client save time and money, making furniture and homeware shopping a pleasant affair.
Architects and home renovation businesses can do the same thing. You can map out your plans for your customers, who will then travel on-site to see what arrangements and decor would look like through an application. And for remote viewing, your company can create VR experiences.
Another way this can be applied is for events companies. When it comes to events, the layout of the place is one of the primary considerations of customers.
This is particularly true for milestone parties, like an anniversary, or life-changing events like weddings. Even companies that don’t necessarily host events can use an AR mobile application to decorate a space, such as for conferences or presentations.
Let’s say you’re offering a certain experience to a target audience. While words can definitely move them to a purchase, you would still want to engage more of your audience’s senses, whether that’s sight or hearing, to give your business a competitive edge.
Similar to the previous technique, this AR idea allows users to get a feel of what they can get with your product or service. Except this time, it’s more experiential.
Demonstrating experiences through AR is particularly helpful to enterprises wanting to introduce a new idea or those in the tourism sector. Either can benefit from an engaging AR application as it gives customers a glimpse of what’s in store.
With the help of an AR-based application, new businesses can make their pitch to their customers or clients with the added value of a real-time demonstration. These AR applications can show a 3D version of the novel product or service, something the target audience can easily use to visualize.
Alternatively, AR experiences can be integrated into tours. For example, while walking through a historical site, tour guides can direct visitors’ attention to an image that will show them facts about the area.
The mobile application may even reenact historically significant scenes as though they were happening in real-time. Not only will this engage visitors more, but it will also leave a lasting impression on the site and on your business.
It’s not a far-fetched concept from what has already been produced. In fact, there are a number of existing tools, such as Google, that enable this kind of AR-based approach to leisure and learning.
Marker-Based Marketing Materials
In the span of several decades, we have seen marketing materials evolve from general billboards and TV commercials to personal ads we view on our devices. Gone are the days when companies solely and heavily invested their resources into these traditional forms of media.
This is because in order to reach your audience better today, and to give them value-adding ad content, your company would now need the help of digital tools.
Many companies know this. Just look at the sheer number of promoted content across social media platforms. And this is all well and good, as companies will be able to quantify the results of their marketing strategies and better customize experiences for their users.
But what if your company could take it a step further? What if you could merge the traditional with the digital?
Marker-based AR is an AR tracking method where a specific marker, such as an image, signals a 3D AR asset to appear on the marker. These images are predetermined and stored in your mobile app’s database.
It’s an excellent promotional technique for any business. You can use it on business cards, branded images, or even on the product itself!
Companies promoting books and movies have even done the same. When users hover their phone cameras over the design with an AR app, the elements on the book cover or movie poster begin to move. You can even push this concept further by showing screening dates or accolades on the eye-catching art.
Going beyond what is expected has always been a top goal for marketing. So take advantage of this widely available technology to turn your company visuals into something that will attract a larger audience.
What if you could bring the entertainment factor of AR in gaming to boost your brand’s digital presence? Integrating gamified experiences into an AR-based marketing strategy is a great opportunity for businesses to create long-term customer engagement.
Think of a person in a subway or at a bus stop. They see your ad spread across the wall. Would you want them to simply glance at it and not give it a second thought? Or would you want them to look at it a little longer?
With an AR mobile application, you could turn this static piece of marketing collateral into one customers can engage with in a gamified way. You could set up an AR-based competition among users or simply entertain them with your gamified ad as they wait for the next train or bus to arrive.
AR-mediated gaming experiences are also applicable to those in the toys and collectibles industry. What if, through AR, action figures and miniature objects can trigger a fight scene or the appearance of a fantastic world right before your customers’ eyes?
Some years ago, Lego was able to do something similar to this. They created an interactive AR app where customers can play with digital versions of their popular builds.
And the best part is there are actually games hidden within the builds. Users can solve puzzles and battle with monsters using the digital Lego structure in their mobile devices.
There are so many opportunities for gamified experiences. Whether you’re a toy company or a company simply looking to promote new products publicly, AR-enhanced gamified experiences have numerous applications for you.
Augmented reality technology is quickly rising as a practical and engaging marketing tool in any business. Apply any of these five augmented reality ideas to your company’s business strategy and see your sales figures grow.
5 High-Converting Augmented Reality (AR) Ideas for Your Business
- Virtual try-
- Output visualization
- Experiential demonstration
- Marker-based marketing materials
- Gamified experiences
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