Whether you own a business, manage it or work in marketing structures, you probably understand why marketing plays a vital role in the well-being of a company. It helps you reach customers, create a community and ultimately close sales. This is why we think it’s important to understand the benefits of augmented reality in marketing.
But let’s take a step back. Advertising your product and finding customers used to be a lot different in the past. You could get things done with just cold mails or by giving out flyers. Commercials focused mainly on the product and its utilitarian value. Nowadays, if you want to make a profit, you not only have to come up with an omnipresent and creative marketing strategy, but you also have to build a community around your brand.
The number of marketing channels and the vast competition makes it hard to stand out and get your message across. So what are your options? To distinguish yourself, you must do something unique and overall better. This means something more engaging, fun or simply fresh. One way to do that is by using innovative methods and techniques.
In this article, you will learn about a few creative ideas to supplement and boost your marketing activities using AR. We’ll also thoroughly discuss the benefits of augmented reality in marketing.
What is augmented reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that overlays virtual objects onto a live image of the physical world. It typically uses a smartphone camera. Even if you’re not necessarily familiar with the term you’ve probably used AR in the past. Examples include virtual try-on applications and Snapchat filters.
Augmented reality is a term very similar to mixed reality (MR), and many argue the two are different names for the same thing. So don’t be surprised if you hear them used synonymously. However, MR usually uses more complex, dedicated devices like Microsoft Hololens. In this article, we will discuss AR you can access from your phone. After all, we want to reach as many people as possible with our marketing campaigns.
Augmented reality marketing examples
Augmented reality offers up vast opportunities. Before we jump into the specific benefits of augmented reality in marketing, we’ll try to discuss a few ideas we find especially interesting and have covered in the past. Once you get a grip on how it works and what it can do, you will surely come up with your creative concepts. Try to think of AR as an advanced and modern but easy-to-use tool. Something like a high-performance chainsaw in the world of old-fashioned hand saws.
Virtual try-on applications
A try-on application projects a virtual wearable onto the user’s body. For example, the app overlays a 3D model of a watch over the hands of users. This allows them to see how a given product will look once they put it on. Currently, the two most common and effective uses are virtual fitting rooms and AR make-up apps. Augmented reality jewelry is also worth mentioning.
Brands that use this type of application often add the option to customize items when trying them on. And people love it when they can personalize their purchases. Finally, we have to underline that such AR applications can be also very effective for products other than wearables. An AR furniture app that 4Experience developed for ModiModi is a great example.
Engaging catalogs and product descriptions
Augmented reality can also be used to present your product in a new and more engaging way. If you own a brick-and-mortar store, you can place markers next to articles. They could activate detailed product descriptions that look more esthetic than printed-out text. 3D models and animations of the product could be useful to view items behind a glass wall, or simply too heavy to move around.
When it comes to e-commerce and direct selling, you can use AR for things like interactive catalogs. This is exactly what we developed for one of our clients from the travel industry.
AR customer service solutions
Augmented reality is a fantastic tool to supplement your customer service efforts. With a remote support application, a technician can offer assistance more effectively than through the phone. When on a call with consultants, it’s often hard for people to grip what exactly they’re describing. A video call might be better. But augmented reality offers a lot more than a simple video call. Play the film below to see exactly what AR can do.
AR-based applications can also facilitate self-service. The information customers would typically receive from a technician or consultant can be displayed on their phones once they point them at the product. An animated avatar can appear, giving instructions and working as a chatbot if needed. This AR advertising app made by 4Experience is a good example of that.
What are the benefits of augmented reality in marketing?
We’ve talked about a few ways you can use AR for acquiring and retaining customers. Some of the benefits of augmented reality in marketing are already apparent. But let’s group them into the four most significant advantages and examine why they’re so important.
The excitement and engagement an AR branded mini-game or try-on brings might be just what you need to outperform your competitors. People love fun novelties and interactive applications! And this does translate into real results. According to Harvard Business Review, on average, customers who used AR spent almost 21% more time in an app and viewed more products.
More closed sales
Thanks to solutions like virtual try-on apps and AR catalogs, consumers get an enhanced e-commerce experience. Because of the engaging and interactive nature of such software, users are more likely to spend more time in your online store, increasing the chance of a purchase. There’s a chance they’ll recommend it to their friends and family too.
Adding options like customization of the products might also increase the average basket value. A study by McKinsey has stated that 76% of consumers are more likely to consider a purchase if brands offer personalization. They’re also 78% more likely to repurchase and recommend the company to friends and family.
Lower return rates for e-commerce
With augmented reality experiences, consumers tend to make more informed decisions. The ability to try on a product before ordering means customers are less likely to return it. And lowering the return rates can sometimes make an unprofitable business flourish again.
For example, the average RR for clothes bought online is said to be 30% (according to Invesp). However, speaking from experience, this value is closer to 50% for most categories. And if you offer free shipping and returns, values like these can really affect your sales margin. So all in all, lowering return rates is a great way to increase your revenue.
Loyal and returning customers
The last of the benefits of augmented reality in marketing is the overall better customer experience you can provide. And that translates directly into a more satisfied, loyal clientele. Higher customer retention is always a good strategy, as it’s often very expensive to acquire new ones.
A report by OutboundEngine describes why it’s so important to keep loyal customers. It states that acquiring a buyer can be five times more expensive than retaining one. Furthermore, a 5% increase in customer retention can translate into a 25-95% rise in profits.
How can I develop an AR app?
We hope that after reading this article you understand the benefits of augmented reality in marketing better. But we’re not expecting you to develop an AR app on your own. To get the best results, you should hire an experienced company with a portfolio of augmented reality projects and a significant number of happy customers.
However, the technical know-how isn’t all. Your idea and its implementation must also be business-oriented and bring measurable results to your company. That’s why 4Experience has a team of business specialists to complement our technical experts.
Would you like to find out more about how your company can shine even brighter with AR? We’d be happy to help. Schedule a free 60-minute call with one of our representatives today!
Marketing specialist with four years of experience. Having spent part of his childhood in Ireland, he's fascinated with its culture and language. Loves history, football and any form of writing.