Technology has allowed us to do everything from routine tasks to entertainment more conveniently and quickly. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen how technology has been able to help businesses stay afloat and even thrive despite challenge after challenge, from the global pandemic to calamities to inflation and more. But that’s not to say that technology can only be helpful when our backs are against the (metaphorical) wall. Technology enables us to progress and improves in areas of daily life and business we could never have imagined. And one of these advancements, augmented reality (AR), is a prime example.
BUT FIRST, WHAT IS AUGMENTED REALITY?
Augmented reality, or AR for short, enhances a real-world environment with digital elements, including sounds and other sensory stimuli. Microsoft puts it simply: AR has three significant features.
- fusion or integration of the digital and physical worlds
- real-time interactions
- accurate 3D identification of virtual and real elements.
For some, augmented reality may seem like the trendy kind of tech that will just provide hype and nothing more. But AR has many uses that can be life-changing, revenue-generating, engaging, or all of the above. Here are some examples:
- Virtual assembly modules for the aeronautics industry
- Navigation for drivers
- Education (interactive and fun training and lessons)
- Logistics and warehousing (better inventory management, accurate picking and dropping, etc.)
- Medical uses (medical training, surgery assistance, visual reference for patients)
- And many more!
These are just some of the applications of AR in everyday life. But in reality, the possibilities are possibly endless as long as professionals are more open to maximising and improving available technology.
HOW AUGMENTED REALITY IS TRANSFORMING DIGITAL MARKETING
Aside from those mentioned above, the digital marketing field is one of the low-hanging fruits that AR providers can target. Like technology, consumer behaviour and preferences are constantly evolving, which can be an opportunity or a challenge for marketers. It all depends on how you look at it. You would most likely need digital marketing if you’re a business looking for ways to capture your target audience’s attention. And to give you a competitive edge, you should use augmented reality well. AR can have the power to transform the digital marketing landscape in more ways than you can imagine. It’s more than gamifying an experience or adding brand filters on your social media platform of choice (although those are feasible and great options to start with). AR offers convenience, accessibility, and a better customer experience with the right digital marketing approach.
Augmented reality can let consumers see how your products fit into their everyday lives. AR has been getting better at integrating virtual elements into actual spaces in a more realistic way. Well-loved brands like Ikea allow customers to use their phones to visualise how a couch or a new table could look in their homes. They can choose colours and variants without breaking a sweat or leaving their homes. Those looking to make big purchases such as cars or LED TVs won’t need to go to a showroom to view the different models. Realistic-looking virtual models are possible with AR. With the right technology, car dealers can help customers see different car models and help them envision how they would look in their driveway. The convenience and realistic technology can help customers make big purchase decisions in the comfort of their own homes.
FITTING AND CHECKOUT WITH A FEW SWIPES
Of course, you cannot forget about apparel when it comes to online shopping. Have you ever purchased a pair of trousers online only to find that the real deal only looks great on the models on the websites? It’s true, and you can return and exchange online purchases. But wouldn’t it be better if you could make the right purchase in one try? With AR, retailers can help customers do just that. While many websites provide the model’s actual size and sizing charts, AR can help make the shopping experience more interactive and accurate. Even makeup brands can use AR to sell their products. Virtual testers can help makeup enthusiasts try on as many shades as they want without using up the counter’s makeup removers and cotton rounds. AR doesn’t just make trying things fun; it can also move the “consideration” phase to the “decision” phase quicker. By working with the right digital marketing agency, you can map your desired customer journey and take advantage of AR’s benefits. You can even encourage the use of AR “try-on” by making an exclusive or “first dibs” offer to customers who use your AR activations.
KEEP YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE ENGAGED
Your business competes for your target audience’s attention in today’s digital and fast-paced world. It may be difficult to replicate the same phenomenon that was Pokémon Go in 2016, but AR can improve your brand’s storytelling and engagement. You can partner with an AR agency to help you find different ways to integrate AR into your digital marketing campaign. There are many possibilities, from having a static physical merchandise display that can be scanned to create an interactive AR experience to transporting customers to an AR escape room based on their favourite Netflix show. Integrating AR into your digital marketing strategy is a great way to grab people’s attention—and keep it.
MAKE AFTERSALES MORE EFFECTIVE AND INTERACTIVE
Your relationship with your customer doesn’t end once they’ve clicked the checkout button. Your brand must be accessible to your customers for any after-sales inquiries. And yes, AI chatbots are helpful for quick questions. But you can step your customer support game up a notch with augmented reality or AR. AR can help customers troubleshoot their products and see if they’ve missed a specific step or added a part wrong. Product manuals or written descriptions can be enough for some. But augmented reality can help customers even more, allowing them to better enjoy the benefits of your products or services. A better customer experience can eventually lead to repeat purchases and better reviews.
LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE AND IMPROVE COMMUNICATIONS
In this day and age, the more you know about your audience, the better you can serve them. AR can help you do that. Simple things like customer satisfaction surveys after an AR experience will help you identify and close gaps in the technology or the overall user experience. For AR “try-on” sessions, you can find information on what product has the best sales conversion performance or which products are often tried on together. This allows you to make style suggestions and increase your basket size upon checkout. While you may easily guess the demographics of your captured audience, AR can help you minimise the guessing games.
You’ll better understand who your customers are, how they interact with your product and technology, and how you can help move them along the sales funnel. It’s not something you can expect to perfect with a few digital marketing campaigns. But with the right AR tools and actionable data from these tools, you’ll be able to see improvements in your customer engagement, brand awareness, and, eventually, your business’s bottom line.
Augmented reality is more than an expensive gimmick or trend. When partnered with the proper planning and customer journey mapping, you can effectively integrate AR into your digital marketing strategy. This can allow you to reach out to more consumers, increase engagement, and highlight how and why customers should choose your products over competitors. So if you want to stay ahead, it’s time to consider AR as less of a pricey marketing stunt and more of a digital marketing game-changer.
AR-BASED PROJECTS BY KODE DIGITAL
Kazan is the first international chain of Japanese-inspired desserts in Queensbay Mall, Penang, originally from The Volcano, Chiang Mai, the world’s first maker of pocket cheese toast. Kazan’s hero products are their pocket toast. But they aren’t just toast. We managed to create Augmented Reality-based IG filters for Kazan Dessert. You can check them out via their IG Kazan IG filter and see how AR can be used as an effective digital marketing strategy that boosts customer engagement and builds customer loyalty.
While INCEIF wishes to showcase the interior of its new campus via a 3D video. Our partnership went on, and we were tasked to process a collection of 3D materials given by the client. We edited the clips into a complete video without compromising their resolution, signal definition and colour spaces. Furthermore, elements such as the sponsors’ logo in the final footage. We also created INCEIF’s Convocation IG filter for them to hype up the event and encourage alumni to commemorate their accomplishments.
Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That’s why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.