Every consumer is now a digital consumer that’s because consumers are using various channels to enhance their engagement experiences with the brands such as social sites and mobile devices. Brand owners, retailers, restaurant businesses and real estate businesses are leveraging various digital solutions to drive consumer engagement and competitive advantage. Augmented Reality is one such promising technology that brings immediate results and maximum ROI.
Augmented Reality technology superimposes computer generated images and other content onto the real-world environments. It enhances a user’s experience by bringing physical and virtual together on a mobile device or a tablet. It becomes possible to hide engaging content such as videos, images, animations and other content behind brand logos, QR codes and other images etc. From a Brand’s logo to a Restaurant’s menu and from a Brochure to a shelf inside a retail store anything can be augmented and any type of content can be hidden behind it, when a user scans the image or logo it comes alive on his/her mobile device or tablet. It delivers the most engaging experiences to the consumers’ on-the-go.
In these times when users are always connected and have access to the internet at all times, it becomes important for the brand owners to work on their digital strategies to engage the ‘always connected’ consumers. Augmented Reality based mobile apps enable brand owners to engage the ‘always connected’ customers. Whether a user is walking or waiting on a bus stop or exploring items inside a retail store or exploring a restaurant menu, this emerging technology engages and inspires customers to make a purchase.
It allows brands to inform, engage and acquire customers by delivering the right information in an interactive manner. It enables brands to create awareness among consumers and most importantly it helps to regain ownership of the customer experience through branded apps.
Let’s understand the use of this emerging technology with few examples:
- Suppose you own a Retail Store that sells clothes, shoes and other accessories and there are several product shelves arranged accordingly inside the store. Augmented Reality based mobile app can simply engage customers by allowing them to scan the product labels or shelves and they can have all the product info (such as material, color, fabric, style, price, sizes etc.), discounts/offers on a particular item and purchase options directly from the app etc. available to them in an engaging manner.
See the solution video to understand how AR based mobile app works: https://advanton.com/customer-engagement-acquisition
- Suppose a customer comes to your restaurant for a great dine-in experience and starts to explore the menu for dishes. You can delight the customer by allowing him/her to scan the menu and bring your signature dishes alive on their smart phones or tablets. At the same time they can explore dishes in a completely new way, have information about calories, ingredients, offers and deals in an interactive manner.
- You as a brand owner want to engage customers on a bus stand or those who are walking on the streets. You can allow them to scan your brand logos or images or QR codes displayed on the billboard advertisements, brochures or print ads and experience your products such as clothes, shoes, furniture, consumables etc. on their smart phones and tablets.
- Suppose you are launching a new clothing line for your brand or you are adding new dishes to your restaurant menu and want to engage customers to inform them about your new additions. You can leverage branded mobile apps based on augmented reality to inform your existing customers engage with the new clothing line or menu items. This technology will inspire your existing customer base to keep coming back to you for more thereby increasing your overall sales.
AR has become an integral part of the marketing strategy for global as well as domestic brands. Since, it promises immediate engagement and maximum ROI, brands are strategizing on how to leverage AR at different phases of marketing campaigns.
According to a recent research by ‘Juniper Research’ on the use of augmented reality in marketing, 1.4 billion downloads of interactive mobile apps are predicted by the end of 2015 as brands are continuously investing in AR to explore new possibilities and exploit every opportunity. Global brands such as VolksWagon and Acer are using AR technology for product presentation and engagement. McDonalds have utilized AR by leveraging a gaming mobile app to engage dine-in customers.
How much does it cost to have an interactive mobile app based on Augmented Reality to engage customers, especially for small and mid-sized brands?
We suggest starting will a small budget if you are new to AR technology to measure results and as you start experiencing engagements are increasing interest among your customers, larges and more sophisticated apps can be developed based on the previous results. In general a small retailer or brand can start with a budget $3000 – $5000 for a simple engaging app. While more complex apps with sophisticated features and content budget varies.
What are the benefits after Augmented Reality is leveraged for sales?
- Increase in customer engagement levels, conversions and overall sales.
- Combined shopping experience of a physical store as well as online store.
- Creates brands awareness among aliens and new customers.
- One app enables 3 different channels of engagement. Print ads, out-door ads and in-store engagement.
- Delight customers by delivering useful info in an interactive manner resulting in satisfaction of the customers.
- Inspires customers by inciting curiosity in the minds of the consumers through AR-based tricks and features.
- Allows customers to make a purchase directly from the app and explore other options such as discounts and deals on a particular item thereby driving number transactions.
New age customers want new age brand experiences. The whole concept of shopping has changed, we’ve moved from flat screen based interactions to multi-dimensional and interactive content on mobile devices. As a brand, if you are ignoring the new age consumers and their interests then survival on the market would become tough with time. Explore new technologies and invest in those that promise to create brand awareness by engaging customers across various channels.