The numbers speak loudly and clearly: the market for immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is expected to hit $192.7 billion by 2022. And, yet, in spite of the predictions and the fact that augmented reality has been around for almost three decades, many are skeptical and see it as just another passing trend. Are they right or are they missing out on a huge opportunity?
2016 was the year that AR caught the public’s attention with Pokemon Go becoming a viral sensation overnight. The game allowed people to use their phones to interact with virtual objects in the real world. While the hype of the game has dialed down since then, its success helped businesses see that its applications can go beyond entertainment.
Here are a few reasons why your company should invest in augmented reality software development.
Improved User Experience
Whether we are talking about retail, healthcare or real estate, nowadays it’s all about providing genuine, personalized user experiences. Consumers don’t want to be treated like they are mere walking dollar signs. They want to connect with brands that understand their unique needs and cater to them. As such, augmented reality can become a powerful marketing tool that could help you build loyalty and commitment.
That’s what Zara did when it replaced window displays and mannequins with models and product demonstrations that were available through their app. Shoppers would point their phones to a wall and could see models wearing the items they were interested in. Then, with just a few more clicks, they were able to add items to their shopping carts and purchase them right there on the spot.
With so many competitors ready to please their audience’s every whims and desires, one-size-fits-all solutions don’t work anymore. Consumers have grown to expect personalized content that responds to their exact needs and preferences. And, that can be a hassle to generate.
Take healthcare as an example. Some medical procedures can be extremely intimidating and the fact that the lingo can be very technical and scientific doesn’t help either. AR could allow health providers to break down complex procedures into simple and interactive 3D models that would help patients visualize the process and understand how it applies to their condition.
What do you want consumers to do once they’ve purchased your product or service? For most companies, the acquisition isn’t the final step of the transaction. You want people to engage with your product, share it with others, and preferably buy it or use it again. Here’s how augmented reality could help with that.
Pez is an Australian candy company that found a simple yet ingenious way of using AR to boost engagement and, consequently, sales. They built an app that interacts with codes on the candy packages. People would scan the code and unlock a world full of characters, games, and challenges. There are six random codes hidden among the packages, so consumers would have to buy multiple packs to get the full experience.
Develop an Emotional Connection
When consumers see how they can use or apply a certain product to their lives, they build an emotional interaction with the brand. Ikea, for instance, developed an app that allows shoppers to see how different items, such as sofas, lamps or bed would look like in a room. Coca-Cola made it easier for businesses to envision where they could place beverage coolers in their stores. By simplifying the shopping experience, these companies were able to build a strong connection with prospects, increasing their sales.
Over to You
More and more businesses are only now beginning to grasp the wide applications of augmented reality and how this technology could help them grow. Are you going to jump in too?