Using Augmented Reality to Promote Your Brand

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More and more companies are adopting augmented reality (AR) technology to provide a vivid experience of their products and services. This also means that it’s more than just a marketing gimmick. It’s also a psychological tactic to remove the barrier of fantasy and bring it to reality in the mind of a buyer.

For this reason, AR has the potential to dominate e-commerce as it makes access to perceiving the product more accessible. In fact, this year, the number of mobile AR users is expected to reach 3.5 billion. And, analysts predict that the AR market will reach $198 billion in 2025.

What is augmented reality?

AR is a technology that augments our physical world by adding layers of digital information on top of it. When you look at an AR screen, you see the original physical real-life environment with superimposed computer-generated graphics. Digital information superimposed on the natural environment can be constructive (enhances or adds to it) or destructive (covers it), but the idea is to merge digital and physical realities seamlessly.

What’s the difference between AR and virtual reality?

An example of the difference between AR and virtual reality (VR) might be using a shopping app to see a piece of art in your home verses using a VR headset to “ride” a roller coaster. Here are the four primary differences between the two:

  1. Environment:
    AR augments an existing environment by introducing computer-generated images and effects. But VR is a digital-only environment with no real-life objects.

  2. Equipment:
    AR works seamlessly on your mobile phone or tablet without any other equipment. A brand marketing its product has already developed an AR app for you to view. But with VR, you’ll need to wear a special headset and might need to use a special controller.

  3. Space:
    AR can be experienced anywhere. But with VR, you’ll need some space to move around in or make sweeping motions to get the whole experience.

  4. Energy:
    VR devices use more power than AR because they generate an entirely digital world rather than simply adding virtual elements to the physical world.

Examples of AR applications

AR’s value is in the way it can interpret, manipulate, and enhance the view of the real world in real-time. Here are a few examples in which AR is being used:

  1. Retail:
    With more people shopping from home and less emphasis on public retail spaces, AR allows consumers to see how products will look in their own homes before purchasing them. This takes the guesswork out of the buying process. There are already a number of apps—such as Wayfair, Houzz, and Ikea—that let you virtually place furniture and other products in your own real-world environments.

  2. Mapping and Navigation:
    The business directory app Yelp was an early adopter of AR with its now-discontinued Monocle feature. Monocle overlayed information about local businesses when viewing the immediate surroundings on your phone’s display. Callouts showed where nearby restaurants were located along with basic information such as how far away they were. This is a variation of the head-up display (HUD)—Mercedes-Benz, for example, is introducing a car that overlays navigation information on the windshield, helping you drive without looking away from the road.

  3. Education:
    AR is finding its way into curriculum to enhance traditional learning methods. For example, textbooks can be marked with codes that, when scanned by a smartphone, can display additional content or 3D visualizations.

  4. Maintenance and Industry:
    AR has great potential in the coming years to significantly reduce reliance on physical technical manuals and improve productivity at the same time by overlaying relevant information in a worker’s field of view while performing maintenance or other tasks. Sufficiently advanced AR systems can not only understand context to show the right information, but help identify components and workflows using highlights and overlays. BMW, for example, is doing exactly that with a pilot program using AR on the assembly line.

  5. Entertainment and Social Media:
    AR has a lot of potential for entertainment as well. Magic Leap, for example, is an AR development company that reportedly spent more than $2.6 billion developing AR goggles and an AR technology platform, yet continues to be able to attract additional investments. On a more accessible platform—smartphones—TikTok recently introduced branded AR effects that users can add to their videos. This is no doubt just the beginning of a race to create ever-more compelling AR experiences that blur the line between real and virtual.

What are the benefits of AR for your brand?

When you implement AR technology on your website, you can expect to:

  1. Increase Customer Engagement:
    AR can increase customer engagement by 66% because it keeps consumers engaged with your products. And, the longer a customer spends on your site, the more likely they are to purchase from you. Even if they don’t buy during the first visit, their initial experience means they’ve developed a relationship with your brand and products, increasing the likelihood of a future purchase.

  2. Attract New Shoppers:
    You can reach new customers and generate buzz about your brand by creating engaging AR campaigns. 63% of customers say AR would transform their shopping experience. AR technology elevates a brand’s status and gives them greater confidence about the product quality before they buy.

  3. Boost Conversion Rates:
    AR increases the average mobile conversion rate from 3.5% to 11%. In addition to attracting and keeping people on your site longer, AR can actually boost sales. AR offers more information than static 2D images through its 3D views. It can also show what a product looks like in a consumer’s space, so it’s much easier for them to make a purchasing decision confidently.

  4. Increase Prices:
    Around 40% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a product if they could experience it through AR. So, by offering an AR experience, you can safely increase prices and grow your revenue.

  5. Reduce Returns:
    In addition to selling more at a higher price, you can also expect to retain more of your revenue, as AR reduces returns by 35%. Again, this comes down to the fact that AR helps consumers choose the right product the first time.

How can 10Pearls help your business maximize AR’s potential?

From healthcare to education, entertainment to construction, we create AR and VR solutions that enable limitless opportunities for brands across all genres and industries. We’ve helped businesses accelerate engagement and transform complex processes into seamless interactive digital experiences. Enrich your customer experience with AR and VR.