Augmented reality, or AR, is a widely acclaimed and accredited technology integrating digital with the physical environment. In other words, augmented reality makes it possible for real to overlap with virtual. However, AR should not be mistaken for virtual reality (VR). With the help of additional graphics and sounds, augmented reality creates a version of real-life reimagined, enhanced.
What is augmented reality used for? Despite extensive discussions and campaigns like Google Glass, AR received a worldwide recognition only recently with a number of apps released. Even though VR seemed to be a more lucrative niche, the augmented reality market has been showing remarkable growth since 2016. According to Statista, the AR market is gearing for growth from $3.5 billion to around $198 billion in 2025. The main idea behind augmented reality for marketing is making people the center of a brand’s attention, focusing on the target audience on a deeper personal level. Therefore, AR marketing is a perfect way to boost the level of engagement and brand awareness. In a nutshell, augmented reality is reshaping shopping experience.
Examples of Augmented Reality
Back in 2016, the world was invaded by pokemons with the Pokémon GO app introduced. This app is one of the best and simplest examples of AR technology in action. A year after the launch of the app, the spending on Pokémon GO reached 84% of the worldwide mobile AR consumer spending. Statistics demonstrate that augmented reality products are the key to successful product and brand discovery.
With the help of augmented reality campaigns, businesses can make the real environment even more magnetic. With the overlay of additional information, users and/or customers are drawn to interact with it and explore.
Google Translate is a practical and useful app. Not only does it make the translation process effortless, but it also allows to read signs or texts on packages with the help of augmented reality technology. The user manual is simple: open the app, scan the text, and wait for the translation to appear. Naturally, the app is available for both iOS and Android.
Could remodeling or furnishing your home get any more comfortable? With the help of the augmented reality furnishing app, it is possible to place a 3D model of IKEA furniture at any spot of the house or apartment. The app enables its users to change the location, color, and size of the picked furniture. Basically, it provides a shoppable AR experience in the comfort of your home. The app is also available for iOS and Android devices.
Sephora Virtual Artist
Sephora is a well-known chain of beauty stores focused on cosmetic and personal care products. The introduction of the Virtual Artist app is a breakthrough in the beauty industry. The app not only allows to try on multiple makeup products but also the looks created in advance by Sephora experts. Moreover, the app provides such exclusive features as personalized tutorials, color match finder, and the ability to compare different shades of makeup products.
Augmented Reality Marketing Campaigns
How to invest in augmented reality? According to the fact that the investment in AR drastically increased in the past few years, the answer is simple – invest in augmented reality ads and campaigns. The AR technology has generated a real interest since Facebook announced its intention to update Spark AR Studio this April.
Within the scope of marketing, augmented reality provides an opportunity for brands to offer an extraordinary captivating digital experience, which results in further audience engagement and memorable lifelike impression of the product.
ASOS Virtual Catwalk
In June 2019, ASOS introduced the AR-based Virtual Catwalk feature on its app. Virtual Catwalk is an AR experience inside the retailer’s shopping app. The main goal of this feature is to provide additional visuals of the clothes so that the customer could make an informed buying decision. To use it, you need to point your camera on the flat surface, click the AR button on the product page, and see the hologram of a model walking in front of you. The feature was developed in close cooperation with the AR technology brand called HoloMe. For now, Virtual Catwalk is only available on iOS. For those who cannot use it yet, ASOS also demonstrated it on their Facebook page. With ongoing AR testing, ASOS customers can expect the feature to be updated and available for Android devices soon.
Gucci’s augmented reality ideas come in handy when their customers would like to virtually “try on” shoes before making a purchase. Developed in cooperation with the AR commerce company Wannaby, the app enables customers to see a realistic visual overlay of the shoes and to switch to another pair by swiping to the right or left. To use it, you only need to point the camera at your feet. It is a highly functional retail app which is currently available only within the Gucci iOS application.
The Future of Augmented Reality
Rumor has it that AR will become the operating system of the future. With the technologies evolving at a lightning speed, every device and every feature is smart. Recently, many augmented reality ecommerce features have been introduced, but brands do not seem to stop developing new concepts. Both web-based and mobile-based AR technologies will be integrated into the everyday routine. The adoption of AR across multiple industries will most likely result in the creation of mixed reality technology. In other words, more realistic ways to interact with products or a wider choice of in-game actions will be introduced. Moreover, AR is likely to interconnect even more with artificial intelligence (AI), which has endless opportunities for development in any niche: healthcare, education, automobile industry, gaming, etc.
The companies using augmented reality or developing augmented reality solutions will transform the global market, shift the focus, and create next-generation products. Obviously, the crucial changes will cause the wave of mergers and acquisitions as well as the incorporation of new risk reduction practices. However, it is a fact that the adoption of augmented reality technology by major brands and businesses will continually revolutionize the world. There are more experimental products and services to come, which will change the world as we know it. The question is: Are you ready?