Augmented Reality: 4 examples of how brands can utilise AR technology for isolated consumers

Our ‘normal’ interactive, multi-sensory, face-to-face reality is not available to us right now, and the use of video alone as a replacement can leave many business-critical interactions lacking. 

Field sales, product demos, retail shopping, in-house presentations, B2B training…all of these scenarios would benefit greatly from more interactivity than video calling alone. Each of these situations could be turbo-charged through AR; and what’s more, the AR industry is already waiting:

49%

L’Oreal E-Commerce sales were up 49% in 2019 largely driven by customers having a chance to try before they buy using Augmented Reality. Source: Retail Touchpoints

65%

64% of marketers are already using or expecting to use AR and VR in the near future. Source: The Drum

45%

AR received 45% higher engagement than TV. Source: Mindshare 

Recap: What is augmented reality?

Augmented Reality technology allows you to manipulate, change – or augment – the space around us.  We typically use it through a smartphone, whereby we look through using the camera’s lens and see reality manipulated.

The recent lockdown has seen a rise in AR use, understanding and demand. Google Trends data saw a huge spike in interest for the term “augmented reality” in since the pandemic:

augmented-reality-google-trends

Google’s own 3D animals AR technology has been an online hit (if you haven’t had a play yet then be sure to check it out). But how can the technology make a real difference to business and take it beyond ‘gimmick’ or ‘nice to have’?

Let’s look at four ways AR can directly influence your business objectives/goals replace the live, face-to-face experiences we are all missing out on right now…

1. Show your product in full 3D in front of your customer

Shops are closed, events are cancelled, field sales calls are off the table, which means you can’t get your product in front of potential buyers – or can you? AR is a superb way to do just that – allow your customers to place your product in their own personal space in full photo-realistic 3D, life-size and scalable, with added information hotspots if you want.

Delivered straight from your app or website, your audience can bring their choice of product into their very own home, walk around it, move it, adjust it, personalise it – just as if it was actually there in front of them

In 2020, using Reydar AR technology we built Exertis a virtual retail environment so that their clients could virtually shop for items such as laptops and computers. With hotspots, users could gather more details about each product and then through the Reydar app they could select those products and view them in situ in their own environment.

Using AR technology to get your product in front of your audiences can support so many business functions. We are all using video calling to replace face-to-face meetings, imagine that with your product in front of your potential buyer on their desk, kitchen table (or wherever they find themselves working that day) – for product launches, sales calls, product demos etc.

 

2. Real-world fully-branded experiences in your customers’ own home

Expos, events and shops – these are branded environments where your audience can browse, self-qualify and try-before-they-buy – and each are unavailable to us right now.

Through AR technology we can recreate these environments and pop your brand to life anywhere, whether this is an exhibition stand, shop-floor or other promotional showcase for your products/experiences.

Recreating real-world AR environments that your audience can pop into their own home allows you to cross-sell, answer common questions, guide your audience and ultimately shorten the sales and user journeys.

When we created a promotional campaign for the Engineering Design Show we needed a talking point that reflected the incredible work of the flagship event. The promotional print material was circulated to 15,000 members, and using the PopRey technology the EDS advert sprung to life through users’ smartphones with an interactive robotic arm highlighting the event interests. And too at the event itself, the AR technology could be experienced on interactive posters throughout the building.

The result was that users were not only able to anticipate the excitement of the event, but actually feel and see what the show was all about.  

Being digital means your only limit is your imagination – so you can improve on your ‘normal’ environment and add game-changing excitement to fire up your audiences.

3. Create and share entire virtual environments

In the absence of events and other purpose-designed branded experiences that we can physically attend, with AR technology, we can recreate events in an augmented environment. 

We did exactly that with the Reydar AR platform and Samsung’s large format display (LFD) screens. Using Reydar’s core functionality of PlaceRey to display the product in customers’ own personal space, and PingRey to provide context, users could place Samsung screens on their own wall and configure the size and how many screens they needed.

Users were captivated and wowed by the impressive and immersive environment and it also served a useful purpose by letting customers try-before-they-buy. AR isn’t just a gimmick – it has a business purpose. Whether your target is more sales, memberships, sign-ups or publicity, like any marketing activity, AR works best when it has a clear business aim.

4. Use print to trigger video content

Print media doesn’t need to be static anymore. With the human brain processing video 60,000 times faster than text, triggering an AR video experience from printed materials or directly from your app is a simple way to add immediate value.

Think packaging, direct mail, advertising, brochures, instruction manuals… or like financial systems provider, Alfa, enhance your annual report through AR. 

By providing their customers with an augmented digital layer on the printed annual report, Alfa was able to engage readers like never before as well as showcase their commitment to digital transformation.

What can your brand do now?

AR can be employed as a short-term tactic to pivot current activity or as part of a businesses strategy to support long-term objectives. With the changes in the rules of engagement we are currently witnessing,  now is the best time to view AR as a ‘need to have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’.

For examples of how AR have been used successfully by our clients, along-with step-by-step user journeys and guideline pricing, please get in contact.