AR refers to the technology that superimposes computer-generated images on a user’s view of the world. It creates an augmented reality, rather than taking you to a virtual world. The most prominent benefit of AR for marketers is specifically e-commerce.
AR allows you to showcase your products in a completely unique format. There is huge scope for opportunity and it’s important to position your brand before your competitors do so.
According to the IDC (International Data Centre), spending on augmented reality and virtual reality will reach $17.8 billion in 2018. The potential of AR is huge, and it’s for this reason that the likes of Apple and Google have launched AR development kits for marketers and developers. These kits provide advanced algorithms and capabilities for developing apps and offerings for immersive experiences.
Google has also launched ARCore, another software development kit for building augmented reality experiences. These kits provide various tools for rendering, optimisation and other features for immersive AR experiences. With such technology available, it's clear that digital marketing is undergoing a complete revolution.
Major retailers like Target and IKEA are already on the AR bandwagon and have developed technologies which let users digitally place products in their homes before purchasing. In the world of cosmetics, Estée Lauder has recently enabled customers to virtually try their makeup through their Facebook messenger chatbot.
It seems like lots of brands are dipping their toes into AR. For good reason, as well: according to a recent study, 40% of users are willing to pay more for your product if they have the chance to experience through AR.
But how should marketers introduce AR into their marketing strategies? Many would advise to use AR for video content, as video takes centre stage within digital marketing. With a normal video, you have a few seconds to catch the attention of your audience. With AR, however, you get around 75 seconds.
This form of marketing is highly shareable, so you can presume that you will be putting your content in front of many more people. It can catch impulse shoppers – consumers who aren't intending to buy anything, but who perhaps require a gentle push. By placing the product virtually into their world, AR can showcase how their life might improve with your product.