In their quest to catch the attention of millennial buyers, brands are ever ready to adopt new technologies. The latest technology platform which is being embraced by early movers is Augmented Reality (AR); with the help of AR, brands are able to stimulate the customer’s senses by seamlessly collaborating virtual elements into the real environment and also helping in enhancing brand engagement in the process. Also, brands are able to stand out in the ever so congested and competitive market by using AR innovatively.
AR burgeoning numbers Even though Virtual Reality (VR) caught the eye of marketers first but it is AR which is showing greater signs of disruptive growth. It is expected companies will be spending massive money on AR technology by 2022, 25% of the brands are interested in incorporating the technology and total market size is expected to reach $117.4 billion by 2022. Considering 37% of the world population is now active social media users, companies have realized it is imperative to have a strong social media presence and AR is the next frontier for social media marketers. As per Deloitte survey, 88 percent of the companies that have annual revenue ranging from $100 million to $1 billion are using some form of augmented reality as a part of their business.
How Marketers are using AR? AR does a fantastic job of incorporating virtual element in a real world environment, thus completely redefining the meaning of advertisements. Clothing brands are using AR to provide their customers with virtual fitting rooms, to help them envision how a particular clothing product fits them. Furniture companies like IKEA are using AR to place virtual furniture in the homes of its buyers. Lowes, a home improvement store, has developed AR-enabled app holoroom that lets the customer use in-store navigations as well as remodel a room. Fashion retailer Rebecca Minkoff with the help of AR has installed “magic mirrors” in some of their flagship stores. By creating a more holistic relation with their customers, Rebecca Minkoff’s AR stores witnessed a 50% increase in YOY sales from 2014 to 2015. Facebook and Snapchat are experimenting to integrate AR on their platforms. Their survival depends on being able to keep their users hooked and AR is the next battleground.
Conclusion AR has the potential to enhance customer experience and bringing a new element to customer engagement, so it makes complete sense for companies to incorporate this technology into their marketing plans. Use of AR is still at a very nascent stage, but growing number of millennials means the use of AR by companies for marketing will implode in the coming years.