Imagine that you need to purchase a new TV for your living room that you are just getting done. You are unsure of where to affix the TV, which wall, and deciding the seating arrangement. Requires a simple solution. What if you can just use your phone camera pointing to different walls and a virtual TV is projected on your wall through the phone.
You can exactly see how the TV would look without even bringing one home. That’s the power of the latest tech called Augmented Reality (AR).
Initially AR was strongly associated and achieved its fame through the AR game “Pokemon Go”. It helped gain widespread awareness among the millennials and Gen Z.Due to its virality, forward thinking brands immediately got to work in researching different ways to leverage AR to attract the youth and gain brand loyalty.
Soon enough, several innovative retail brands created AR experiences for their customers in the jewelry, fashion and lifestyle industries. AR technology has the ability as well as the scalability to provide a huge boost to shopping experiences, especially luxury shopping and ecommerce.The primary factor that differentiates a Luxury brand from others is the customer experience. Augmented Reality experience is that qualified factor that can be used to enhance customer experience.
What happens when you go shopping for your favourite apparel brand, and you end up liking too many designs and products. You run to the trial room for all of ‘em only to see that there’s a long queue to get in.Well, use of Augmented reality can save you the time and efforts. You can now use AR based screens with front camera that work as a mirror to find out how your selected product would look on you. In fact AR also facilitates trial even if the product is not available at that time in the store. This allows the customer to choose from a bigger variety of designs. Use of such technology also instils fondness of the brand in the minds of the customer.
Augmented reality experience is definitely capable of luring customers to a brand’s site or its app. It is the experience for customers that counts. Through AR various designs and products of a brand can be displayed to the customers without having actually going to the store. The AR tech enhances normal ecommerce experience by allowing the customer to even try the designs at her own convenience.
This specially works well when the user is an existing customer of the brand. The brand can leverage this technology to upsell several other products to its existing customer base. Since the customer is well aware of the brand, the AR technology can be used to induce the customer to try similar products on the basis of her previous purchases. AR can thus facilitate a spurt in ecommerce sales.
Lacoste, the iconic French sports brand launched its AR experiences that allows users to try various shoes designs. Lacoste is one of the first to combine 3D scanning with AR. The app uses in-store point-of-sale to allow shoppers to see what the new product would look like on their foot without actually having to try them on.There are several other brands such as Burberry, De Beers, Adidas, etc that have launched AR tech to enhance customer experience. Being adaptive and ahead of the times with use of such technology is what makes these brands stand out from the rest.
One of the ways for aspiring brands to accelerate their awareness campaigns is to leverage the use of Augmented Reality. This is because it helps smaller brands to reduce inventory costs and at the same time be able to provide a variety of product designs to the customers in the stores. Such products can then be delivered to the customers on order basis.Brands can also use AR as a launch tool for upcoming products and allowing quirky ways to try the products. For example, adding social features to their AR app would allow users to share snaps of themselves trying the launched product using AR. This way the brand can gain digital momentum and visibility in a cost effective way.
There are many AR developers who specialise in developing AR experiences for various luxury industries such as jewelry, apparel, optics - such as Creative Engine, StyleDotMe, etc. These developers can assist based on brand’s requirements and usage.
In fact few developers have already launched AR experiences on their own that brands can directly use in return for a certain fee. This can be cost effective as brands get a readymade AR app to use without going through the hassles of development. We came across certain AR developers during our research who allow usage of their AR app for as low as USD 1430 (INR 1,00,000).
Augmented Reality comes as a boon to aspiring brands trying to create a niche in their product category. The earlier they adapt to such disruptive technologies the bigger the scalability.Hope the above has given you some good insights on AR. Do leave your thoughts, feedback and queries in the comments section below.