What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is the technology used to add artificial or digital qualities to real objects. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR) which replaces your vision as you are elsewhere, augmented reality lets you see anything in front of you and add the projecting images over what you look at.
Why ecommerce merchants should engage with Augmented Reality (AR) marketing?
Firstly, don’t forget that marketing is driven by what the customer wants and needs. If a new technology is developed, it is likely that most customers are interested to experience it.
As a merchant or marketer, you need to keep your pace with the advanced technology to satisfy the customer. Failing to follow the trend will lead you to fall behind the competition.
Why augmented reality specifically?
- It is one of the marketing trends over this year and in the future. The reason is because brands, including ecommerce merchant, will be able to give unique customer experience with AR
- By using AR technology, customers will be able to try the products before purchasing without wearing/using them physically.
- By the statistics, 72% of shoppers purchased an item they are not about to buy because of the AR experience.
How do you use AR in the marketing?
Augmented reality marketing might sound luxurious for ecommerce merchants, but starting small is not a bad thing. Here are some example of marketing strategy using AR:
- Business Card
If you want to start with a small move, you can make a business card and add some interactive AR components to it. For example, when the business card is scanned using the AR visualization app, it will show a video showcasing your product line or show a button that will fly them to your social media account.
- Try the products
Take an apparel store or cosmetic store as an example. Potential customers will want to try the clothes or cosmet first before they make the purchase because they want to know how the clothes look on them.
However, with the AR, prospective customers do not need to take the hassle to try or fit it physically. At the same time, the shop does not need to prepare a dozen of physical products that will only be used as samples. There is nothing better than a strategy that benefits both parties, isn’t it?
- Augmented Catalogue
There are two ways of displaying the augmented catalogue to show your product line. The first is using an app to visualize your product virtually using AR technology. The second is to synchronize with the physical catalogue and send the content to the smartphone or tablet using the AR technology.
As the time keeps moving forward to the future, traditional print catalogue is losing its power and reaching its limits to attract potential customers. However, some brands still keep their print catalogue since it still has the usage for them. Therefore, you can just bridge the physical and virtual catalogue together by using QR code.
Will AR marketing cost a lot?
Some of you might be interested in this AR marketing, but you wish to only spend the minimum amount of money for it. There are some solutions to push the cost to the lowest.
First, you might want to replace the 3D content with the video content instead. If your shop will not benefit from showing 3D contents to the prospective consumer, there is no need to use it as it is not a must. You can just replace it by showing them a video of your product line.
Second, choose the platform to offer the AR experience to the prospective customer wisely. Each platform costs you differently and you need to choose based on what you need.
- Using your own app will give you more freedom on more complex interactivity.
- Using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, which has AR capabilities, will expand your audiences and it will be the best platform for those merchants who have high traffic in social media.
- Using web-based augmented reality will give you wider reach because it does not require the prospective customer to download an app.
- Using ready-made AR apps will cost you less because you don’t need to make it from scratch.
Augmented reality brings innovation to marketing, and it will upgrade the customer experience that will lead to the increase of business opportunity. Ecommerce merchants might think that AR marketing might cost a lot, but with these tricks, you can make a small move and make use of AR in your marketing with low cost.