The inclusion of Augmented Reality (AR) features in the product will become one reason consumers choose one brand over the other in the future.
According to Neilson’s 2019 survey, 64% of respondents confirmed their lives are busy and said technology helped simplify them. Out of the many technologies that people were ready to adopt, AR tech was at the top of the list.
The possibilities of AR tech being integrated within businesses are endless. For consumers, it can virtually replicate the shopping experience of going to a physical store while also removing many obstacles related to it.
Shoppers can test products virtually from their homes or while on the go through AR-supported applications. Take, for instance, the IKEA Place app. According to a press release by the company,
“IKEA Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles, and colors in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger…”
The app allows users to pick a product they like, virtually place them inside their physical room, and move them to see if the product fits the space.
Even luxury brands have adopted the technology to deliver creative experiences for their consumers. Gucci launched an AR app where the user can try out their shoe collection — virtually anywhere. Similarly, Chanel joined in as well. The brand creates snow globes each year, filled with its iconic products. These are shown only in their special events. With the launch of the 2019 exhibition, anyone could see it through their Snapchat AR Lens.
Does AR help improve conversion rates?
Virtually moving around objects in the real world sounds interesting. But does it enhance the conversion rate of the business? The short answer — It depends.
Consider Home Depot’s case study. Just before the pandemic, the brand brought AR features to its mobile and web applications. Consumers could access them on the product page by simply clicking on the option that reads “See it in your home with 3D Augmented Reality.”
According to Digital Commerce 360, these were the results of the AR integrations done by Home Depot:
- There has been a surge in online sales since the pandemic
- Online sales increased about 100% y-o-y basis.
- Shoppers gravitated more toward the AR features.
- Those who used the feature converted two to three times higher than those who didn’t.
- In the fiscal second quarter that ended Aug 2, over 14% of its sales occurred online, which is expected to increase in the future
Technology can develop in the retail industry. Can it lead to higher conversion rates in the food industry? Yes, it can.
Papa John’s ran a successful AR campaign on Snapchat that increased sales for their special Valentine’s day pizza. The Snapchat Lens offered two unique ways to engage with the brand:
- After ordering the special Valentine's pizza, the consumer can scan the code on the pizza box and be taken to the Lens, or
- The user can browse the Lens collection, find one from Papa John’s and play around with it.
Here are the results as per Snap Inc’s internal data
- 1 out of 4 users who swiped up purchased the pizza
- 25% increase in conversion rate.
- 60% of Lens views unlocked via the Snapcode on the box were by unique Snap chatters
- 6% increase in ad awareness
Hence, AR has the potential to grow and develop in these sectors when appropriately adopted. It doesn’t mean it’s not made for other industries, such as finance, construction, and education.
Workers in the automotive industry are already using the technology. AR applications help them easily interact with the maintenance staff, retrieve work orders, display service records, and access documentation and data readings.
Therefore, the technology improves consumer experiences and allows the company to perform internal work more effectively and efficiently.
For some, augmented reality is just a gimmick. But for brands that effectively implement it in their business strategy, it can become a game-changer. Within the next five years, we anticipate that AR technology will become a standard in many industries, leading its role not only in consumer scenarios but for B2B as well.