The worldwide outbreak of coronavirus has hugely impacted businesses and global economies, highlighting the significance of adopting new-age technologies in order to stay afloat and tide over the crisis. Brands gradually realized that to remain relevant, they need to find new ways and techniques to deliver value and convenience in order to become a long-term player. Augmented Reality (AR) applications have been growing incessantly, thanks to the computer-generated “try-before-you-buy” shopping experience.
According to reports by Research and Markets, augmented reality in the retail market is predicted to rise from $1.15 billion in 2018 to $7.95 billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 47.1%. These statistics are huge and spectacular, fuelled by digital shopping experiences, sky-touching smartphone penetration, cheap internet packages and increasing adoption of connected devices alongside the rise of AR technology.
How AR is Helping Brands Drive Sales Amidst the Pandemic
AR is being largely embedded in customer’s shopping experience. In fact, the technology is considerably helping brands market themselves and drive their sales in times of social distancing when physical facets of shopping and buying are entirely muted. Digital upgrades, hence, are leading the way for brands to tap into their target audience.
Increases Customer Engagement
Moving ahead, the retail businesses need to keep innovating. And augmented reality is enabling retailers to interact three-dimensionally with customers on their smart devices. According to industry experts, approximately 50% of consumers shop more using their smartphones than in-store. Moreover, after experiencing the “trial-run” consumers are able to decide wisely. AR has given customers a new digital experience that is transforming their journey into an immersive, visually interactive experience. The digital extension of the offline retail experience is leading to deeper engagement with the consumers. AR is paving the way for shopping while sitting at home as it is letting consumers spend wisely with the virtual ‘try-and-buy’ method of shopping. This way brands are able to acquire and retain new customers effectively.
Provides Personalized Experience
Pandemic made consumers realize the importance of augmented reality while shopping and making the right choice for them. Now, the consumers expect and lookout for a personalized experience with the brands they interact with. Personalization is playing a remarkable role in the market and fetching profits for the brands, it has turned out to be a major business differentiator these days. It is letting customers feel free in choosing the best for them by tailoring the shopping experience as per their likes and preferences, which in turn wins their trust and loyalty. This is significantly boosting sales for brands during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
AR is helping buyers try on products, save them, analyze the information further to arrive at the right choice and make informed purchase decisions within an immersive environment. The new-age technology has transformed shopping making it a wholesome experience even while customers are browsing sitting at home.
Interactive and Immersive Shopping
From entertaining customers to educating them, AR makes everything possible for them. It is a pure win-win scenario for brands and purchasers. AR has all the potential to transform static objects into interactive ones. It is a highly relevant tool for marketers to create fresh experiences that fascinate and entertain customers. AR is emerging as one of the most promising tools for brands to regain the strength of their business and make enormous profits out of it. Brands are using AR-enabled experiences to successfully drive traffic to their websites. Many brands are already making use of special thematic displays with AR to gain more customers and in turn make more sales. AR is also an effective medium to deliver content and information to the customers; it has become possible due to its interactive and immersive format.
Raises Brand Awareness
The research focuses on the promising application of AR that facilitates product evaluation before and post-purchase analyzes and examines its impact on online sales. It works like a wonder for products and brands that are less popular and struggling to come in the limelight to establish themselves. The overall impact of AR is huge for highly expensive products, indicating that AR could escalate the overall revenues for brands and retailers. Especially the customers who are new to the online channel are more likely to go for an AR-enabled experience before purchasing products. Recent studies have shown that multichannel customers are more profitable, omnichannel brands are using AR to stimulate their offline customer base to switch to the online channel.
Considering everything together, these findings evidence the fact that AR is an effective and revolutionary marketing tool when uncertainty about the future of businesses is high. Brands have realized that technology will not only help them drive sales but will also ensure that their customers become brand ambassadors by sharing their experiences online. AR has thus proven to be a promising strategy for brands to scale their profits in the coming times.
By Kanav Singla, Founder and CEO, Adloid