How Augmented Reality is Becoming a Vital Component of Success for Retail
Augmented reality changes the way we trade. By using augmented reality, brands can effectively emphasize the key advantages of their products. According to a report by Zion Market Research, the global augmented and virtual reality market was valued at around USD 26.7 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach approximately USD 814.7 billion by 2025. Importantly, as the use of augmented reality grows, it reduces the number of real world stores.
Another research, by Retail Perceptions, revealed what people think about the technology of AR. The surveyed people say that the most popular items to shop for with augmented reality are:
- 60% Furniture
- 55% Clothing
- 39% Groceries
- 35% Shoes
- 25% Makeup
- 25% Jewelry
- 22% Toys
Also, people answered about their preferences in augmented reality apps:
- 77% of shoppers want to see product features such as color or style
- 65% want to learn more information about product
- 55% say that augmented reality makes shopping fun
That’s why AR is the way for retailers to satisfy the audience’s needs and improve their business. Live Animations prepared 5 advices on how augmented reality can be used to boost retail.
Advice #1. Let people experience 3D products online
Customers prefer to choose the product online and only then make a decision to visit the real-world store. Today retailers exist in two worlds at the same time and they need to improve both of them. That’s why it is very important to give the audience online experience of using your brand product.
For example, Sephora brand created a Virtual Artist App with Modiface to show users how makeup products will look on their faces via their phone’s camera.
Advice #2. Create additional value for your product
Augmented reality is a way to show the customers that your products have more value than their immediate functions. AR can give your brand more functions such as educational or entertaining one. Create additional value and make your product useful for your audience.
For example, Live Animations and Little Hippo publisher created Hippo Magic application for a series of 4 children’s books with AR. A child could download the Hippo Magic application to a smartphone, launch it, point a camera at an illustration in the book and the characters would come to life right from the pages.
More than half of pages in each book contain 3D animations in augmented reality. Interacting with characters is interesting for both children and adults: they can play with characters, color them in real time, look for hidden objects, create music, etc.
Walmart has ordered all 4 books, 250 000 copies in total, and they were sold in 3650 stores across the U.S. On June 7, 2018, together with Little Hippo, we were awarded with the Parents Choice Award for these books.
Advice #3. Use customer`s environment
You can give the customers an opportunity to understand how products will fit and look in their homes. AR is transforming retail by offering customers to see products in the real environment before purchasing.
For instance, Shopify uses augmented reality to give their audience an opportunity to learn more about the products they are interested in. The company integrated a new function of fast AR-view with the updated toolkit ARKit 2 into its platform. The technology is called AR Quick Look.
Companies and brands are able to upload 3D models of their products, and users will be able to view products in the Safari web browser, as projections in a real environment.
Advice #4. Give customers a new experience for greater engagement
All brands try to be innovative in their campaigns. All new features are still one of the ways to get people’s attention. AR is a great tool for retailers to impress their customers.
For example, Shackleton Whisky launched an augmented reality experience via Shazam app for iOS and Android.
After scanning specifically marked Shackleton Gift Boxes via the Shazam app’s camera, the product artwork comes to life, with a virtual ship sailing into the real world in augmented reality. Users can view videos that document the voyage of Sir Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica by pressing the appropriate thumbnails on their screens.
Advice #5. Build brand awareness
Augmented Reality can create a deep emotional connection between the product and the audience. Such experience increases brand awareness and brand loyalty.
For example, Live Animations created an augmented reality app for an ice cream brand “My Yeti.” We created an entire family of characters from scratch for the new brand − a yeti family with their unique story. 20 cartoons in AR were developed and the users could watch the cartoons unfold right on the surface of 5 different types of ice cream packaging. Charming characters tell young ice cream lovers interesting stories about the world and encourage playing with them. The frequency of purchases in retail stores increased 2.5 times and the marketing solution changed customers’ motivation for buying the product. The product was nominated and won the International Advertising Festival in the nomination “Best Innovations in Advertising.”
Almost 70% of consumers expect retailers to launch an AR app. Despite this, according to Tech Pro Research, nearly two-thirds of companies don’t use AR at all. AR could provide a cutting-edge solution for meeting those shoppers’ needs and retailers have to be smart to make the most of Augmented Reality’s unlimited marketing capabilities.