How is AR Enhancing the Brand-Consumer Relationship?
Immersive technological developments have been the talk of the town for the past couple of years, and it’s quite easy to get excited about them. However, more often than not, these technologies turn out to be nifty little parlor tricks that do not offer any long-term value. But some of them turn out to be real game-changers, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
These immersive technologies delight, amaze, and inform us. Not only that, but they also have the potential to enhance brands’ relationships with their consumers. But how is that happening?
In practice, augmented reality provides the opportunity to project digital elements on top of a real-world setting, blending the digital world with the user’s actual surroundings.
AR’s purpose, though, in the context of commerce, is much more ambitious than that. It gives brands new and improved ways to attract and retain consumers while enhancing the consumer experience, which has become critical for brands in today’s time.
That’s why it’s reinventing the brand-consumer relationship right before our eyes.
The Importance of Customer Experience (CX) Today
Customer experience has become even more critical in this era due to the omnipresence of products and services and the wide-ranging impact of the Internet. Hence, brands are looking towards CX as an area of competitive advantage. Another reason for this can be attributed to the fact that consumers today are switchers and are decreasingly loyal to brands. Hence, an excellent CX is now an essential business metric for brands and a priority after price and quality.
Hence, it should come as no surprise that brands are looking for out-of-the-box ideas and solutions to entice consumers, and AR fits that bill!
Augmented Reality and the Brand-Consumer Relationship
Consumers are becoming more dependent on technology and digital tools when it comes to decision-making and purchasing products. This is primarily because consumers expect personalization and a rich and immersive experience when deciding on products and services. This expectation is accelerating and fueling the AR implementation by brands. So, let’s take a look at how AR is enhancing the brand-consumer relationship:
- Interactive Packaging
AR is positively impacting customer service, right from pre-sales to the post-purchase experience. One of the more innovative examples of the same is interactive packaging.
Consumers have the option of scanning product packages to see engaging visuals and details with a plethora of helpful information, resulting in higher sales.
Jack Daniels took advantage of this by taking consumers on a virtual distillery tour while giving exciting tidbits about the brand.
This tactic can also be used in a business-to-business (B2B) setting. For example, instead of carrying business presentations and brochures, you can simply ask your audience to scan a QR code to view information about your company.
- Customer Service
In today’s competitive business scenario, it’s become essential for brands to establish dependability through excellent post-sales support, thus enhancing consumer loyalty. AR is assisting customers by providing them with AR-based customer service. Implementing AR-based customer service helps improve call resolutions at one go and reduces technicians’ dispatch rate.
Numerous brands are incorporating AR capabilities through smartphones for servicing, Nespresso being one of them. The brand is implementing augmented reality for the descaling process of its coffee machines. Consumers can scan the packaging to receive detailed step-by-step instructions for descaling through augmented reality.
- Product Customization
Product customization always draws customers to brands and greatly enhances customer loyalty. However, product customization was a tricky customer,while proving to be an expensive and lengthy process.
That was until augmented reality entered the frame. It has become easy to overcome these hurdles with augmented reality. Brands like Nike and Adidas are now using AR, projection technology, digital signage, and object tracking to enable consumers to customize sneakers.
- Dining Experiences
The food and beverage (F&B) industry is also benefiting from augmented reality, which is helping restaurants attract new customers while retaining existing ones. But you might be wondering, AR in the F&B industry?
The answer is AR-based menus, which provide consumers with descriptions and information about the dishes, customization features before ordering, and 360° visuals of the dishes.
- Relationship Building
As mentioned earlier, augmented reality is having a significant impact on how brands compete with each other. Thus, making AR a vital tool in a brand’s quest of building relationships with consumers. Augmented reality allows brands to provide consumers with immersive shopping experiences (think IKEA Place and the H&M x Simone Rocha collab), helps brands develop unique products, improves user experience and engagement, and builds a long-lasting relationship with consumers.
Building Augmented Reality Experiences
Both the brands and consumers are reaping the benefits of employing augmented reality. For consumers, it’s the convenience, ease-of-use, and novelty aspect. On the other hand, it’s helping brands create digital, emotional, and physical connections with consumers to incite loyalty and boost consumer retention.
Brand engagement is only just taking off with augmented reality, and we’ve only scratched the surface. Mutual Mobile has a finger on the pulse regarding emerging and immersive technologies like augmented reality. And we’d like nothing more than to help you develop an immersive experience for your customers, so hit us up!