The last eighteen months have seen a rapid increase in the application of augmented reality technologies with the industry expected to see a market value of $85 billion by 2025 (marketandmarkets.com), with 1 billion augmented reality users by 2020. The opportunity to immerse consumers has attracted considerable investment with a spend of over $2 billion by the top 40 brands, on embedding AR solutions within their marketing and sales campaigns in the last three years (R3 Worldwide).
AR, put simply, is a technology which enhances a real-life environment by layering 3D artificial objects on top of it, thereby enabling the interactive and immersive experience that consumers demand, in today’s attention economy.
AR-focused marketing campaigns create whole new worlds that completely engross consumers and boost brand awareness. Consumers are showing an increasing readiness to customise and personalise their immersive shopping experiences which in turn will boost brand engagement.
• The likelihood of a successful online sales conversion is 40% if the consumer can view the product in AR. Whilst retail stores are likely to see a 22% decrease in customers if they don’t provide an AR experience (Think Mobiles)
In fact, there is such high consumer demand for AR-centred experiences that AR will soon be ubiquitous. Jeremiah Johnson, Creative Technology Lead, Barbarian, says: “we’re getting pretty close to the end or past the end of where having AR integration as a novelty or gimmick is enough.”
There are several successful AR applications which have been both innovative and commercially effective including:
• IKEA’s AR smartphone app allowing customers to virtually place any product in their living room or bedroom and see how it looks. Customers can take a picture of their room and see suggestions for relevant products. This has proved a fantastic way to revolutionise the IKEA shopping experience and enable sales through a practical, entertaining application.
• New Look launched the first AR campaign in the Middle East to great effect. The campaign allowed customers to mix and match products to find their perfect look, and access additional content and special offers. The campaign saw over 10,000 interactions per month with an average of 7 minutes per engagement, all of which has substantially boosted New Look’s presence in the region
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