In a world of technology, augmented reality has become more popular over the past couple of years, and it is bringing massive gains in the digital advertising world. Augmented reality advertising enables marketers to reach their customers in very different ways through cutting-edge technology, which means ads are more interactive and more engaging than ever.
Retailers and other businesses operating both on online and offline platforms are using it to gain a competitive advantage. Digital advertising is prospering, and numbers have shown that about 4.5 billion people worldwide are active internet users.
While AR is widely being implemented into marketing strategies, exactly how has it influenced how advertising is done?
The Impact of AR in Advertising
Augmented reality is changing the marketing landscape. Things are gradually transitioning from the present marketing space to a better and more effective face of AR marketing.
Usually, ads are displayed in 2D, but AR makes it possible to display them in a three-dimensional interface. Gone are the days where consumers could only view ads displayed in front of them. AR has made it easier for marketers to create ads for customers to view in peripheral vision. AR-enabled ads are more-detailed since they can be displayed in a higher size ratio.
The adoption of augmented reality tech might be drastic in a few years to come although big companies have started investing heavily in this technology to their advantage. The impact is substantial and the future of AR is even more promising.
A Different Approach to Advertising
Advertisers are not just displaying ads with content directed to the users which simply sum up what the product is about, but also creating experiences that include AR as a concept. AR has altered the approach used for displaying ads, creators are using 3D and 2D models among other complex technologies to aid AR advertising. Augmented Reality has changed how ads are displayed by allowing customers to have a more interactive experience with the brand.
It’s not just applied for e-commerce, it is also being used to help with the sale and marketing of physical and in-store products. For instance, in 2017 Target launched a mobile website feature known as “See It in Your Space” which gives customers a 3D view of furniture sold in the stores in their homes before purchasing.
AR advertising is also indirect with features that allow customers to digitally scan and interact with physical products. With such features, customers don’t have to walk-in stores to interact with products, they can do so virtually from anywhere. This plays a huge role in driving offline sales, it is not only for businesses established in the online space. It can also drive conversions by allowing customers to interact with packaged items, and allow them to see “what’s in the box.”
Augmented reality is giving advertisers a tremendous advantage by making ads more engaging, efficient, and interactive. This is why it’s important to begin to implement this tech for CPG companies.
The Upside of AR Advertising
The benefits of AR advertising apply to both businesses and customers. For many brands, incorporating augmented reality in their strategy goes a long way to ensure that the consumer gets an emotional connection with the product presented to them. Apart from this, more advantages seem to be coined from the use of this technological milestone.
Faster Buying Decisions
The comparison between an augmented reality to any other is one-sided, augmented reality being on the winning side. The magic of AR is all in the feeling that the consumer gets once they have interacted with an ad. In most cases, they feel a connection to the product at hand which in turn affects a timely purchase.
Customers don’t waste time deciding whether or not to buy a product or which of the options offered in a catalog to get. Interacting with the product can leave customers more confident about the product and the purchase they are making.
Tailored Shopping Experience
By the use of advanced algorithms, augmented reality plays a key role in gathering information on the consumers buying patterns and habits. With this, the brand has a great chance of offering a product or service that best suits the buyer. It simply takes away the guesswork by providing accurate customer information to marketers. As such, they can tailor products as per the customers’ needs and preferences.
Inform and Target Your Audience
The digital marketing industry is gaining more adopters by the day, but the old-fashioned means of advertising like print media is still highly used even though it’s quite costly. Augmented reality advertisement offers more to the brand and the customer than a typical magazine ad. It’s more clear, interactive, and engaging. Anyone who views an AR ad is likely to spend more time on it. AR is effective for brands that want to ensure that the message they intend to convey to their consumers actually reaches them.
Increase In Sales
The whole point of marketing is driving sales growth. The use of augmented reality ensures the two key marketing strategies are in play, i.e relationship, and “Trojan Horse” marketing. With relationship marketing, the brand aims at building a connection with the client to retain them. While Trojan Horse marketing is a stealthy approach, in which the customers have no idea they are being marketed to.
Better Decision and Increased Satisfaction Among Customers
Every consumer wants to get a product that is worth the money spent. Before a client makes a purchase they want to know what they are buying. The experience throughout a customer’s journey plays a huge role in decision making, and this is where augmented reality comes out to play. It helps ease the tension that lies in between purchase and satisfaction.
Also, it gives the customer a first-hand experience that shows them what they are buying without having consumed the product at first. This way customers can make better decisions, and brands can retain their customers.
Improving the Brand Image
In order to succeed as a business, brand identity is vital. Brand tone, presentation, and logo are important aspects of a brand’s marketing decisions. Businesses use websites to voice their brand identity in the 2D setting but through virtual representation in the 3D world. This allows companies to be more creative in their branding efforts, and stand out in the marketplace.
It captures the attention and ensures the consumer’s engagement with the brand. Brands that are able to engage customers digitally are able to stay connected to their customers well beyond the point of purchase.
Boost In Sales and Reduces Product Returns
AR simplifies virtual trials for consumers when buying physical goods. This way, consumers can easily fall in love with the product instantaneously. It not only ensures that the product is taken home but it also ensures that no return shall be made as customers only buy what they are content with. Simply put, AR boosts customer satisfaction which translates to sales and repeats customers for the business.
Through digital advertising, marketers are able to use pre-existing information to understand valuable information about customers like their shopping patterns. Augmented reality has taken this a notch higher as brands can now use GPS data to create an immersive experience regardless of their customers’ location.
A huge percentage of brands will continue using hyper-local advertising as it helps target and reach the right customers although it requires more capital to set up. On the brighter side, spending more to reach a specific audience reaps better results than spending less to reach a large audience with lower conversions.
However, AR technology will definitely change for the better, new trends in the field will emerge later in the future, and its use will diversify.
What Marketers Should Expect in the Future with AR Advertising
As AR advertising continues to grow, there is a lot to be expected in the future. Additionally, the technology is set to grow massively in the coming years and as such, dynamics are bound to change to accommodate diverse markets. Also, more businesses will be jumping into this tech trend, so what should marketers expect when creating online AR-based advertising strategies? Here are a few things marketers should watch for in the future of AR advertising.
In a world saturated with similar products and services, brands ought to have strong advertising strategies to set them apart from competitors. Using augmented reality in advertising is an excellent way of creating an extraordinary experience for different audiences in different stages of the sales funnel while gaining a competitive advantage.
50% of companies in the US and China are already using AR technology in advertising. This is a clear indication of the direction of digital advertising in the years to come. The more brands get on board, the steeper the competition gets.
The most crucial part when it comes to conveying a marketing message is being able to fully capture the attention of the customer within seconds. AR tech creates an immersive experience for customers, which is incomparable to the conventional way of conveying marketing messages.
A well-structured AR marketing campaign inherently cuts off distractions and fully engages customers in the message.
Apart from creating a unique avenue for gaining customers and converting leads, it also boosts existing customer connections by providing an experience they can’t replicate from other brands.
AR tech in marketing has not been fully embraced, although businesses are slowly adopting the concept in their marketing strategies. However, AR is bound to be fully absorbed in the marketing sphere which will, without a doubt, increase competition. Thus, it is important to keep track of new tech developments in AR and create a more flexible strategy that will serve the brand long-term.
AR advertising can also be used to boost the return on investment of a business. Businesses can not only attract new customers through AR tech but also upsell the existing ones since it has made it possible to interlink the real world to the digital world. AR-driven advertisements make it easy for customers to interact with different virtual layers of the content.
So, they have access to various customization options, in-depth information about the products, and other related products. What’s more, it not only helps with increasing ROI but also real-time tracking.
AR advertising has a huge turnover due to the one of a kind experience it creates for customers, but the cost of implementing it is higher than that of standard forms of advertisement. So marketers who intend to use AR in advertising can expect to pay more for it.
To get an AR project off the ground and kicking, it takes much more resources like time and money. But to the business’s advantage, the return on investment is way higher. While setting up AR can be costly, companies like ConnectCS allow you to implement it in your business affordably.
And for businesses interested in implementing augmented reality, how easy is it to do so?
AR has come a long way and is quickly growing in e-commerce. The statistics are an insight into the trends, growth, and trajectory of augmented reality. The following are sample statistics of AR.
- Augmented reality users are expected to reach 3.5 billion by 2022.
- 61% of online shoppers prefer to buy from websites with AR experiences.
- 45% of shoppers have said that augmented reality helps in making faster buying decisions.
- There are already 1 billion AR users in 2020.
- 55% of shoppers consider AR shopping experiences fun.
- Almost half of Americans are already using AR without realizing it.
- 40% of customers agree to pay for highly-priced items that offer AR experiences before buying them.
- 63% of customers have said that AR experiences make the overall shopping experience better.
Examples of AR Being Used in Advertising
Retailers are reaping the benefits by using augmented reality in their advertising campaigns. Below are examples of how AR has been used for advertising in different fields.
Netflix is the leading streaming service provider with more than 192 million paying subscribers presently. Through providing immersive experiences for its users, Netflix has continued to grow while attracting more customers. The company created AR lenses on Snapchat during the promotion of the second season of Stranger Things. Users could use this feature to virtually walk through one of the houses in the show, and a monster known as the Demogorgon would come through the walls. This was a huge success and attracted thousands of new show watchers.
AMC launched an app that enabled customers to point their phones in the theater lobby or magazines to bring up information about the movies. Also, customers can conveniently buy movie tickets from the app.
Net-A-Porter used AR at different outlet storefronts to create digital experiences for their customers. Through mobile apps, customers could scan the storefronts to get product information, 360 degrees views, pricing, and much more AR experiences.
The Simmons Bedding Company
Their SIMulator app allows customers to get important information like advantages of the different products available by pointing their phones at them.
In 2014, Timberland created a virtual room for their customers to fit out items in Moktow Gallery. The feature allowed customers to see a projection of themselves in different outfits.
How Businesses Can Apply AR in Advertising
From social media platforms to websites and online stores, the uses of AR in advertising cuts across different channels. The worst mistake to do as a brand is to invest in AR just for the sake of it. It is not enough to incorporate AR with advertising just because it is a new technological innovation that other marketers are using to grow businesses. Evaluating the need is the first step for applying AR in advertising.
Why is it important to implement augmented reality in your advertising strategy? Rather, what does your business stand to achieve in the end through AR advertising? Blindly adopting AR tech can be fatal without a proper understanding of how to appropriately apply it in advertising. It is equally important to familiarize with possible future challenges and how to overcome them. Innovating with augmented reality-driven campaigns is much easier when a brand understands all the important aspects of investing in AR technology.
Rather than gambling, it helps to set and follow realistic expectations for the success of the investment.
A GlobalWebIndex research has shown that 65% of US and UK consumers already know about augmented reality, which is an assurance of high customer interaction with AR-based brands. Better yet, over a third of AR users have confidence in the success of AR applications in advertising. This simple fact augurs well for its use in marketing and acts as a freeway for marketers to incorporate it into their different approaches.
The unique immersive experience that AR creates for customers is still exciting and new, but what happens when they get used to such? Brands and businesses should also think about different ways to innovate and switch up their strategies if they want to always surprise their customers.
Is it Worth it?
The future of digital advertising will be highly dependent on augmented reality but is it really worth it? And most important, is your brand ready for it? A lot of businesses are hesitant to apply augmented reality with the fear of building everything from the ground up. Luckily, AR doesn’t necessarily have to be applied from a clean slate, brands can still include it in their existing platforms to scale up.
Besides creating an exceptional impression for customers, AR distinguishes you from other counterparts considering it is still newish with few businesses in it. Through it, a brand will be able to get more personal with customers and provide exactly what they are looking for.
Smartphone use is skyrocketing which creates endless possibilities for AR advertising. And since the use of AR is leaning towards mobile, there is so much that brands can do to facilitate growth. Augmented reality has changed how brands are advertising with more onlooking potential in the future.
So investing in AR is totally worth it considering the fact that it is more than just using high-tech for advertising. From convenience, timely information, the right visuals, and personal interactions, these are elements that every business needs easily offered through augmented reality.
Time and again, businesses are taking advantage of augmented reality, one of the most revolutionary and disruptive technologies for better advertising. Nowadays, advertising is no longer about throwing product ads at customers, but more of creating engaging and immersive content that offers nothing but value to them.
Augmented reality is not just a short-term gimmick to ride on for attention, brands should rethink their long-term marketing strategies to incorporate AR techniques. Studies have shown that more than 60% of consumers admit to gaining value from AR but 77% of these users are concerned about the risk of data breaches on their devices. So brands need to aim at providing more than just the “wow” factor for their customers.
Brands should start pivoting towards fitting AR into their online strategies in order to distinguish themselves. It is going to be the cornerstone of advertising online, so the earlier brands can jump onto the bandwagon, the better.