Today let us analyze how Augmented Reality would affect the user journey across various verticals: in retail, in marketing and in product selection.
As you already know, Augmented Reality enhances the physical environment you see by overlaying virtual elements and components. Typically, for Augmented Reality those pieces of information or images over can be either seen through displays such as Google Glass and HoloLens or through the camera on the smart phones we have.
User Journey and AR in Retail
Augmented Reality is not about creating a completely new reality; it actually amplifies the existing one.
AR magic does not immerse you entirely into a virtual world with deep sensations as it happens with virtual reality. Actually, AR magic is when you intertwine the virtual components with the physical reality.
The good news is that technology is already there: our personal cell phones, tablets or other devices where the interface becomes our point of interference.
In retail, the metrics for assessing the success of a campaign are quite clear. Owners of brands and merchandisers want the confirmation in data whether the campaign was successful, which means: did the purchase followed after the brand awareness campaign?
According to Compass, the average conversion rate in e-commerce is 1.33%, while the top performing online stores convert at a 3.65% rate. Certainly, with the wider adoption of Virtual and Augmented reality these percentages will increase.
One of the challenges that augmented reality can help us solve are related to product visualization. Thanks to AR, especially powered on Google Glass and HoloLens, we can see the virtual products in our actual environment, we can evaluate how the product will fit our life before we make an actual purchase.
Consequently, AR implemented in e-commerce actually changes the way how consumers shop because it assists users along their journey: of finding what they need, sometimes even trying out what they want, comparing different options and finally making an informed decision and purchasing certain items.
ARVRtech implemented AR mechanisms in retail with mTicketingAR solution.
mTicketingAR is a unified marketing and ticketing/voucher service for events (sports, cultural and other), venues (restaurants/cafes, cinemas) and transport based on the 2D bar code technology as well as on augmented reality powered user interface on smart phones.
The system utilizes AR technology for enhanced user experience such as: 2D barcode optical decoding from a live video stream, using smartphone’s digital camera, which are used to obtain additional information about the event, advertised product or a transport service and to initiate the payment. Once the payment is authorized, the ticket is sent electronically to the mobile phone as a 2D bar code which is validated using an optical scanner at the start of service use.
According to Accenture, before launching AR solution for delivering more satisfying customer experiences, retailers should make sure they have certain fundamentals in place, such as: establishing a clear purpose and objectives for such undertakings; understanding the critical importance of the user experience and user interface; making content relevant, usable and available; building skills and alignment; developing a long-term strategy and plan.
Finally, apart from creating brand awareness in retail and boosting customer engagement in an exciting way, AR enables companies to regain ownership of the customer experience when branded apps are used.
User Journey and AR in Marketing
When it comes to integration of Augmented Reality in marketing, it still needs to be more widely adopted. In a nutshell, there are three major ways how this novel technology can help User Experience: by decreasing the interaction cost to perform a task; by reducing the user’s cognitive load; and by combining multiple sources of information and minimizing attention switches.
Interaction costs decrease as AR system aggregates data about users which do not need to be saved in some other format. Plus the pieces of information that were compiled from previous sources do not need to be pulled out from multiple sources of data.
As we could also hear from Forbes Agency Council members one of the best applications of augmented reality in advertising and marketing is to think of this technology as the primary storytelling medium. AR in marketing fosters three-dimensional thinking; it adds new value in social media marketing; it helps in product placements. Also, with AR the clientele can be localized and management can have the right tool to remain focused on its strategy.
To understand fully different UX scenarios when we use AR in marketing, read more about 11 creative uses of AR in marketing industry.
For example, ARVRtech has harnessed the potential of Augmented Reality in marketing with our custom solution and app AR Manasija. With new technology we took the visitors of the Manasija Festival on a time travel.
Every August the Manasija Festival traditionally gathers the fans of medieval culture, authentic food, knighthood chivalry and quality time in intact nature. The festival organizers wanted to amplify the visitors’ experience and the customized technology was created thanks to the sponsorship of Huawei technologies and our platform.
Manasija augmented reality app enabled that the pieces of information from the real world merge together with computer-generated content. This final result expands the users’ reality and it can be looked at the desktop computer, lap top or mobile phone. The app can be downloaded from Google Play Google Play and iTunes as Manasija 2016.
User Journey and AR in Product Selection
Before deciding on a purchase, customers often want to see various color options and explore other available modifications. Previously, the customization functioned in different ways and we associate it even with artisan products in fashion and fine dining industry that required the high level of craftsmanship.
According to Retail Perceptions, “77% of shoppers want to use augmented reality to see product differences such as a change in color or style.”
Thanks to computer graphics and augmented reality consumers can easily explore their options and make personalized modifications while shopping online. This streamlined process with UX saves time and can also utilize one aspect of the human nature. Regardless of context, both online and in-store customers want to interact with a product to get an understanding of how it works before heading to the checkout. A similar test-drive principle we see with car and software brands when customers may use this option for a limited time. With augmented reality animations it may be shown how even complex products like consumer electronics and appliances function.
Certainly, the next Augmented Reality leap into the future would be that retailers leverage AR through their own branded platforms and this is something ARVRtech can help you with.
To conclude, as more technologies take advantage of this growing trend, augmented reality’s definition may certainly grow to encompass much more than it does now, but by understanding the users’ goals and contexts, developers and designers will ultimately be able to create a successful and effective augmented reality.