12 Mar Taking the customer experience to a new dimension with AR and VR
Over the past few years, the technology behind virtual and augmented reality has developed at an incredible rate. This means that this technology is now more accessible than ever, and this is expected to grow. By 2020, the economic impact of virtual reality is expected to hit $15.6 billion.
Thanks to an ever-increasing integration of technology into our lives, brands now have a wealth of data at their fingertips about their customers that can be used to make decisions that will help to better understand and engage the customer. The challenge is being able to distil and translate that data into meaningful customer interactions.
Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) offer some exciting opportunities for businesses looking to create engaging customer experiences. Whether it’s creating an immersive retail experience or adding a new dimension to the online brand experience, both VR and AR technologies have plenty of potential.
Both technologies can add value and bring the brand experience alive in the different ways. The application of virtual reality can be impactful in test drive scenarios. For example, Volvo used VR to launch their new car, the XC90 SUV and build excitement before the car landed in their dealerships. In fact, they were the first company to launch a VR campaign on Google Cardboard, which converts smartphones into VR headsets, simply with cardboard, two lenses and a magnet.
Other brands have also launched VR campaigns, mainly using Oculus Rift, however the ease and accessibility of Google Cardboard means that the campaigns can be brought to an even wider audience.
Augmented Reality can also be used to show products to customers in new and inventive ways. For example, used as an interior design tool, it can help customers to get an idea of how a product might look in their own home. This is the approach that IKEA took, creating an AR catalogue that allowed customers to visualise exactly how specific pieces of furniture might look in their own home, through a smartphone or tablet.
Although online shopping is incredibly convenient, when it comes to certain products, it can also create a barrier in conversion where customers are unsure that clothes will fit or that furniture will work in the space they are shopping for. The use of AR can be really useful and increase conversion when that uncertainty, and therefore the barriers to purchase are removed.
The in-store experience can also benefit from AR. The beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury used AR-enabled mirrors to scan the faces of the customers sitting in front of them. They would then have the opportunity to browse through different shades of looks, allowing them to imagine how different looks might suit them without having to wear any makeup physically.
Lego is constantly coming up with creative and innovative ways for their fans to interact with the product. The Lego Digital Box kiosk helps customers to envisage the end product after assembly. Users just need to stand in front of the kiosk with the Lego box and it will show a pseudo 3-D image.
Here are Global, we’ve also been exploring the potential of AR and how we can help brands create an immersive experience. Whether that’s AR-enabled restaurant menus or experiential campaigns and brand activations.
If you would like to find out more about how your brand could use AR or would like a demo, give us a call on 01202 727070.