This is an interesting time for businesses. With new trends taking over the markets, it is essential for the businesses to adopt them to stay relevant. These trends often have a deep impact on businesses. New innovative techniques and crafts must be employed by a business to gain a competitive advantage in the market. These newer techniques can be for better customer experiences or enhance marketing communications to increase the overall efficiency.
One such game-changer technology today is Augmented Reality or AR. Numerous businesses are catching up with the application of AR and how it can take the business to the next level altogether.
AR enables businesses to interact with customers and brings engrossing virtual content to the real world. AR is today used widely to create a seamless interactive experience for customers. From being only for science fiction enthusiastic, AR has come a long way and have entered our lives with Google Glass and 360-degree videos.
What is Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality technology uses a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world. It is a way to use existing technology like mobile devices and headsets for augmenting elements of our real-world environments.
A user uses the lens of an existing technology that adds computer-generated sensory inputs like sounds, videos, and graphics to the surroundings.
Like in Pokémon Go, an augmented reality application allow users to see the surroundings along with the certain digital additions.
Augmented reality provides a bundle of exciting opportunities that can integrate digital imaging into people’s experiences. According to Statista, AR is expected to acquire 1 billion users by 2020 and global AR market is growing significantly to 120 million USD by 2020.
Gaming and retail will be two industries that will use AR technology the most. AR is also expected to play a huge role in bringing down the rate of product returns for e-commerce firms.
Augmented Reality & Advertisement
No matter what stage your business is, or how big or small, advertisement plays an essential role. With the cut-throat competition, marketers strive to make advertisement eye-catchy. Being able to add moving images or sound to a static advertisement is a great way to stand-out. Few companies have got on-board and few have realized the power of AR already.
Augmented Reality help enterprises make more interactive, engaging, and realistic marketing strategies. It can be used to boost advertising pushes. For example: With AR, customers can visualize the products and customize it according to their needs.
One of the best campaigns using Augmented Reality technology was by Coco-Cola & WWF. The campaign aimed at raising awareness and funds to conserve the Arctic. An AR stunt was set-up in London Science Museum which allowed visitors to get closer to a virtual family of polar-beers on a big screen. This became viral and… (build up the impact in aspirational terms).
Augmented Reality and Customer Immersion
Customer expectations for digital channels are rising and shifting quickly. Augmented Reality is creating a new level of engagement which leads to very personal and consumer-focused experience. This new digital era has got customers expecting stimulating experiences form the brand. While gaming industries have applied this concept, other industries are also catching up.
Numerous companies are entering in this field that helps businesses to create an immersive experience for their customers. One of the examples of immersive customer experience is of Real Estate industry. A real estate agent can give its customer an experience of the new property without stepping outside. The customer can feel that they are inside the property and feel how it feels to be there.
Another example is of a cosmetic surgeon. A surgeon can help the patients understand how they would look after undergoing a specific cosmetic surgery.
These and numerous other experiences, make the customers satisfied and more engaged.
Augmented Reality and Employee Training
“The only worst thing than training your employee and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” – Henry Ford
Around 40% of employees receive poor job training and Augmented Reality can help enterprises to train their employees. Training simulations can be developed and can be used as many times by the employees until they master the process. A highly visual and interactive format of training yields more results as compared to traditional text and video format.
For example, an employee can scan a company’s products and receive training about the products depending on the domain through an immersive training. Looking at an engine in the 3D model is far more engaging and immersive than in usual image and video format.
The Way Forward
Augmented Reality will become more relevant in the coming years. It has transitioned from an innovative technology to a technology that has practical applications. There is a strong trend of interest among the customers towards the use of Augmented Reality. A lot of enterprises are intervening in Augmented Reality with their businesses.
As the penetration of Augmented Reality increases, it is likely to power further advancements in mobility. This also makes it easy for businesses to make sure that various stakeholders can access it. With the right actions and early adoption of technology, any business can reach their audience in a much better and immersive manner and surpass the competition.