Let’s go back to the beginning of summer 2016. Pokémon fans around the world have been waiting rabidly for the release of the highly anticipated Pokémon GO. When it releases, it’s a smash hit despite some major issues its fanbase had with its content and functionality. In fact, it engaged plenty of people that’d never even played the popular videogame franchise before in their lives.
A likely reason is that the use of augmented reality was at its core, and it’s a technology that wasn’t incredibly common to the public at that time. Augmented reality is just plain fun, and in this instance, it helped people tap into their inner-child and play pretend.
Years later, The Pokémon Company isn’t the only one getting traction thanks to augmented reality and there’s some good reasons why.
Picture this: you’re looking to buy some furniture from a company that is strictly ecommerce. Its dimensions will fit in your home just fine, but you can’t really know how it will look until it’s paid for, arrived, and assembled. You haven’t even seen it in person. So you decide to go for a place where you can see the furniture in-person instead.
With augmented reality, this doesn’t have to happen. With the proper application of augmented reality, you can see what that piece of furniture would look like in your living room through your phone’s camera. In fact, IKEA has an app that does exactly this now. You can select whatever piece of furniture you’re interested in buying, and the app will generate a proportionately-sized model of it through your phone’s camera. The same could be done with all manner of ecommerce. Clothing, jewelry, watches, TVs, or anything that a customer would feel better about buying if they could see it on themselves or in their home. A perfect example of this is how Shopify has been putting this technology to good use.
Using augmented reality for ecommerce platforms removes a significant psychological barrier that gave brick and mortar stores a leg up on ecommerce.
At the 2019 Canadian National Exposition, there was a stunning display of silk lanterns. It was wonderful on its own, but they took it to the next level by integrating an app throughout the whole exhibit. At each display, you could go to a sign, hold up your phone, and watch the corresponding display come to life.
Other businesses bring the location to you through the magic of augmented reality. Stubhub created an app that allows you to virtually view a venue from any available seat. Once again, augmented reality is taking the guesswork out of buying a product online.
It doesn’t even have to be that grandiose. It can be as simple as having a companion app for promotional materials that brings up videos and graphics on a phone when you scan certain areas.
Physically and mentally, augmented reality can remove all manner of obstacles for your business. It’s just a matter of asking yourself how you can leverage this exciting medium to your advantage.
Advances in augmented reality mean it’s become more sophisticated, less expensive, and easier to create for. So even if you have no need for anything I’ve laid out, a well-made AR campaign can be good just for boosting your brand and upping engagement. The fun factor of this technology shouldn’t be underestimated.
How can you use this technology to bring your customer’s imagination into reality and get them engaged?
If you’ve used AR, or are looking into trying it out, we’d love to hear about it, so don’t be shy and let us know what’s worked for you or what you’re looking to do.