Imagine a customer who walks into a local supermarket looking for cereal or a fruit yogurt. He or she scans the chosen product with a smartphone and gets access to all of the product’s information, customers’ reviews, etc. Besides, a customer gets a coupon or a rebate right on their mobile device. Or imagine a tourist who is wandering the streets of Rome, wondering where to drink a cup of coffee or looking for a hotel. Just a few clicks and they get access to all the information they need. To put it simply that’s what Augmented Reality looks like. For marketers, it opens numerous possibilities and new challenges.
AR, MARKETERS, AND MILLENNIALS — WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT
Augmented Reality has been around for years, used mostly by gamers on computers. Last year after the release of Pokemon GO, the technology became incredibly popular. The good news for augmented reality is that it becomes less expensive and has all the chances to be widely used on smartphones and tablets. According to Goldman Sachs, in a few years time, the AR/VR technology will be applied in healthcare, engineering, real estate, retail, and other industries (by 2025 the AR/VR tech industry is expected to reach a value of $80 billion a year).
Marketers have always been one of the first to employ new technologies, and Augmented Reality is not an exception. IKEA catalog and Siemens brochure, Topshop virtual dressing room and Shiseido makeup mirror, Starbucks’ Everylove on Every Cup campaign, IBM AR shopping app and Volkswagen AR service app — the list could go on and on. It seems that in the nearest future, marketers will be using and testing augmented reality a lot and we’ll see many exciting augmented reality applications for marketing purposes.
Millennials(people born between 1980 and 2000) are a huge target group with a considerable purchasing power. According to Goldman Sachs infographics, there are more than 90 million millennials in the US alone, and they are the first generation of digital natives. It’s not a secret that millennial buyers, with their love for technology, are changing the way retail and other consumer-centered industries work. They like to get instant product information and product reviews, to compare prices and to get the best user experience possible. All of the above mentioned opens great possibilities both for augmented reality technology and for marketers.
AR APPLICATIONS FOR MARKETING PURPOSES
Augmented Reality makes lots of excellent services possible — the ones that were not imaginable before. In fact, a science fiction writer of the past would be surprised.
Augmented reality offers a wealth of useful, relevant information right at a user’s fingertips. For millennials who like to research before buying, the function is priceless. For brands, it means a chance to create an engaging and meaningful experience.
AR at mobile devices gives access to loads of crowd-sourced information about surrounding objects and locations. Once the technology gets cheaper, it will be everywhere.
For physical stores, it is essential to keep customers engaged throughout the buyer’s journey. Augmented reality makes the task easier. For brick-and-mortar retail, the technology opens a new era in which physical and digital experiences can be mixed creating unforgettable user experience in-store.
E-commerce, in the age of augmented reality, is quickly changing the way consumers choose, try and buy. AR makes it possible to see the products of choice in the actual environment (it’s what IKEA has already done, as well as other home improvement brands). Besides, augmented reality changes the way e-commerce delivery works.
The augmented reality technology is somewhat new, and there’s a lot to be discovered, but one thing is undeniable: AR in marketing is here to stay, with numerous possibilities that are still to be explored.