More and more of us are becoming familiar with the concept of augmented reality (AR), yet it can still be a challenge to stay on top of the latest developments in the area of AR marketing and sales. It is rapidly evolving, especially gaining traction since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced brands and retailers to find new ways to interact remotely.
Despite the acceleration of digital transformation in many aspects, AR is relatively new and its place in sales and marketing strategies as we know it has yet to be clearly defined. Businesses shy away from dipping their toes in the AR waters as it lies outside of their comfort zone. To top it off, the uncertainty towards its efficiency (i.e. app downloads, user engagement, impact on sales, etc.) stops some from venturing into what we call “AR Commerce” while others embrace it.
Enter WebAR — AR that is accessible directly from the mobile web browser.
Rather than requiring users to search for and download an app to view the AR content, WebAR can simply be launched by scanning a QR code or tapping on a web link from any smartphone or tablet device with a camera. This reduces the number of steps a user has to take between awareness and experience. Now, the journey from scan to experience is seamless and frictionless.
On top of that, eliminating the need for an app means that your reach is now expanded to basically anyone with a smartphone or tablet. That's a whopping 3.5 billion users, according to Statista, up from 2.5 billion just four years ago (2016).
WebAR can be used to support users throughout the entire retail journey — from advertising and engagement, through to purchase and retention. Picture the following scenario:
Guiding users from awareness right up to purchase is key in a highly saturated market, where options are diverse but information needed to make the right choice is scarce. After all, simplifying the consumer’s decision-making process increases likelihood of purchase by up to 86%.
Try out WebAR on your mobile device right now by tapping on this link!
Using AR for the sake of a marketing gimmick is not enough. As AR evolves, more and more of its potentials have been discovered, creating endless possibilities for brands to harness its capabilities. When used right, AR is a powerful instrument that can drive engagement, user interaction, boost sales success and obtain better analytics.
For instance, Polish baby furniture brand Woodies® Safe Dreams started enabling 360° view and real-time life-sized product projection via WebAR. Renowned Swedish brand IKEA too offers similar capabilities to customers, although via their own app.
It is no wonder that these companies are eager to get on board with AR, seeing as 72% of AR users said they ended up buying something because of AR. Additionally, brands that use AR have also reported seeing an increase in conversion of up to 200%, and a 25% decrease in return rate as shoppers are more confident in their purchases.
A lot has been said about how AR is useful in overcoming the negative impacts that the pandemic has posed on all businesses. Those with AR capabilities are better equipped to continue supporting customers through their online shopping journey. Truth is, the exposure to e-commerce and AR commerce has altered shopping habits and the change in consumer behavior is more than likely here to stay, so there is no better time than now to start integrating AR into your sales and marketing efforts.