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Augmented Reality, or AR, has been a buzz worthy topic for years. We continue to see it advertised but often dismiss it as yet another marketing gimmick. So why should we pay attention now?
To understand why AR has struggled to gain traction we have to understand the limitations that prevented it from adding to a great buying experience.
In part, the challenge was a hardware issue. But modern smartphones and web-browsers are all fully capable of providing great AR experiences. Another issue was that AR was often limited to specific apps required to project AR. Not so anymore. AR can launch seamlessly from a shopping experience or even from your camera. So what’s holding up AR from becoming one of your biggest weapons in closing more sales?
The key to successfully deploying AR is in knowing where it fits within a well thought-out buyer’s journey. In today’s digital world, this journey can be summarized in 3 steps. Buyers will begin their journey by searching online to find and select products that meet their needs. From there, they will want to see what options are available to them as they seek to make it their own, customizing or even personalizing the product. But as they finish this configuration and are preparing to buy, what digital buyers want is an ability to preview their purchase. This “digital test drive” provides them the opportunity to confirm their choices and selections, offering confidence that they are making the right decision to buy. And while we can do this on screen, there’s nothing like extending this experience to AR. Here’s why:
AR is to Scale
As a buyer views their configured product in AR, they are able to view it to scale. This helps them judge the size amongst the actual setting they plan to use it. This helps the buyer confirm fit and feel, helping them gain confidence in their purchase as though it has become more “tangible”.
AR encourages Ownership
Seeing this item, to scale, come to life in their own space has an emotional impact on the buyer. Seeing the product in their own setting helps the product feel more real, encouraging a sense of ownership pre-purchase. This feeling offers confidence and helps the buyer make the decision to buy faster and more confidently.
AR is Social
If the buyer is still unsure, or if they need to include others in the decision, AR is one of the easiest ways to make the buying process social. Through shareable links or codes, others can quickly view the same configured products and offer input or validation. This can quickly eliminate bottlenecks and get the purchase completed faster.
Want to see AR in action for yourself? Open the camera on your smartphone and point it at the code below to experience it for yourself!