4 Strategic Benefits Of Augmented Reality For Your Business In 2021
It is almost three decades since the term Augmented Reality (AR) was added to the tech world’s glossary. When it was first introduced by Boeing as an internal tool to aid designing, nobody imagined AR would become a popular technology for the masses. In fact, nobody in their wildest dreams would have imagined AR apps to become so easily available.
But, we know how fast AR has become a part and parcel of everyday life. The immersive reality experience that AR delivers has become so common that we don’t find it to be an exotic technology anymore. And, that is definitely good news for businesses. Especially when they want to engage customers virtually and cannot afford to interact with them in person.
Now, here is a question that most sharp business people would be asking. Is investing in Augmented Reality app development really worth it? What benefits of AR warrants the investment in time, money, and resources put into it?
4 Strategic Benefits Of Augmented Reality
There are 4 major benefits of Augmented Reality that cannot be denied in any way. In fact, they are tangible and deliver measurable results that brands have already started leveraging AR to their advantage. Here is a quick brief of those benefits of Augmented Reality.
1 Creates unique customer experiences
The biggest advantage of Augmented Reality is that it creates unique digital experiences that blend the best of digital and physical worlds. Also, it does not need any special hardware or software to savor the experience.
Mainstream smartphones and mobile apps are sufficient to experience Augmented Reality. In fact, the latest developments in AR have even made it possible to experience immersive experiences through web browsers.
Now how are AR experiences unique compared to other experiences? The most common audio-visual experiences we know of exist either in the physical realm or in the digital realm. Augmented reality, for one, blends both the realities. It places digital components atop physical components thus creating a mirage effect.
For example, users can point their smartphones at a tourist attraction when near its vicinity. When viewed through the screen, the AR app places digital snippets on the screen thus allowing the user to consume both the physical and digital information synchronously. A perfect example of this is the Apple Park Visitor Center.
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Visitors at the Apple Park Visitor Center can explore the locale at various times of the day and night through an iPad.
2 It eliminates cognitive overload
Have you ever tried repairing an automobile by referring to a manual? If not, give it a shot and you will quickly realize what a bad idea is. Nothing against support manuals and docs, but, most often they do not help amateur users make sense of how to fix something. Especially if it is a new model that does not resemble the previous car makes and engineering.
What we are referring to here is the cognitive information load. Cognitive overload happens when your working memory is made to process a huge chunk of more information than otherwise, it can handle comfortably. When you are unable to handle it, it leads to frustration and hampers your decision-making. This is exactly the reason why amateur users struggled fixing something by referring to lengthy and detailed support documents.
Can Augmented Reality solve this problem? Augmented reality presents information in neatly summarized digital snippets. It spares the user from having to process too much information to arrive at a conclusion. Be it to identify a component by size or to see the popularity of a restaurant with a star rating, AR can help users take quick decisions without cognitive overload.
This might seem too futuristic, but, there are brands that have already implemented AR-based mobile applications that are helping users do more with less time.
Want to make your customers go “Woww!”
Make it happen with Augmented Reality.
3 Heightens user engagement
When it first became popular, Augmented Reality was largely labeled as a technology for gaming and entertainment. However, with time it has expanded into several other use cases that can deliver solid business gains. Heightened user engagement is one such gain.
In 2021 and beyond, if there is one priority that ranks top on the agenda of most business leaders, it is improving user engagement. User engagement is like the gateway to several other benefits. From more spending to brand loyalty it can yield countless gains for a growing as well as an established business. The challenge is in serving the right material at the right time to the use that will make them engage.
Years ago, brands were mainly able to engage with users through print because of the large user base. However, in 2020, 83.1 million consumers in the US were estimated to have used AR on a monthly basis (threekit)
Scannable product labels, interactive ads, catalogs, store signage — there are countless ways how AR can be used to heighten user engagement. The novelty of the technology combined with its ability to deliver information in a quick and snackable \ay makes it engaging for users.
To cite a real-world example, Pepsi’s bus stop ad in London caught more eyeballs and attention than any print and TV ad could have. It was pulled off with the help of Augmented Reality. Perhaps it is the single best campaign that showcases the advantages of Augmented Reality in Advertising.
Source: The Verge
4 Competitive differentiation
In a market where all competitors are offering homogenous products at the same price band, it is necessary for brands to differentiate themselves. For so long, brands have used traditional advertising channels and the creative possibilities within them to differentiate themselves.
Augmented Reality will help them go out further with creative campaigns that will position them differently in a crowded market.
Let’s take Nike as an example. The sportswear market is definitely one of the most crowded and thickest markets there is. Although Nike has been around for a long time, maintaining its market position and continuing to attract millennial customers needs extra effort. Especially when the competition is on the heels with new innovative products.
Nike was able to cement its position as a global brand and a pioneer in marketing with its AR app. If you have been shopping for shoes recently, you know how difficult it could be to find the right size shoe. Sometimes the brand measurements don’t match your physical size. To help customers find their sizes easier, Nike has introduced an Augmented Reality tool. The tool uses your smartphone camera to scan your feet and returns the exact size you should be going with.
Source: Design boom
Additionally, the app also gives several other trivia about the shoe, data, and so on that turns the shopping process into a fun activity rather than a chore. Rest assured that the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating differentiating campaigns using Augmented Reality.
In a Nutshell
As a race, we humans spend more time staring at screens of various sizes. Our realities have become deeply integrated with digital experiences. In fact, we have been programmed to rank a brand as superior and inferior based on its ability to dole out digital experiences.
In such a scenario, it is necessary for brands to leverage a mixed reality technology like Augmented Reality. After all, it is the only technology that does a pure blending of physical and digital reality.
To sweeten the deal, Augmented Reality also offers a series of strategic benefits that businesses cannot ignore. Be it winning attention, differentiating yourself from the competition, or simplifying processes for customers, Augmented Reality can help with it all.
With these benefits from Augmented reality in plain sight, the question to ask is NOT whether to adopt Augmented Reality, but how soon?
Digital experiences in physical reality.
Make it happen with Augmented Reality
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