Myths always tend to build up around anything that’s cutting-edge and transformational –and Augmented Reality is no exception. The problem is these myths could be holding many businesses back from exploring the advantages of one of the most exciting technologies that’s entered the mass market in recent years.
Before we expose the three top myths, let’s start with the basics:
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) improves, enhances or expands real life by integrating virtual objects into the user’s real-world environment. This is different from Virtual Reality (VR), which creates a fully virtual environment around a user. With AR, there’s no need for bulky and expensive VR headsets – you only need your smartphone or tablet loaded with the relevant app. This means AR has greater chances to become more widespread, and that’s where the fun really begins.
So, what’s holding businesses back? Here are 3 myths about Augmented Reality exposed:
MYTH 1: AR is a novelty – it doesn’t bring any real benefits.
Augmented Reality opens lots of possibilities for businesses across all industries, but where it really turbocharges results is with marketing. AR apps have the potential to ignite engagement and loyalty for brands and their products. The technology is also proven to drive conversions – all of which leads to more revenue. Case in point, 61% of consumers prefer stores that offer AR experiences, and 40% of these consumers would pay more for your product if they have the chance to experience it through AR.
For ecommerce retailers, this is especially powerful because it overcomes the hurdle of not having a “physical” product to hold, touch and feel. It also creates a more active interaction with the brand, which increases conversions and customer retention. Retailers like IKEA have grasped the power of AR tech to extend the retail experience beyond the physical store. Rather than customers worrying “Will this lamp look good next to my sofa?”, they can view the products “live” on the app without setting foot inside a store.
Another sector that’s unlocking the potential of AR for marketing is the real estate and property sector. For example, real estate agents and property developers can show properties with interactive 3D walkthroughs, which opens the local property market to international buyers.
MYTH 2: AR is only for big businesses with big budgets.
Granted, there are many examples of big name brands doing great things with AR – IKEA, Adidas and Dominos to name but a few. But there are also huge opportunities for smaller businesses who harness the power of AR to enhance their customer experience.
What about cost and tech expertise needed to create a great AR experience, we hear you cry? It’s true that, until recently, AR could cost tens of thousands of dollars in technology, not to mention the salaries of skilled developers. This is a budget that SMEs simply don’t have.
These barriers are now well and truly down thanks to availability of cost-effective AR apps. There are many DIY augmented reality marketing platform that let you engage with consumers with interactive campaigns that bring print material to life. Solutions like these make it more affordable for smaller businesses to explore the advantages of AR.
AR solutions are available from as little as $50 per month. Best of all, there’s no need for teams of tech experts and huge development costs; anyone can log into the app and set up an AR campaign in a matter of minutes. Though, for those who are serious about using AR to drive revenue increases, it’s always smart business to engage consultants who know how to use the app to get the best return on investment.
MYTH 3: AR is just a passing fad.
According to Digi-Capital, the market for Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies is expected to reach $108 billion globally by 2021. Apple and Google have already released augmented reality developer kits for their devices. With its latest product, the iPhone XR, Apple has even added advanced Augmented Reality capabilities to give users a better experience of AR gaming and apps. These are not the signs of a passing fad; AR is here to stay.
Make your move
If you aren’t thinking about how you can put AR to work, now’s the time to start. But don’t jump in without thinking carefully about how AR will help your customers and your business. Informatix can help. Our team of marketing gurus can help you make your ideas come to life in a way that adds value to your customers and your bottom line.
Contact us for a no-obligation chat for a live demo of Augmented Reality in action.