What Is Augmented Reality And How It Can Help Your Business

 

You have probably heard lots about it on social media or online recently, but do you know what is augmented reality and it can help your business? Augmented reality has huge potential to boost sales, whether in retail or in other industries. Over 50% of smartphone users use Augmented reality while shopping, and 33% use augmented reality through facilities provided in-store.

So, what is Augmented Reality (AR)? For most people, augmented reality is still a quite abstract and exotic technology. While often perceived as the science-fiction out of Hollywood movies, the effects of AR are just as magical, but still accessible to your business. Animate holograms, interactive displays, and virtual 3D models are probably the best way to describe alternative reality to those who are unaware of what it looks like. Technically speaking, Alternative Reality is an interactive experience, where the real-world environment  is “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual and auditory. The overlaid sensory information is seamlessly interwoven with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment, convincing the eye that it is there. In this way, augmented reality alters one’s ongoing perception of a real-world environment.

Augmented reality is one of the newest and most impressive marketing trends that businesses should be implementing into their marketing strategy at the moment. As the retail and service industries become more and more competitive and tech savvy, consumers are expecting businesses to up their game when it comes to the brand experience. By using an augmented reality feature as part of your brand, you will be sure to boost sales.

At the moment, augmented reality is still a bit of a novelty – however, even though it is such a new technology, it has serious potential to surpass print, online, and television advertisements in terms of shock-factor. Marketing strategists have claimed that AR can capture people’s attention for over 85 seconds. Alternative Reality also increases interaction rates by 20 percent, and improve click-through rates to purchase by 33 percent, making it an ideal addition to your company’s success.

Take a look at this short video that we put together as an example of Augmented Reality. Here our AR programmer put together a character based on medication and germs. She integrated the germ with bitmoji to emphasise the mood of the video.

By combining the users environment with the new character, you really draw them in and spur the imagination. Alternative reality is a great way to bring a new life to products or company mascots, and by combining marketing content that you already have with new technologies, you are really showing yourself off as a great business that is moving with the times. It’s not just big marketing campaigns that can use AR either. Simple videos such as this can easily be used to liven up your social media pages while you are posting, and still look amazing.

What makes Augmented reality so great as both a marketing and sales tool is the potential it has to tell stories. People love to be engaged in meaning, stories and a higher sense of belonging to a community. Augmented reality has the power to turn any surface into a story that is ready to draw you in. One of our favourite services that we provide at The Business Fairy is our Christmas Card package for our clients. Because augmented reality experiences are so magical and engaging, you can use them to tap into those emotions and create a world of wonder and amazement for a brand.

This year, one of our clients requested us to create a Christmas Card for them using alternative reality. The Eurobase Group has an extremely complex business model.  Originally an international logistics firm, they have now developed several spin off areas including a world-wide e-commerce fulfilment company and an integrated electronics division that specialises in prototyping.  They wanted a video that could explain what the business does and what the brand stands for. We took their brief and created the following video that we then combined with augmented reality technology.  We designed a Christmas card which was sent out to their clients.  The recipient of the Christmas card could use an App on their phone to scan the Christmas card, and the video then plays in thin air, giving Eurobase an edge by demonstrating their technology skill set and knowledge whilst also delivering an important brand message to their clients.

The video that we created is only 2.5 minutes, but within it we are able to explain what Eurobase is all about, and what they believe in as a company. The Christmas Card received amazing feedback, with people in awe of the magical technology that was presented to them. Using augmented reality was a great marketing strategy, people loved the idea and extra thought that was put into the card and the company stuck in their mind as a one that goes the extra mile for their customer, thus boosting sales throughout the year.

It is indisputable that Augmented Reality is set to take centre stage in marketing and advertising over the next few years. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has said that AR will one day be as important in our everyday lives as “eating three meals a day.” Augmented Reality is currently dominated by social media platforms like Snapchat and Facebook which are constantly developing new ways of incorporating augmented reality into their platforms. However, it is still an accessible technology for businesses to use in their marketing and although it is still a new technology, it is still important to strike while the iron is hot and apply AR to your marketing strategy while it still has an impact on your customer. The Business Fairy has an extensive knowledge of AR, and have a wide range of ways to help you to introduce Augmented Reality to your marketing strategy. Email [email protected] if you would like more information regarding using AR within your business.

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