Apple has left an undeniable impression on every technical designer and strategist.
It has altered the perspective on solution-design forever by demonstrating the strength of ‘simplification’ in driving product adaptability. Augmented Reality has been viewed as a trending technology, and like all technologies might lose its X-factor pretty soon.
Augmented Reality is not just a trending technology. It opens doors to a world of engaging possibilities, because it has the innate ability to solve problems, simplify processes and engage people—all of the characteristics of a Sustaining Technology. For example, ambitious as it may seem, Augmented Reality is a means to create an alternate data world with the key to this world being a user’s mobile device.
I’m talking about viewing the details about people when you meet them just by pointing a phone instead of storing their cards in your wallet. Or having the ability to view user reviews about a product, without investing much effort, just before a consumer buys them. Or the ability to trouble shoot a luxury car more effectively by following a video-guidance application.
NOT ALL AUGMENTED REALITY SOLUTIONS ARE COMPLEX
Many strategists across the world seem to have a closed-box approach to solutioning. It is either in-scope or out-of-scope, if it is in-scope then it complex or non-complex. The affinity that I share for consumer experience, which is also shared by my team here at [x]cube LABS, has altered my perspective about technology. Everyday here, our solutions team struggles to make technology people-friendly and adaptable, because we understand the role of technology, especially mobile technology in a user’s life: a means to simplify everything.
Augmented Reality does just that.
Like everyone else, I had a long-standing misconception about augmented reality being a complex technology to integrate. All this changed one morning, when a leading U.S. retail firm approached us to build an augmented reality application for their brand. A few days of research peeled off all of the layers of misconception surrounding Augmented Reality. I realized that simple Augmented Reality integrations had the potential to change the shopping experience for the consumer forever.
ADAPT THESE SIMPLE AR INTEGRATIONS FOR YOUR RETAIL BRAND
If you are a retail brand with a mobile presence, and are thinking about adapting Augmented Reality, here are 5 simple Augmented Reality integrations, which do not require a huge investment or effort.
1) Augmented Reality product tags
During peak hours, most of the brand stores are crowded with customers. The ratio between the service staff and the consumers walking in is not balanced, resulting in a mini-war between the consumers for the service staff’s attention—not a welcoming sight at your brand-store. Store congestion and service staff efficiency are the challenges that every retailer across the globe must face.
An Augmented Reality integration can offer an experience in striking contrast to the situation described above.
Imagine a consumer walking into one of your stores, proceeding to one of the products and holding a smart phone against the product tag to view all the information about a product, including user reviews and ratings. With 60% of consumers in retail performing quick research on Smartphones to learn more about a product, Augmented Reality addresses the real-time problems of store congestion, inefficiency of service staff and even manages to present information in a more visually appealing way.
2) Augmented Reality Trials
Trying on favorite clothes often entails a long wait in a queue of shoppers outside the dressing room, especially during sale season. With every retailer levying a limit on the number of items that can be taken into dressing room, retailers often lose out on a significant percentage of shoppers who eventually tire out while waiting.
In striking contrast, imagine a scenario, where a person can try out any product from your brand anywhere, just by having a friend point the phone towards them. That’s the enhancement Augmented Reality can offer to product trials. Your brand can even add an m-payment layer to this and, over time, derive conversions.
3) In-store offers and coupons
That retail brands design offers and coupons to drive more conversions is a known fact. But due to divided brand affinities and excessive brand information, many brands fail to build immediate top-of-mind recall for an offer or coupon. A simple Augmented Reality integration can address this problem. If you are a retail store with a floor plan for the placement of every product, you can create Augmented Reality enabled pop-ups for coupons and offers.
This means, your consumer can point the phone towards an area in your store and browse through all the offers or coupons available for products present in that area. This arrangement adds even more value if you are a retailer who will share space with other competing retail brands in multi-branded stores.
4) Invisible Stores
It is well established that, in retail, the net area of all the stores put together for a brand is an important factor in the calculation of profitability. Augmented Reality offers you a simple way to expand your store presence with less than one-tenth of the investment by creating invisible stores. An invisible store is a simulated store that is visible only when a consumer points a smartphone towards it. With benefits such as specially marked product discounts and near zero shopping congestion, Creation of Invisible Stores is a retail engagement strategy waiting to be unleashed.
5) Interactive Billboards
They say, “Seeing is believing.” This adage is lived out almost everyday in the retail sector. The sales of trending products are always higher than that of non-trending products, because consumers find it easier to believe in a product which has been endorsed through a personal sale, by hundreds and thousands of co-shoppers already. An interactive billboard is a simple integration of Augmented Reality, where a user can view the captured feed of customer feedback videos via outdoor hoardings and medians. All you need is a Video feedback pod in some of your brand-stores to execute this.
For an exclusive session on simple Augmented Reality integration for your retail brand, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be glad to discuss it over a cup of coffee.