Building Ground-breaking Customer Experiences With Augmented Reality
For the unversed, experiential marketing is a unique and effective way to build brand awareness through face-to-face connections with consumers. Unlike traditional or online marketing efforts, experiential marketing engages all the five senses that bring about emotions to form lasting memories and drive brand loyalty. It allows you to connect with your customers in the most relatable way while building brand awareness and loyalty.
So, how can companies effectively incorporate experiential marketing to make their products stand out? The answer is quite simple: by embracing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality technology boosts experiential marketing by allowing consumers to interact with products or services with improved personalization.
Benefits Of Using AR In Marketing
As stores closed their doors and people remained indoors, Augmented Reality has received a lot of attention over the last year and will become essential for retailers as stores reopen worldwide.
AR is bringing the in-store buying experience into consumers’ homes. Consumers can now virtually experience how a cute summer dress, a pair of sunglasses, or sneakers will look on them. As a result, AR boosts the customer’s confidence when buying online. AR is also an excellent solution for people who are worried about trying products such as garments or footwear that numerous other hands have touched before them. The technology allows consumers to make decisions safely, without physically touching sample products kept in the shops’ display racks.
Sephora, a well-known cosmetic brand, has experienced great success with its Augmented Reality marketing strategy. The brand uses face recognition to help customers try makeup products before buying them in-store with their Virtual Artist app. Another example, Snapchat, which uses AR ads via snap filters.
Augmented Reality enables brands to show their customers what makes their products or services great instead of simply sending out marketing literature and thus allows them to connect with their customers better. This helps brands deliver memorable customer experiences and reduce costly returns.
Benefits Of Using AR In Experiential Marketing
1. Boost Sales
Let’s assume that you decide to re-decor your room. You will probably go through magazines and even visualize the furniture in the desired spaces. However, most often, you end up achieving a completely different outcome than what was intended.
So, that’s where AR comes into the picture. All you need to do is point your smartphone in the desired space, and you will be able to view (virtually) how your room would appear with all the desired items in place. This eliminates all the tedious trials and errors that can often lead to disappointing results. So, isn’t this unique and immersive approach a great way to attract your customers?
2. Save Unnecessary Marketing Costs
If you think that the new-age technology of AR and VR would cost you a fortune, you’re wrong. With advances in technology, gadgets and other technology components are becoming cheaper. For instance, AR ads are more affordable than traditional mediums.
AR’s targeted and personalized approach helps save up a lot from your budget compared to the conventional ways of communication. Additionally, it can be used for marketing campaigns as it is a highly efficient tool for advertisers.
3. Overcome Language Barrier
There’s no denying that people are more attracted to visuals than texts. As a result, visual images seem to have a language of their own. Both AR and VR use visualization to their advantage and excel in the process of communicating through moving images. While you may need a language to operate at the base level, users can easily find what they are looking for using the multiple options available.
4. Make Content That Goes Viral In The Social Space
Given the situation we are living in, social media has never been more relevant. It has changed the rules of advertising, and everybody is adapting to it. Advertisers are leaving no stone unturned to ensure their content reaches every potential customer of their brand.
Both Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies have the potential to make your content go viral. It is not only engaging and entertaining but also fascinating. The content is compelling enough to attract people of targeted age groups and helps communicate the brand’s message correctly.
For example, recently, Inphantry, a Boston-based digital ad agency, orchestrated an immersive AR pop-up exhibition in a Houston shopping mall. This was done to promote Nike’s AJXX8 sneaker, its latest addition to the Air Jordan line. Customers were given challenges such as dribbling, jumping, etc., wearing the sneakers and the Jordan branded bracelet with an RFID chip to track their scores.
On completion of the challenge, the high-scorers could experience the Air Jordan pop-up museum and lounge. Additionally, the participants were encouraged to share their pictures (of their experience) on social media. This strategy attracted over 2500 users and created the much-needed buzz around the newly launched sneakers.
5. Conduct Virtual Events
The pandemic has wreaked havoc in our lives both physically as well as emotionally. Most people are still not open to the idea of going out in a crowd, even at the cost of missing something important. In such cases, AR and VR technology comes to the rescue. The immersive technology allows the audience to access desired events virtually. Considering the times we live, immersive technologies are indeed a boon!
AR and VR platforms enable brands to engage and launch their offerings by organizing virtual corporate events, expos, and conferences.
6. Fulfill Training Needs
If any of your products or services requires technical training to understand its aspects, VR technology is what you need. It provides a personalized and interactive experience where the user can understand the product/service virtually. Moreover, this approach is highly effective as it can be re-run multiple times.
Additionally, the user can practice using the VR headset for as long as desired. This reduces any operational risks that the user could experience while using the actual product and helps educate them about it skillfully. That said, using AR/VR technology for training your users is more fun than traditional training sessions.
7. Enhance Customer Service
The main goal of any business is to ensure that their customers are satisfied and thus increase sales. AR and VR technology can help educate customers in a fun way and help them make informed decisions. This prevents any conflict of ideas that may arise in the consumer’s mind. Thus, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality help in increasing customer satisfaction and sales.
Scale Your Marketing Efforts With AR
Summing up, it can be said that businesses must earnestly consider using Augmented Reality to boost experiential marketing and create ground-breaking experiences that will set them apart from others.
If you’re looking for a unique and one-of-kind opportunity for marketing and advertising, you can collaborate with Fingent. We offer immersive and interactive experiential marketing solutions using AR and VR. Explore our offerings by simply giving us a call, and we will be delighted to help.
How Extended Reality Is Transforming Business Environments?
Picture yourself diving into crystal-clear Grecian waters or taking a walk on the moon, all the while sitting in the comfort of your home. As fantastical as this may seem now, Extended Reality is making this possible as we speak. What is Extended reality and what are its powerful real-world applications? Let’s check.
Understanding What Extended Reality Is
Extended Reality is a blanket term that encompasses all virtual and real environments generated by computer technology. This includes components such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality. Extended Reality is poised to completely revamp the way businesses interact with the media and has the potential to allow seamless interaction between the real and virtual worlds allowing its users to have a completely immersive experience.
Three Remarkable Components of Extended Reality
These components fall under the category of immersive technologies that can affect our perceptions. Here is a little bit about them:
Virtual reality: Virtual reality transposes its users to a different setting through a simulated digital experience. It makes use of a head-mounted display (HMD) to create an immersive experience by simulating as many experiences as possible. Industries such as healthcare and real estate have started using virtual reality significantly.
Augmented reality: As the word suggests, augmented reality takes the existing reality and overlays it with various types of information, enhancing the digital experience. It could be categorized as marker-based, marker-less, and location-based. It has proven useful in medical training, design, modeling and numerous other areas.
Mixed reality: Being the most recent advancement among reality technologies, mixed reality is experienced through mixed reality glasses or headsets where you can interact with physical and digital objects in real-time.
Related Reading: Augmented Reality Vs. Virtual Reality – The Future Technology
The implementation of these technologies through extended reality is enabling businesses to create innovative solutions and increase customer engagement, reduce human error and improve time efficiency.
5 Powerful Real-World Applications
“The market for Extended Reality is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of more than 65% during the forecast period of 2019-2024,” says Mordor Intelligence.
Check out these five real-world applications of extended reality:
1. Entertainment and Gaming
The entertainment and video games industries are the foremost users of Extended Reality. Camera tracking and real-time rendering are combined to create an immersive virtual environment, allowing actors to get the real feel of the scene, thereby improving their performance. The extended reality also allows for multipurpose studio environments, thus reducing the cost of an elaborate movie set.
Video gaming is enhanced by the ability of Extended Reality to create a comprehensive participation effect. This allows users to dive into a completely different reality. Other entertainment events such as exhibitions and live music can also be enhanced by the capabilities of Extended Reality.
2. Employees and Consumers
- Training: Extended Reality allows employees to be trained and educated in low-risk, virtual environments. Medical students, surgeons, firefighters, pilots, and chemists can closely simulate risky scenarios with minimal risk and less expense. The experience they gain will prove invaluable when they handle real-life situations.
- Information: Replacing physical manuals, Extended Reality can enable technicians to focus on the task without having to flip the pages of a manual. It can even connect an expert remotely to the real-time issue for his expert advice. This would save organizations a whole lot of money, and more importantly save them valuable downtime as they wouldn’t need to wait for experts.
- Improve customer perspective: Simulating virtual experience brought on by specific diseases and impairments can help doctors and caregivers receive empathy training.
Extended Reality is improving healthcare by streamlining medical procedures while enhancing patient care. Allowing surgeons to visualize the complexities of the organs in 3D, it is enabling them to plan each step of a complicated surgery well in advance. Essentially, it is ensuring that surgeons can perform surgeries in a more safe, effective and precise way.
4. Real Estate
Extended Reality makes it easier for real estate agents and managers to close a deal by enabling prospective homebuyers to get a real feel of the property. The layout scenarios that are enabled by Extended Reality enhance customer experience while providing strong business opportunities.
Related Reading: AR and VR- Game Changers of Real Estate Industry
Extended Reality enables marketers to give their consumers a ‘try before you buy’ experience. It allows consumers to be transported to a place, immerses them in that world and motivates them to explore it. As an example, Cathay Pacific used a 360◦ video with hotspots to help potential customers experience the brand firsthand. That increased customer awareness by 29% and brand favorability by 25%.
Face the Future with Extended Reality
There are many more advancements and applications to be discovered with Extended Reality, and it is soon going to be imperative to competitive advantage. Make sure your business isn’t left behind. Talk to our expert today.
With over a billion smartphones and over 179 billion mobile applications downloaded in a year, mobile development has clearly taken center stage in the world of computing.
Enterprises and developers who have developed state-of-the-art cutting edge mobility solutions cannot rest on their laurels though. The world of mobility is ever evolving, with new breakthroughs and refined systems relegating existing technologies and methods to the back burner, at a rapid pace. Here are some of the imminent future trends that are sure to shake up the world of app development and disrupt the ecosystem as we know it today.
The Rise of Internet of Things and Mobile-connected Smart Objects
About 101.9 million wearable devices were shipped in 2016, and these numbers are growing exponentially. Additionally, about 26 billion connected devices, from toys to domestic appliances, from medical devices to controllable power sockets, and much more are expected to be up and running by 2020.
Wearables have been popular for quite some time now, but wearables are evolving, becoming smarter than before, as epitomized by Apple Watch, Microsoft’s HoloLens, and other gadgets. Such smart wearables would be deeply integrated with apps, to deliver a well-synchronized and complete experience for users. Apps in the IoT age would evolve to become a personal-area network hub and a central console for hundreds of connected things around users. The connected things, wearables, and other gadgets would deliver relevant real-time information to users, analyzed into actionable information.
Apple’s “Homekit” range of products, which enable wireless and electronic control of household appliances through a smart home app is a portent of things to come. Likewise, applications such as self-driving cars, deep freezers that read tweets, and more are all on the verge of becoming mainstream, and apps that power such technologies will become commonplace.
Apps to Facilitate Even Deeper Personalization
Apps have an inherent advantage of being able to leverage the unique capabilities of mobile devices. Many apps already leverage features such as GPS, location based services, voice and facial recognition capabilities and other capabilities. Going on, as the marketplace becomes more competitive and technology unlocks new potentials, leveraging such features would become the norm rather than the exception. The magnitude of the capabilities would also increase.
It is going to get better. For instance, modern smartphones have location sensor capabilities that use multiple positioning methods to provide different granularities of location data. Apps would leverage such capabilities to ascertain the user’s location to within a few meters and offer highly relevant and extremely personalized contextual information and services. Several day-to-day activities, from ordering groceries to calling an electrician, and several high-end applications related to security, gaming, vehicle navigation and more would become not just possible but also seamless, leveraging such capabilities.
Apps to Become Technologically Richer
As the app marketplace become increasingly crowded and user attention becomes short, app developers would deploy techniques to deal with challenges such as partial user attention and interruption, in a big way. Some of the innovative features tipped to become commonplace soon, includes circular design pattern, interactive content layers, intelligent manipulation of content to allow users interact with the content in further detail, and much more.
Such innovations would come on top of the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and other technologies. Research major, Forrester, estimates more than 300% increase in investment in artificial intelligence in 2017, compared to 2016. App developers are tipped to incorporate advanced analytics, cognitive interfaces, and machine learning techs in a big way, to deliver hyper-powerful apps.
Cross-Platform and Cross-Device Development
The mobile space is highly fragmented with different operating systems, device configurations and screen sizes. This is unlikely to become passe anytime soon, and in fact, the fragmentation may accentuate as new mobility inspired hardware and software hit the market.
The sustenance of such a fragmented ecosystem would mean app developers adapting to roll out cross-platform apps in greater numbers. HTML5 may have been a false flag, but newer solutions are on the anvil to make apps work on all platforms.
Cloud adoption of apps would also rise in a big way compared to the present. A Cisco research estimates cloud apps to drive 90% of total mobile data traffic by 2019, with 11-fold growth, or a CAGR of 60% from present times. Services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive are only the tip of the iceberg, compared to what lies ahead.
There will be a tectonic change in the programming language in use as well. For instance, while Objective C is the incumbent language for developing iOS applications, Swift, the next-gen programming language has already caught the fancy of most developers.
Overall investment in enterprise apps is slated to grow. An Adobe study reveals about 77% business owners finding enterprise apps advantageous to their business, and 66% of them increasing their investments in this front. However, enterprises seeking to get returns on such investment need to go beyond merely adopting the latest technology. They need to ensure the enterprise apps they roll out are robust and customized to their enterprise. A tie up with a sound partner, whose sole focus is app development, and who has a talented team to back up their claims works wonders.
The customer is truly the king in today’s hyper-competitive environment. Businesses who are too busy to pamper the customer would soon find themselves free of hassles, as customers move elsewhere and the money starts to dry up.
Improving customer service is the name of the game when it comes to retaining customers. Providing a superior product that satisfies customer wants is the basic requirement to remain in business. But in today’s tech-neutral and information age, many providers can offer the same thing. As such, service becomes the key differentiator. Businesses who can offer superior products and back it up with top-notch customer service rakes in the moolah.
So how to go about improving customer service? Regardless of how customer service is to be improved, the underlying solution is to streamline workflow.
Need for Speed
Speed is of the essence in improving customer satisfaction. Today’s customers, born and bred in a fast paced world are attuned to getting things done instantly and do not like to wait. Forrester estimates 45% of US customers will abandon an online transaction if the business fails to address their concerns or questions fast enough.
Enterprises can respond with speed and agility only if they get their workflow right. Often, the required information is trapped in silos, preventing the executive from accessing it in a timely manner to serve the customer. In many cases, the customer interaction touch points are messed up that executives delay in contacting the customer who initiates a query.
Customers who cannot get in touch with a responsible executive when they need to are invariably lost forever.
Need for Accuracy
Along with speed, it is also important to get things right the first time round. It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience. The implications are more ominous in today’s highly competitive environment where a wrong move must simply push the customer away to a competitor.
Automation drives accuracy. the A main cause for errors is disjointed systems and manual working. Many processes are still done manually, simply because no one has the time to digitalize it, or because the best quick fix to overcome a disjointed system is manual intervention. Automating whatever possible, and integrating manual processes to the enterprise system contributes to accuracy in a big way.
Need for Customization
Today’s customers prefer marketers to engage with them on a personalized basis. Even without personalized one-to-one interaction, deep segmentation to offer special discounts and services, location based instant-offers, and more, reaps rich rewards. There is also benefit in understanding the customer, and offering something of value, in terms of curated content.
The role of analytics is crucial in getting personalization right. Integrating big data analytics to the workflow allows the enterprise to gain insights about the customers, their background, buying habits, preferences, and more, and enable dealing with them
Need for Flexibility
Today’s businesses have no option but to fine tune their systems and workflows around the customers. The old functional workflow, or arranging workflows and systems according to organizational departments, and expecting customers to make adjustments are today a sure-shot recipe for disaster.
A case in point is the need to offer multiple touch points for customer support. Research by Salesforce estimate 61% of customers prefer phone assistance, 60% of customers prefer email, 57% prefer live chat, 51% prefer dealing with an online customer base, and 34% of customers prefer “click-to-call” support automation. Successful businesses build their workflow along such popular channels, rather than, say, not make available live chat because it is inconvenient for the workforce and an added overhead.
How to Streamline the Workflow
The root cause for disjointed workflows and silos that impede efficiency, and by extension come in the way of improving customer service is many work processes being developed on an ad hoc basis when the need arises, and such process lingering on. The enterprise needs to bite the bullet and review existing workflows, with an aim to smoothen it, keeping the customer in mind. Keep the end in mind, and work backwards, rather than try to define an end by defining the most convenient workflow.
It helps to adopt a granular approach, breaking processes into discrete steps. Such an approach allows the top management to set policies, the middle managers to issue guidelines, and empowers customer facing staff to do what is required at the moment. Needless to say, such an approach has to be accompanied by a culture of openness and empowerment.
In today’s mobility driven age, developing mobile apps and solutions for customer support and other critical functions allow employees to react instantly, and engage with the customer at the time of their choice. Powerful mobile apps, residing in the cloud, drawing in the most relevant information from all sources empower field service technicians, marketers, top management, and others, by enabling them to engage with customers in an informed manner, without dilly-dallying for the need of information or resources. It also allows customer service and other executives to engage with customers as soon as they initiate a conversation, equipped with full data.
Having a partner who knows their stuff is essential in developing solutions for streamlining workflow and improving customer service. An experienced partner can offer proven and practical data-driven solutions to solve your workflow issues effectively. When you partner with us, you can leverage our skilled and talented team for whom developing solutions to streamline your workflows is their primary focus. You can also leverage our years of experience in the field, and spare yourselves of expensive trial-and-error, or investment to reinvent the wheel.