These days, every brand has some kind of ecommerce presence. It’s become unthinkable not to have one.

With that being said, the digital landscape is an extremely diverse one and ecommerce has proven to be no exception. Even among competing companies, two businesses may take completely different approaches to engaging and converting shoppers online.

This will probably always be the case to some degree, but one channel has proven especially attractive lately across multiple industries. If the trend continues, you can expect to see even more big brands running toward augmented reality in the future.

3 Reasons Big Companies Are Adding AR to Their Ecommerce Channels

As with so many ecommerce channels, augmented reality is an extremely versatile one. That helps explain why so many big brands have been able to use it for completely different goals.

Still, there are three reasons that exemplify why AR has found so many fans so quickly among companies that are household names.

1. Augmented Reality Is a Unique Feature (for Now)

For the time being, augmented reality is a novelty. While the AR industry is projected to be worth $117 billion by 2022, the technology still remains a relatively unique marketing tool. This may seem like a simple observation, but it actually represents a massive opportunity.

Customers will always be attracted to new technology, whether as a part of the actual product or service they’re interested in, or as a means of shopping for that item. The most obvious example of this is how people shifted from in-store shopping to ecommerce, even back when it meant waiting several weeks to receive their purchases.

Shoppers have proven they don’t just like using augmented reality, though. They actually want others to see them enjoying it, too.

Many companies have already learned to leverage this. Adidas did earlier this year when it used augmented reality to power an unboxing event. The reveal of a new shoe is always an attention-grabbing occasion among “sneakerheads” who often treat it with as much anticipation as cinephiles do the premier of a much-publicized movie.

Shoe companies pull out all the stops designing packaging that will enhance the product even more, ensuring the best possible reaction from the public.

Adidas upped the ante considerably when they introduced the first ever AR-powered unboxing experience for their Deerupt line. They sent shoeboxes to major social media influencers who, upon looking inside, found a QR code. By going to the Deerupt site and then holding their camera over the code, they were shown a 3D version of the upcoming shoe.

The experience was so new and fun – novel – that, as expected, social media influencers shared it with their followers, drumming up even more anticipation for the new footwear.

The approach proved so popular, that the Adidas later used AR during ComplexCon. Once again, the novelty paid off. Attendees who wanted limited-edition shoes needed to download the ComplexConn app and wait for instructions about where to find them.

2. AR Is the Height of Personalization

One marketing methodology that has become mainstream is personalization. Companies big and small have realized that shoppers don’t want a one-size-fits-all experience. They want to feel like brands – including the biggest – look at them as individuals. Otherwise, they’ll move on to one that does.

Companies aren’t lacking for ways to implement personalization into their marketing, either. A common example is websites that “remember” shoppers (via cookies) and tailor the information they see based on established preferences.

A customer visiting a retailer that sells sports equipment may only see skis, ski boots, and poles because that’s what they were looking at last time. The same may go for the blog posts and videos that are displayed.

Aside from the aforementioned advantages, effective personalization makes it easier for a shopper to become a customer. They are given all the information they need to make a buying decision.

Well, almost all.

Augmented reality is helping to fill in gaps that no amount of personalization software could ever hope to address.

L’Oreal did something similar, so customers could bring “the makeup counter experience” into their homes. The company combined AR with actual beauty assistants whom shoppers could book for digital consultations. These assistants then used augmented reality to show shoppers what different cosmetics would look like on them – despite being separated by hundreds or even thousands of miles.

In both cases, consumers are given a one-of-a-kind experience, as personalized as it gets without actually using the products.

3.  Augmented Reality Closes the Gap Between Ecommerce and Instore Experiences

For more than a decade now, ecommerce has been posing a bigger and bigger challenge to companies that rely on instore locations.

However, there’s been one noticeable exception: clothing stores. As the Tampa Bay Times describes it:

“For many people, buying clothing online is not worth the hassle of getting a pair of pants or a shirt that does not fit. Many retailers have sought to eliminate that risk by offering free returns on clothing…”

Amazon is trying to solve the problem by allowing customers to order items – without paying for them – and send back what doesn’t fit or look right on them.

The potential for virtual fitting rooms hasn’t been lost on other big brands, either. The Gap already tested an app that would give online shoppers this type of in-store experience from the comfort of their own homes.

Is Your Company Ready to Join the Big Brands?

Would your business like to join the likes of Converse, IKEA, L’Oreal, the Gap, and Amazon?

While there’s probably a lot you could learn from these household names, one easy step you can take toward emulating their success is simply investing in augmented reality.

Fortunately, it’s easier and more affordable than ever before.

At NextTech AR Solutions Corp., we’ve developed a proprietary augmented reality advertising platform that connects shoppers with companies through a fully-immersive AR experience.

In other words, your competitive advantage is waiting.

Contact us today to learn more about this cutting-edge technology and how we’ll customize it – and its implementation – to meet your company’s unique needs.

BTV- Business Television came by the NexTech AR office to chat with our CEO Evan Gappelberg about our latest additions to the ARitized Ecomm platform.

“Hi this is Evan Gappelberg CEO of NexTech AR Solutions and we’re bringing augmented reality to the masses through our AR e-commerce platform which we recently launched we also have an augmented reality University that were launching shortly, as well as our augmented reality live streaming platform.

Nextech offers investors a pure play opportunity, to participate in the augmented reality space which is transforming the world as we know it next text currently listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange the symbols NTAR are also listed on the Frankfurt exchange and we expect to be listed before end of year 2018 on the US market.”

To find out more about how you can be involved

 

Not too long ago, augmented reality seemed like something from science fiction.

Of course, in the past decade, augmented reality has become, well, a reality.

Companies from a number of different industries have already discovered its benefits. More are sure to follow, which means, if you don’t already have an AR strategy in place, now is the time to start.

4 Reasons Every Brand Needs to Create an AR Strategy – Now!

With so many other priorities to chase, it may seem like an AR strategy is one that can wait. However, there are four very compelling reasons you should make it a major focus for your company.

1. Augmented Reality Makes Data More Accessible Than Ever Before

The Age of Big Data” was a term first coined back in 2012 to describe the years that were to follow, when data accumulation would explode to unprecedented levels.

While far greater amounts have certainly been accumulated since then, the vast majority of companies have been at a loss as to what to do with it. In most cases, big data hasn’t led to big insights.

One reason for this may be that a two-dimensional approach is no longer sufficient for analyzing data that can so thoroughly describe a three-dimensional world.

As Professor Michael Porter explained in the Harvard Business Review, most data is trapped on two-dimensional pages and screens while the physical world is three-dimensional. The gulf between the real world and the digital world prevents people from completely exploiting the volumes of information currently available. Fortunately, augmented reality (AR) closes this gap through a set of technologies superimposing data and images on physical objects and environments.

Professor Porter goes on to explain that augmented reality allows people to put “information directly into the context in which we’ll apply it,” improving our ability to absorb and act on it.

Many companies have been aware of AR’s potential for quite some time. They have years of experience using this technology in their product development, manufacturing, marketing, training, service, and logistics.

A number of companies have even been founded on this technology. Just one example is AcuVein, a company whose technology leverages projection-based augmented reality to map a patient’s veins on their skin, making it easier for health professionals to find them.

However, more and more customers are becoming accustomed to AR, as well. Brands  like ourselves, that can provide them a three-dimensional method for understanding product info  will find themselves with an enviable competitive edge.

2. Customers Love the Immersive Experience Offered by Augmented Reality

Of course, it’s also fair to say that a lot of the fanfare behind augmented reality is simply because customers enjoy using it. The technology is so new and unique that it benefits from a real novelty effect. In this regard, companies that create an augmented reality will enjoy greater engagement from their markets for no other reason than it’s “fun.”

This is no small advantage for the companies that wield it, though. Snapchat is the perfect example of what can happen when a company uses AR to engage its market. The company did very little to its actual offering other than add augmented-reality filters, but, even though their version is a very simplified one, the results speak for themselves.

Other companies have learned from Snapchat’s example (notably, rival, Facebook), but the social media giant isn’t resting on their laurels. In a leaked company memo, CEO Evan Spiegel confirmed that the future of Snapchat lies with augmented reality. They’re focused on three core building blocks of AR, namely: to understand the world via the Snapchat camera, to provide a platform of creators in building AR experiences, and to invest in future hardware in transcending the smartphone.

Clearly, their research shows that augmented reality is growing in popularity.

3. Augmented Reality Can Encourage Impulse Purchases

Retail companies have always implemented strategies that, among other things, focus on winning impulse buys. Everyone is familiar with the displays near points-of-sale that make it easy to quickly purchase one last item.

Ecommerce companies have done their best to adopt this approach. After all, the average U.S. consumer will spend $5,400 on impulse buys every single year.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of impulse purchases still happen in-store. One reason for this is that shopping online almost immediately puts the brakes on any impulse decision. There are always several steps that a customer must go through in order to complete their planned purchase, much less adding more items to their carts.

Augmented reality may be turning the tide, though. All the way back in 2014, Lacoste introduced an augmented reality app. Their “LCST Augmented Reality Retail Campaign” turned into a big win for the company as it allowed customers to “try on” Lacoste clothing via AR and then share the looks online.

This accomplished two things. First, more customers made purchases because of encouragement from their social media followings. Second, the “Snapchat effect” ensured increased engagement. As more people saw their friends posting images using the app, more people partook, leading to more sales.

 

4. Augmented Reality Will Help Retailers Embrace the Amazon Effect

Retailers may have an easier time with impulse buys, but they’ve struggled to adapt to the Amazon Effect.

This phenomenon describes how customers have come to expect an in-store experience that’s similar to what Amazon and other ecommerce stores offer. In short, they want engaging content without necessarily needing to speak with an employee.

As you can see from the video below, this is one of the many benefits that companies can enjoy in their physical locations by leveraging augmented reality.

Currently, one of the most popular ways retailers are trying to embrace the Amazon Effect is with digital signage, in-store digital displays with which customer can interact.

Augmented reality can provide many of the same – if not more – benefits without forcing companies to budget for the same kind of overhead.

Beginning Your Augmented Reality Strategy

Despite all the potential of augmented reality, creating a promising strategy doesn’t need to be some herculean task. As we covered above, even if all you do is use AR to offer a more engaging experience, your company could enjoy a banner year.

At NextTech AR Solutions Corp., we are making augmented reality a reality for companies of all sizes and across a number of different industries.

No matter what market you serve or how much of a budget you have to do it, contact us today and we’ll help you create a winning AR strategy.


 

The cannabis industry is projected to reach C$22.6 billion by 2026, according to Cowen & Co., driven by the legalization of adult-use cannabis earlier this year. While Canadian investors have been voracious buyers, many companies have expanded their efforts to reach United States and European investors through dual-listings. These dual-listings offer the ability to increase liquidity, reach more investors, and ultimately, generate more value.

In this article, CFN takes a a look at why cannabis is leading the way in dual-listings and how companies like  us,  NexTech AR Solutions Inc. (CSE: NTAR) (FSE: N29), are capitalizing on these dynamics to build long-term shareholder value.

CFN NEWS SUMMARY:

Where You List Matters

Most North American investors are familiar with U.S. and Canadian stock exchanges, such as the NYSE, NASDAQ, CSE and TSX, but these exchanges only reach investors in those countries. European investors don’t have an easy way to buy securities on these exchanges—just like North American investors can’t easily access European exchanges. These dynamics can limit investor access to public companies on a global level.

Dual listings, also known as interlistings or cross-listings, enable public companies to list their securities on two or more different exchanges. These listings provide access to greater liquidity, more capital, and longer trading hours. For example, many Australian and Canadian resource companies list their shares on European exchanges because there’s substantial investor interest due to the lack of local resource companies…

Cannabis Leads the Way

Many small-cap companies have leveraged dual listings to help build a more diverse shareholder base and raise more capital at less cost. In particular, small-cap companies that operate in industries that aren’t necessarily available overseas have an opportunity to attract a large number of investors and raise more capital. The most prominent industry meeting these criteria is Canada’s nascent cannabis industry…

Many Canadian companies have sought dual listings to capitalize on these dynamics. For example, NexTech AR Solutions Inc. (CSE: NTAR) recently announced its new listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE: N29), which is the largest European stock exchange. The company’s plans to combine augmented reality with the cannabis industry could open the door to significant long-term growth opportunities…

Continue reading the Full Article on Cannabis Financial News

For more information  contact us.

What Makes Cannabis the Perfect Segment for Augmented Reality?

As 2018 comes to a close, it seems clear that the coming year is going to be another big one for augmented reality (AR). While AR has opened up brand new opportunities for many companies, it has also proven to be a perfect complement for many strategies that businesses were already executing.

This is perhaps exemplified best by the cannabis industry. A burgeoning market in its own right, cannabis companies and augmented reality have proven to be an ideal match.

4 Reasons Augmented Reality Is Perfect for the Cannabis Industry

Augmented reality is expected to be a $133.7 billion industry by 2021, a statistic that reflects just how much experts believe it will grow in the coming years.

Much of this growth will come from new adopters. Some of it will come from companies that already use AR but decide to increase their investments in the technology.

While almost every industry will adopt AR to some degree or another, expect cannabis companies to continue being extremely receptive for the following 4 reasons.

1. The Market for Cannabis Is Tech-Savvy

According to the Cannabis Consumers Coalition, 40.79% of cannabis users are between the ages of 21 and 35. In other words, the largest consumer segment of cannabis users is Millennials.

This is important to understand as 68% of Millennials want an integrated seamless experience across channels from businesses. This means that they expect to experience a seamless transition between their mobile devices, phones, and in-store experiences when interacting with a company.

That’s great news for dispensaries, as it dispels the myth that Millennials only want to make purchases online. They’re actually more than happy to visit a physical store to get what they want (their only choice for cannabis), provided that company invests in omnichannel engagement.

Dr. Tim Hilken is a professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Maastricht University School of Business and Economics. In his paper, “Making omnichannel an augmented reality: the current and future state of the art”, he found that augmented reality offers several opportunities that provide a seamless omnichannel journey to customers. As well, it smoothens current obstacles through combined customer experiences that have been embedded, extended, and embodied.

All three of those opportunities are being leveraged by companies with large Millennial markets. Many of them are part of the cannabis industry.

2. Augmented Reality Is Making It Easier to Market Cannabis

Education has been central to the cannabis industry. Educating the public about the realities of cannabis use has been central to its legalization. Education has remained a central strategy for cannabis companies looking to win new customers, too.

Augmented reality perfectly lends itself to this unique requirement. Companies have been using “virtual budtenders” to help spread the word about the different strains they have to offer. These AR aficionados offer a similar experience to the one a customer could expect in an actual dispensary. The professional walks them through various options, explaining their effects. All the while, a sample of the product turns in a 360-degree effect.

In Canada, marketing laws for cannabis companies are extremely limiting, despite legalization. One example of Canada’s cannabis laws is that cannabis is required to be packaged in a single, uniform color, without any other images/graphics except for the logo and health warning. This is based on Health Canada’s guidelines for cannabis packaging.

That doesn’t give companies a lot of options for differentiation. That’s an especially big blow to smaller businesses that don’t have the same budgets as their larger counterparts, many of which have even attracted big-name celebrity investors.

Fortunately, augmented reality may represent a promising workaround to Canada’s stifling laws. Cannabis companies could outfit their products with “augmented reality-enhanced packaging” that could go into much greater detail for customers who are interested in learning more.

3. AR Brings the Amazon Effect to Dispensaries

Every company with a physical storefront needs to content with the Amazon Effect, a phenomenon that describes how customers expect retailers to provide an ecommerce-like experience in-person.

They want all the information they need to make an informed decision.

They want it right at their fingertips.

And they want it without having to actually engage an employee.

So, even after you attract customers into your dispensary, they may want to be in charge of their own shopping experience.

A number of retailers have already embraced AR to sell everything from clothes to furniture to paint and more.

As cannabis remains a product that has to be sold in-person, it only makes sense that dispensaries will invest in augmented reality to not just attract their largely Millennial clientele but also keep them engaged during their visits.

4. The Cannabis Industry Still Faces Unique Challenges

Above, we touched on the major challenges facing cannabis companies in Canada, but there are obviously a number of obstacles south of their border, as well. In the United States, where cannabis use hasn’t been legalized on a federal level, there’s still some taboo surrounding the topic, even in states where using recreational marijuana is no longer a crime.

While more than 55 million Americans use cannabis, just over 40% say doing so is not socially acceptable.

That is to say, one of the driving forces behind AR-adoption in the cannabis industry is easing the anxiety that some customers may feel about visiting a dispensary and going through the formal purchasing process for the first time.

Once again, virtual budtenders to the rescue.

Furthermore, as the industry faces a number of unique challenges – challenges companies in other fields don’t have to worry about – every marketing opportunity should be taken.

Is Your Cannabis Company Ready for Augmented Reality?

As you can see, augmented reality represents a number of powerful benefits for cannabis companies. Whether it’s improving the overall experience you provide customers or simply marketing to them in the first place, AR is a force-multiplier that should not be ignored.

Of course, you may think that it’s also an advantage your company can’t afford or doesn’t currently have enough time to fully invest in and leverage.

At Next Tech AR, we’re bringing augmented reality to the cannabis industry and have already experienced success with a number of other companies.

If you’d like to learn how we can help your business grow with augmented reality,contact us today.

CFN Media interviews NexTech AR solutions Inc. (CSE: NTAR) COO Reuben Tozman at the New West Summit 2018.

NexTech is currently developing a proprietary and disruptive Augmented Reality advertising and education platform that uniquely engages by connecting brands and retailers through a fully immersive 3D Augmented Reality experience called Native AR.

Link to Article 

 

Ecommerce industry has experienced a massive tide of good fortunes by leveraging the potential of Augmented Reality (AR) technology. This move has succeeded to overcome the shortcomings of online shopping by bridging the gap between offline and online shopping experiences.

The major concern of online shoppers is ‘uncertainty’. They are usually unsure of whether a particular product is right for them or perfectly meets their specifications. Not all customers have the imagination power to correlate the products available online with the real-world space.

This is where Augmented Reality technology helps! With AR-based ecommerce app, customers are more confident in their purchases and feel that they are making the right choice. Customers like the idea of being able to virtually try different options before making the purchase decision. AR-based ecommerce app makes this possible by transforming user’s smartphone into a useful and ubiquitous AR platform.

eBay – AR App for B2C and C2C Sales
eBay – a multinational ecommerce corporation has recently come up with an AR based app for Android users. Developed using ARCore, this app enhances the buying and selling experience of customers by offering the next level of convenience to customers through ‘AR box picker’ feature.

This feature of eBay allows users to get the right estimate of the size of box for packaging the selected item.  AR powered eBay app superimposes a packaging box from its collection of standard box sizes — small, medium top loading, medium side loading, large top loading and many more. This allows users to know what type and size of box perfectly fits the item and helps in purchasing the right box.

Banana Flame – AR App for Fashion Industry
Online fashion retailer Banana Flame associated with software company Zugara to build an Augmented Reality shopping app that allows people to virtually ‘try on’ clothes while they shop online. This step is taken after analysing the situation that majority of customers drop the idea of purchasing clothes because they are not able to actually try it.

‘How good would a particular item look like when I actually wear it?’ is the major issue faced by online shoppers.  Banana Flame resolved this problem by integrating AR feature that adds a virtual fitting room for customers to try out clothes using webcam of computer. This app uses virtual controls to adjust dresses’ position, size, colour and even allow users to capture a photograph for sharing with friends and get their reviews before purchase.

This AR-based shopping app of Banana Flame increased the conversion rate of visitors to customers by 182 per cent in a year.

Sephora – AR App for Beauty Industry
Several beauty brands have started leveraging the power of this emerging technology for improving overall sales figures. Sephora virtual artist is one such example that allows customers to virtually see how makeup looks on face before purchasing the beauty product.

Shoppers can take a picture of their face and upload it to the website or mobile app. This allows shoppers to virtually try different makeup products on their face and get an idea of whether it suits them or not. This app also offers tutorials on how to apply eyeliner or lipstick uniquely, all of which are portrayed on your face. Such personalized experiences instill a factor of trust and results in improved conversion rates.

Advertisement

Amazon – AR App for Retail Industry
Amazon, an electronic commerce and cloud computing company has added ‘AR View’ feature in its application for ease of shopping. As of now, Amazon offers AR view feature for selected number of products. However, company has plans to keep adding more and more products in this list so that shoppers can test the look and feel of it.

Product can be rotated to know how large it is and how it looks like when placed in the actual location. AR view feature of Amazon app has improved shopping experience by giving customers a sense of satisfaction and winning their confidence while placing the order.

Artificial Intelligence
The role of Artificial Intelligence becomes more impactful when combined with AR and VR to deliver personalized customer experiences. In the presence of AI technology, virtual environment becomes more intelligent and personal and customers in making informed purchasing decisions. Ecommerce marketers can take off with AI-driven salespersons that understand the needs and preferences of customers and shows relevant suggestions.

This is just the beginning…

AR is the future of omnichannel experience. This technology leverages the perk of online shopping, such as convenience, and overcomes the challenge of ‘uncertainty’ to deliver impactful results for ecommerce business. AR allows customers to interact with the product in real time and deliver ‘touch-and-feel’ experience similar to that of in-store shopping.

By eliminating the guesswork from online shopping, AR technology has reduced company losses resulting from return requests of customers. These pain points are addressed with innovation in ecommerce. AR is truly a market differentiator and several ecommerce brands are betting big on ‘Extended Reality’ and ‘Augmented Commerce’.

If you want to see the power that augmented reality can have, watch the Weather Channel’s storm surge piece. Informative, terrifying and all in under two minutes. AR is a powerful tool and an entertainment channel that Apple wants to exploit. Whether you believe, as the recent product launch suggested, that we will all be standing around nothing playing games on our phones, AR is a huge battleground at the moment.
The numbers support this Apple’s decision; AR is seeing increased investment as interest in VR (beyond enterprise) cools. For years, there’s been a stable demand for augmented reality among tech geeks. But, the price of the technology required to make it a mainstream product was too staggeringly high. Times have changed, though, and that means that you can reap the rewards of actually playing with augmented reality in a way that previously was impossible.
Reekita Gala, a pioneer in the AR/VR marketing space believes that this is Apple’s way of becoming even more commerce-friendly; “The new iPhone’s features of Augmented Reality is surely a wake-up call for all app developers, marketers, entrepreneurs and technology leaders. It has opened the doors for a whole new world of possibilities beyond our imagination and those who want to survive in coming years. Understanding AR’s potential to make or break a business is now mission-critical for businesses. [AR’s rise] is about technology evolving to the next level.”
Apple’s Bionic chip and its unique neural networks mean that coaches can improve your free throws and you can play Galaga without going to an arcade but there’s more to come. Apple is already working on autonomous vehicles, an AR/VR headset and glasses all of which will have extra screens to augment. Apple is just getting started in a new world of screens. The world is no longer just what you see; it’s what you’ll augment.
The physical factor is the critical element here. Apple knows the days of smartphones are limited and thanks to Hollywood’s obsession with smart glasses and wearable technologies we’re likely to see them materialize in the next 15 years. Alexis Macklin, an analyst with Greenlight Insights, an intelligence firm that is focused on virtual and augmented reality believes that Mobile AR is ‘ not the end game‘. The future is it being there when we might need it rather than having to pull something out of your pocket.

Paul runs a technology advisory business called HERE/FORTH. Follow him on Twitter @paul__armstrong. His first book, ‘Disruptive Technologies’, is available now.

Paul founded HERE/FORTH, an emerging technology advisory, is the author of ‘Disruptive Technologies‘ and can be found tweeting over at@paul__armstrong.

Link to Article