Posts

WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM TARGET’S AR CHRISTMAS TREE CAMPAIGN

Target Doubled Sales with AR

Augmented reality (AR) continues to provide new ways for retailers to hook consumers in stores and online. Target added augmented reality (AR) technology to its mobile app to help shoppers find the perfect-sized artificial Christmas tree and to decorate their homes. The AR experience uses the smartphone camera to place a number of artificial Christmas trees—and also some furniture items and rugs—in true-to-life sizes in the room being occupied by the shopper, much as furniture e-commerce sites have harnessed AR to help shoppers “place” couches and tables in their living rooms.

“Hundreds of thousands of guests” are already using the “See It In Your Space” feature, according to Target. A company spokesperson told the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal that the feature “has doubled Christmas tree sales”.

Target also added six unique “holiday rooms” to its virtual, 360-degree shopping feature. The virtual rooms show how dozens of popular holiday products look at scale in living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms.

NexTech AR Insight:

Target’s AR shopping features are designed to ease the stress of buying items such as holiday decorations. Instead of estimating the size of a tree, ordering it and possibly being disappointed when it’s unboxed, customers can get a better idea of what it will look like in an actual setting before placing an order. AR demonstrations and 360-degree views of products help to manage customer expectations, and likely lead to fewer product returns.

Retailers are offering more tech-focused shopping experiences to appeal to millennials and Gen Zers, who are comfortable mixing their in-store and online shopping. Millennials expect retailers to provide fast, convenient shopping experiences, with 47% saying they buy online and pick up in-store more than 40% of the time compared to 30% of Gen Xers and 14% of baby boomers, according to a report by Euclid. Among Gen Zers, 80% say they look forward to shopping in stores when they have time, but 75% prefer to shop online out of convenience, according to Criteo research. Retailers like IkeaHouzzArtemestMacy’sWayfair and Williams-Sonoma have added 3D and AR tech to their marketing mix to enhance the shopping experience.

Are You Ready to Follow in Target’s Footsteps?  

Retailers like IkeaHouzzArtemestMacy’sWayfair and Williams-Sonoma have added 3D and AR tech to their marketing mix to enhance the shopping experience.

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.

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.

WHY EVERY BRAND NEEDS AN AR STRATEGY – NOW!!

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.

ENHANCING SHOPPING EXPERIENCES WITH THE USE OF AUGMENTED REALITY IN ECOMMERCE

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’.