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September 1, 2022

How Augmented Reality Can Improve Customer Experience

New technologies are transforming the way we entertain during leisure time or design actions to make customers empathize more with the brand. One of the technologies that offers the most attractive possibilities is Augmented Reality (AR), which can be applied to a wide variety of sectors. Thus, Augmented Reality and customer experience are strongly related.

In this post we dive deep into the world of Augmented Reality, one of the most disruptive and attractive technologies for many industries, and how it can be applied to improve customer experience.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology for viewing in 3D, real-time and through a device (such as a cell phone or tablet) a part of reality with graphics or other visual elements.

Augmented Reality Applications

The applications of Augmented Reality reach many sectors, with very different customers, but who may be equally interested in this technology.

These are just a few examples of the use of Augmented Reality, applied to different industries:

  • Games, viewing products to make a decision before buying… Virtual Reality has one of the most attractive and versatile applications in the retail sector.
  • Classics such as Instagram and TikTok filters or video games like Pokémon Go, with which these creatures are ‘hunted’ in the most unsuspected corners, show that augmented reality is very attractive for leisure, thanks to immersive experiences.
  • From training doctors without the need for a human body to practice on to diagnosing diseases and explaining them to patients, the augmented reality experience enhances understanding of the human body and teaching about it.
  • Media. It is increasingly common to see in television news programs the virtual recreation of natural disasters, weather conditions, macroeconomic data in a graph … for the audience to better understand them.
  • Hospitality. The menu of a restaurant with QR code can provide images of the dishes to know how they are before ordering them. This more visual information would be complemented with nutritional or ingredient annotations.
  • Education. Learning can be gamified to make it more attractive: for example, nature processes that take place ‘live’ while students walk through a forest or stay in a classroom. Or combine the history lesson with a video of real images of the events being explained.

picture about augmented reality applications
In this article we will focus on Augmented Reality ideas that apply to the retail sector, with the goal of attracting and retaining customers.

Augmented Reality Ideas to Boost Customer Experience and Sales

When a person executes an Augmented Reality experience, the purchase decision is altered in the following way:

  • It increases the bond with the brand. By interacting (virtually) with the product or service, and if this relationship is positive, customers are more likely to feel attached.
  • Certain emotions grow.What is it like to win a video game based on your favorite product? Or to try on a piece of clothing from your favorite brand in a fictitious fitting room that completely emulates the real thing and have it fit you well? If those emotions are positive, again the bond with the brand is deeper and, therefore, sales will increase.

Augmented Reality Videos

Using a smartphone or tablet, Augmented Reality videos can solve problems very quickly in professions that previously required face-to-face attendance. The examples of Mixed Reality applied in the diagnosis of diseases are already well known, but a live video call with Augmented Reality can also help, for example, in the preparation of an insurance report, or to explain a domestic problem to a bricklayer or plumber before he comes to the house.

Augmented Reality videos also help customers to imagine, as we have already seen, whether a virtual garment looks good on them or what an empty house would look like with furniture.

By designing Augmented Reality experiences, we help them make better purchasing decisions. For those who hesitate when purchasing a product in an e-commerce store, it opens up the possibility of ‘interacting’ with the object and making a decision from there.

Re-purposing Product Boxes or Packaging

Cardboard or plastic packaging can also be digitized and link the traditional with amazing novelties. QR codes, which have regained so much prominence during the pandemic, can be used here to enhance the product experience. For example, by providing extra information (nutritional values, product composition, recipes to prepare with it…), or by deploying video games that turn consumption into a gamified experience.

picture about augmented reality and qr code

Video Customer Service

Actions described above such as buying furniture and clothes are examples of Augmented Reality and can count on the classic salesperson (or a digital one) that complements the experience and helps the customer to complete the product transaction: recommendations of similar products, furniture sizes, explanation of the operation…

Virtual Reality and Customer Experience

The difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in customer experience is that the latter requires a specific artifact (glasses such as HoloLens, gloves, helmets) for users to enter an immersive environment beyond the real world. Well executed, the action can achieve the same results of emotion and bonding as an Augmented Reality one.

picture about augmented reality and virtual reality

Plain Concepts and Augmented Reality

At Plain Concepts we know the importance of engaging the customer with highly engaging technology. Augmented Reality helps with this.

Combined with our expertise in Virtual Reality, in different devices and sectors, and in collaboration with the UX/UI team, we explain to clients the best digital option for their business.

After discussions, we set out to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Customers collaborate in this development from the first moments of representation and review constant updates.

Harness the full potential of augmented reality to bring it to the customer experience

A mini-game to strengthen the link with the brand, more information about the product, test the measurements of a piece of furniture or the size of a garment… The possibilities of Augmented Reality are multiple and focused on very different audiences. Contact us and we will tell you how to squeeze all its value.

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josé manuel blanco
Author
José Manuel Blanco
Content Specialist

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