Perhaps the best way to boost customer engagement is to offer unique experiences. If your brand provides something that none of your competitors can, that’s a hook. Right now, Augmented Reality (AR) is still in its infancy, which makes incorporating it into your digital marketing strategy a ripe opportunity to grab users’ attention.
In this article, we’ll review three strategies that your brand can use to boost customer engagement with AR. We’ll also talk about why they work. Let’s get to it!
Why AR is Useful for Boosting Customer Engagement
The term ‘engagement’ in relation to digital marketing is sometimes pigeonholed. It comes up in discussions of social media likes and shares, and perhaps in reference to the comments section of your brand’s blog. However, customer engagement goes far beyond your online content.
Engagement marketing is actually all about creating meaningful experiences for customers that they’ll associate with your brand. There are many ways to accomplish this that go far beyond likes. For example, building a mobile app or hosting events can create that sense of community.
AR can also be useful in this realm. It’s both new enough to attract attention and seem unique to customers, but familiar enough that they’ll be able to figure out how to use it without much trouble or frustration.
By nature, AR is all about enhancing users’ experiences. From useful tools to entertaining content filters and games, this technology is primed to leave customers with a positive impression of your brand. This should also foster a relationship that leads to sales.
3 Strategies for Boosting Customer Engagement With AR
Since it’s relatively new on the digital marketing scene, knowing how best to incorporate AR into your strategy can be tricky. Fortunately, there have been a few successful uses of it that may provide some inspiration for your own efforts. Here are three examples to help you brainstorm.
1. Offer Customers the Opportunity to Try On Products From Their Phones
One of the most common and interesting uses of AR comes from apps that enable their users to see what they’d look like with ‘simple’ cosmetic changes. Sephora, for example, lets users try on many of its products using AR.
All you have to do is find the product that you want, select a shade, and the app will use AR to show you what you’d look like wearing it:
One of the smartest aspects of this application is that it enables you to compare multiple looks side-by-side. That means you can simulate the experience of shopping from your phone:
Sephora’s AR functionality is powered by a company called ModiFace, which creates software for beauty brands. It’s such a smart application of the technology that L’Oréal bought the company back in 2018.
Now, Amazon also uses it to let you try some of the beauty products in its massive catalog:
However, AR isn’t exclusively for cosmetic brands. It can also let you test drive other types of products, such as shoes. That’s precisely what Gucci enables you to do using its iOS app:
Using AR to enable customers to try on your products is a brilliant move. It helps them assuage their fears before committing to a purchase. The more expensive the brand, the more useful AR tech becomes, hence its adoption by top-of-line companies such as Gucci.
In a store, you might think twice before trying on dozens of sneakers, but not so using an app. If that same app enables you to share the experience on social media, then it becomes a fantastic way to drive engagement.
2. Enable Users to Interact With Spaces and Objects Differently
AR is all about experiencing the world around us in ways that aren’t possible without technology. It stands to reason, then, that one of its most common applications is overlaying virtual elements on top of the ‘real’ world.
Some brands have used this concept in incredibly creative ways. Toyota, for example, offers customers the opportunity to use AR to peek into the insides of cars at its dealerships. That way, shoppers can appreciate first-hand all the intricate workings of specific vehicles:
Nissan followed suit, offering a similar experience for some of its electric vehicles in select stores:
The idea behind this marketing strategy is to build transparency and trust with customers. At the same time you can show off the features that set your product apart from the competition. However, you can also use AR to transform regular spaces with elements that remind users about your brand.
IKEA, for example, lets customers use its app to visualize how specific products would look in different parts of their homes. It’s even capable of taking lighting into account to create a more realistic AR experience:
This is a brilliant application of AR because traditionally, there’s no way for customers to try furniture before they make a purchase. All you can do is imagine how a couch or a dresser would look like in your home, and hope that you can return it if it isn’t a good fit.
Using AR enables customers to spend as much time as they want testing your products before they decide to make a purchase. If your competitors don’t offer a comparable experience, that gives you an edge.
3. Use Augmented Reality to Enhance Product Packaging
Very few people get excited about packaging. Opening a product can be fun, but we’re often more interested in what’s inside than about any details on the container itself. There are things that you can do to enhance your items’ appearance from a design perspective, but you can also use AR to offer more immersive experiences.
The 19 Crimes winery, for example, offers an app that you can use to scan the label of any of its products. Once you do so, the labels will speak to you from your phone and tell you a little more about the wine you’re going to drink:
Herbal Essences is another example of a company that uses AR to enhance its product packaging. In this case, the Herbal Essences AR Experience app not only provides you with information about the product you want to use, but also incorporates a tropical background:
Using AR to provide more in-depth product information is a smart way to gamify the process of customers getting to know your brand better. However, for this to work, you need to make the experience engaging. If you simply use AR to add tables or nutritional information that would normally be on your labels anyway, you may not see significant results.
AR is all about creative implementation. If you’re looking for strategies to boost customer engagement, we suggest that you start by enabling users to test products from your mobile app. You can also give them unique insight into your products, or even take your packaging to the next level and make it interactive.
Do you have any questions about how to use AR to market your brand? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.
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