In this post, Acquisition Marketing Manager Bethany McDermott will take a look at how brands have begun to use Augmented Reality to improve both sides of the buying process and future uses of AR.

The world of Augmented Reality (AR) is moving on from chunky goggles and headsets, into the palm of our hands and our everyday lives.

Although there have been skeptics, the AR technology market is set to expand rapidly over the next few years. By 2020 the AR & VR market is predicted to be worth $150billion,  almost five times its value in 2018.

One factor behind this growth is the adoption of the technology in enterprise and industry markets, rather than its initial uses for gaming experiences.

It’s a great tool to bridge the high street, to online & digital. For example, rather than going to a brick and mortar store to measure up – it’s becoming increasingly easier to do so from your computer, tablet & smartphone.

Let’s take a look at how online retailers are using AR and how it benefits them & the customer.


Reducing Returns

First up, purecycles.com. Tucked away on the product image is the option to view the product in AR.

So whether it’s trying for size for your child’s first bike or checking if it fits on a cycle rack – they’ve got you covered.

These are high value, less frequently bought items, and AR helps customers to find the right size bike for them.

It’s a big plus for online cycle retailers, as it reduces the need for customers to head to stores to try bikes for size, and it can also help to reduce the number of returns from unhappy buyers.


Create Up-sell Opportunities

Flying high (ahem) we have Kayak. Their latest offering allows you to measure your hold luggage and see if it will fit in your chosen airline’s luggage space.

It’s an opportunity to show the costs of adding on hold luggage if the user’s bag is too small – bringing upsell & add-ons to the front of the shopper’s mind.

It’s a very practical use of this technology to help travellers avoid an embarrassing moment at the airport. (For more things which help travel customers check out our latest eBook – 30 Ways to Increase Online Travel Bookings)


Increase Brand Confidence

Now, a little closer to home. Dulux offers the Dulux Visualiser App, which allows users to show a range of paint colors on the walls of their home, all without having to take home those annoying tester pots.

An additional feature is the ability to pick a color from anywhere and then see that color live in your living space – Definitely, one to try around the SaleCycle Office!

Mobile phones & tablets offer a higher quality of color definition than traditional printed materials, so this can mean fewer nasty shocks when you put brush to wall.

For customers, this means increased confidence in your products, their quality, and your brand.

Customer Data Insights

The final, maybe the most common example, is makeup retailers. In this case, we take a look at Sephora.

Sephora eliminates doubt in the customer’s mind by allowing them to try the products virtually through their smartphone.

This allows Sephora to not only to build up a profile for each customer (after all, who doesn’t forget the color of their make up!) but also to be able to see what products are commonly bought together and what alternatives are chosen after “trying them on”.

This type of data wouldn’t be trackable in-store, but it can help the in-store sales teams with upselling if the customer does decide to buy offline.


Future Uses of AR

To conclude, let’s take a look at some future uses of AR. There’s a huge potential for retailers to use this channel as a bridge online and offline, and you can check out how some brands already doing this here – How Fashion Brands Can Integrate Technology In-Store to Boost Sales.  

The direction the travel industry could take is to be able to give customers a deeper understanding of hotels & resorts which go way past researching on TripAdvisor. By allowing a shopper to be able to walk around their future hotel room or check out the hotel restaurant – sales and average order values have the potential to fly!

And finally, although there is no buying process one sector which could see huge changes in the adoption of AR is Healthcare.

The educational and practical elements which can be achieved through simulation of procedures and situations could vastly improve healthcare across the globe – a little more important than a pair of goggles and “wow that’s cool”….