Today’s customer journeys span multiple touchpoints. That’s why business unit integration is such a popular topic of interest: marketing, product development, IT, CX, and engineering must all collaborate to deliver compelling experiences. With this perspective in mind, augmented reality (AR), with its capability to deliver an enhanced buying experience, is a customer experience powertool.
According to research from Mindshare and reported by Econsultancy, 55% of consumers “would like to be able to point their phone at any object and receive information about it.” Narrow this surveyed group down to a sample that has already experienced augmented reality, and the number rises to 74%.
What makes an augmented reality strategy successful? Here are 3 ways that companies are using augmented reality to attract and enhance customer experiences:
Bringing humanity to IoT
Forecasts say that the IoT market will double by 2021, meaning that consumers will be interacting with devices on an almost ongoing basis. AR can help enhance the experience, for more seamless communication between the human mind, systems, and the data that IoT products generate.
As one example, in the field service industry, IoT is revolutionizing the capabilities of mobile workers in regards to speed, visibility, and customer expectations. Combining IoT with wearable tech, enhanced with AR capabilities, opens the door for easier diagnosis of a problem by a mobile employee, and in the future could even allow a customer to diagnose and fix their own service related issues.
This technology improves customer experiences by making it easier for workers to deliver remote assistance, prevent errors, and make more informed decisions. Analytics support better judgment, in the moment.
Giving customers confidence
Customer indecision is a force that stops transactions in their tracks. Buyers want to be confident in the products that they’re buying. But it’s often tough to tell whether a new purchase will deliver on its promise.
Sephora is using AR to address this challenge. The company has created a virtual artist app called ModiFace, which helps buyers see how makeup products will look. It’s a simple try-before-you-buy approach that works from anywhere—customers can try products without needing to visit a Sephora store.
“When it comes to augmented and virtual reality, it can only be successful if it’s truly useful,” explains Bridget Dolan, Sephora’s head of innovation, in an interview with Glossy.
Teaching new skills
Brands play a powerful role in societies: consumers rely on the products they buy to accomplish their life goals. Take back-to-school season as an example. As kids require a range of supplies to be successful in their academics, school supply brands seek to make sure that they’re meeting their buyers’ best interests.
That’s why stationary brand Bic created an augmented reality coloring book app for kids. The brand’s goal is to give children an alternative to gaming apps. The company hired a children’s author to create concepts, while also bringing in special effects. Kids can create their own unique art-of-the-future.
With augmented reality, the best of digital and physical shopping experiences converge. The end results include smoother customer journeys, reduced strain on businesses, and more cohesive buying experiences. Even more important: consumers want it.