Did you enjoy Pokemon Go? Well then, you have enjoyed an Augmented Reality or AR experience. Did you enjoy the Star Wars 360 Virtual Reality Trailer? Then you’ve enjoyed a Virtual Reality or VR experience. Now imagine if you could incorporate such an idea into digital marketing! No, we don’t want consumers to be running around aimlessly chasing ads or getting lost in them… although… Instead it’s about using these two technologies to market stuff in a relevant way.
But before we look at how these technologies are beginning to change the digital marketing game, it’s important to understand the differences between the two.
AR vs. VR: What’s the Difference?
Augmented Reality (AR) is an immersive user experience that layers digitally generated images over users’ existing realities, typically through the use of smartphone cameras. On the other hand, Virtual Reality is a digitally generated simulation of an alternate reality.
Some Great Examples
IKEA did this beautifully with their AR product-based app that let users point their phone at an empty space in their home and see how an IKEA furniture product might look in that empty space. In one go they created an immersive user experience that was useful, memorable and allowed them to market their products in a highly personalized and creative way, all at the same time.
The Star Wars 360 video trailer was another superb use of VR technology that would work with or without a VR enabled device to allow the user to become immersed in the Star Wars Universe. For fans it was really a cool experience and only created more hype about the upcoming movie.
Why Are AR & VR So Great?
We’re vain and we like new things! Since the technology is so new, consumers find it very appealing. Only a few companies are doing this currently and so there is a novelty element to it.
More importantly and seriously, however, it allows brands to really personalize and tailor experiences for users like never before; especially for retail and online shopping. Unlike before, users can now really see and almost touch what they want to buy.
Businesses using AR and VR also have a competitive edge at the moment; because adoption rates aren’t that high, companies that use these technologies currently enjoy a competitive edge because they can deliver more superior customer experiences.
How AR & VR Are Changing the Game
Creating an Impulsive Buy Environment – Digital marketing campaigns tend to operate on the principle of encouraging an immediate, impulsive response to make a purchase. However, data from a 2017 survey by Princeton Survey Research suggests that only 21% of consumers made impulsive buys on desktop and just 10% of consumers on mobile. Compare that with 68% of consumers in store and in person. The reasoning behind this could be that the ‘in-store’ experience is truly immersive and this is where AR & VR can revolutionize online sales and digital marketing.
Because AR and VR can create almost life like immersive experiences, the potential for impulse buys is huge when digital marketing campaigns adopt this technology. GAP, for example, is exploiting AR with their Dressing Room by GAP app that allows users to ‘try on’ different garments and view them from multiple angles and purchase the items with a single touch.
Creating Opportunities for Experiential Marketing – Experiences that elicit an emotional response are most likely to result in a sale. AR and VR can be used to create immersive experience marketing campaigns like never before. Brands that sell experiences, particularly in the leisure sector can capitalize heavily on this potential.
In fact, leading brands like Marriot have already implemented VR experiences into their digital marketing strategies with their Teleporter and Vroom service, which allow for users to experience virtual reality travel and take virtual reality tours of Marriot hotel rooms.
AR & VR are here to stay and as the technology improves and adoption increases we’re likely going to see a revolution in social media and digital marketing in terms of consumers and marketers sharing highly immersive experiences and material that is sure to make consumers’ simply itch to press ‘buy’.
What do you think? Have you had experiences with these technologies? Would you like to? Let us know in the comments below.