“So-called “augmented reality” is the overlaying of digital information onto the real world, and everyone from games designers to retailers to health-care companies to estate agents are gearing up to use it.”
IKEA has taken full advantage of augmented reality with their new “IKEA catalogue” app. The Swedish company have fallowed the example of Pokémon Go and their success of merging the real and digital world with their new app.
In a previous article I talked about how augmented reality will play a big part in the near future for marketing strategies and tactics. IKEA took a very smart move to help customers design their home interior with IKEA’s furniture, without them having to go to the store. Thanks to the augmented reality app customers can virtually see how a certain piece of furniture will look in their home.
That means no more measures at home, going to the store, do some more measures, take the furniture back home and see that there was a mistake in the measurements or that they do not like how the new coffee table looks in the living room. This whole process is eliminated thanks to augmented reality.
I strongly believe that this is still only the beginning and the services in this area will become much better and advanced. Digital marketing strategies will complete traditional ones with the help of augmented reality.
There are so many areas that could use augmented reality to create a better experience for the customer. For example the clothing industry. How many times you wanted to buy some clothes or shoes online, but you decided not to because you were not sure if the size would fit. I know I did. Even though that most of the online shops have a great return policy, people still hesitate because they do not want to go through so much trouble of returning and then waiting again for the right size to arrive.
Now imagine if your favourite clothing e-commerce has implemented augmented reality that acts as a fitting room. The mirror at your bedroom helps you virtually try on the shirt or dress you desire. You could try different sizes and colours till you find the right one for you.
There are also shoes, wrist watches, hats, glasses and make up. These are huge industries who can target a generation that loves online shopping and give them the best experience by implementing augmented reality in their online stores.
Vision is humans most developed sensory system. Marketers communicate colour, size and styling through the visual channel. Michael R. Solomon in his book “Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective” says that:
“Marketers rely heavily on visual elements in advertising, store design and packaging. Meanings are communicated on the visual channel through a product’s size, styling, brightness and distinctiveness compared with competitors.”
Online shopping, until now, allowed marketers to communicate only colour and styling. With augmented reality marketers can now communicate size too.
With Google announcing their Daydream project, earlier this month, shows us how much investment there will be from high profile tech companies in the development of virtual and augmented reality technologies. That means the software and hardware of this technology will be up on taking any challenge that is set from marketers around the world. It is only a matter of finding the way to use this technology in our advantage, just the way IKEA did it.