The role of virtual reality in modern marketing
In today’s world, more and more people prefer online shopping: in 2018, 47.3% were buying online, and the global e-commerce market is estimated to reach 6 trillion in 2023. It is not surprising, as the modern person is increasingly faced with a lack of time, and the coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted the consumer in general: 55% of shoppers began to buy more online than before the lockdown period. The same applies to the entertainment field because Live dealer casinos have become more popular than ever.
Online shopping has its specifics, notably higher returns because people need the opportunity to test the product in real time. It is where such technology as augmented reality comes in to help retailers.
Retail and augmented reality: the state of the market
From a global perspective, e-commerce and retail are constantly influenced by technology development: the more and the stronger the existing devices and systems are improving, the easier it is to organize the interaction between the end consumer and the company. In addition, the development of the mobile industry has a strong influence here – thanks to the availability of the Internet and a smartphone, the user can shop from anywhere, anytime.
Mobile devices can be used to launch augmented reality content. With the number of mobile users growing each year, the relevance of technology to enhance the online brand experience is also expected to grow. And now, many companies and research centres are studying the impact of AR on the electronic sales market.
For example, according to Vertebrae, there has been a 19% increase in engagement when interacting with augmented reality content while recording a 52% increase in conversions and a 25% increase in average order value.
Another exciting thing is how consumers respond to augmented reality: according to the study, AR content engages 2.6 times more than regular photos and 2.1 times more than video.
Benefits of digitization in the business sector
Introducing technologies such as AR or VR is one part of the digitalization of business. We have already talked about this process in detail many times, but let us remind you of the benefits that companies receive from digitization:
- Reduced time for routine operations, including the processing of incoming orders;
- Decrease in associated costs in a multitude of functions;
- increase in the efficiency of business processes;
- reducing risks and errors, especially those related to the human factor;
- increased customer satisfaction, providing a smoother experience;
- expanding the company’s capabilities;
- competitive advantage;
- prospects for further business growth and development.
Digitization can involve many different tools. It is essential to select those that will maximize the potential of your business and bring it as much value as possible. Using augmented reality, a store or any other company can gain many benefits – both in customer service and for employees.
How costly is AR to retail?
The favour of augmented reality is rising, and with it, so is its affordability. Prices in this market can be very different. To help you navigate through them, let’s outline what the cost of developing AR depends on:
- Availability of a well-thought-out concept: if you already understand absolutely what you require, this facilitates the way to the outcome and, at the exact moment, lowers the price of the project;
- range of features: the digit of additional things and activities that can be achieved with these items and other characteristics you like to deliver to your users – the main cost criterion because the more features – the more pricey development;
- implementation platform: it is only possible to implement this technology in collaboration with other tools. You will, in any case, need an application based on which AR will work. There are multiple choices, and all have their price fields. Maybe you already own your app, and then there’s less work to do;
- The contractor: obviously, you can’t implement the technology yourself and will be looking for a contractor. His competence, professionalism and ambition largely determine both the cost of AR development and the quality of the final result.
AR – the tool of the future for e-commerce
The ease and simplicity of shopping online are quickly winning people’s hearts. They love the experience, and it allows them to buy anything, anywhere, anytime.
However, offline shopping has advantages because many users need help with online shopping. For example, the ability to look at an item in person to evaluate its colour, size, texture and quality.
Augmented reality combines freedom and real-world experience, allowing users to get all the benefits they want in one app.
Using this technology correctly, you can even sell food with augmented reality: visualize a fridge full of goodies for your target audience, and they won’t resist.
Virtual reality for sales
Virtual, like augmented reality, helps provide customers with a memorable experience and maximum comfort in interacting with your brand. For example, instead of creating a catalogue with many photos and long product descriptions, you can allow users to examine the products as if they were living. In this way, interaction with you will be more exciting and more productive, which is clearly to the advantage of your company. As a result, you get loyal customers, increased profits, and a competitive edge.
Offer to choose a product with the help of VR.
By replacing low-informative two-dimensional catalogues that make the user spend time reading descriptions, flipping through photos, or worse, limiting them to just one shot, you make your customers’ experience better, more productive, interactive and exciting. But what do you replace them with? With virtual reality.
Apply virtual tour technology
What do a hotel, a real estate agent and a construction company have in common? They all sell space. And the easiest way to present and sell that space is with virtual tours. So let your users “walk around” your hotel room on their smartphone.
This solution applies to more than just real estate work. For example, beauty salons can showcase their interiors, promising customers a comfortable experience in their space and introducing them to the location of the masters and places of various services.
Spherical videos are a great way to provide virtual reality without virtual glasses. If you want to provide a seamless experience for your users, but are afraid that it won’t be available to everyone, shoot a video. This technology is available on any device while being as informative as possible.
360° video can showcase real estate, showrooms, photo studios and more spaces. It is also helpful in presenting common goods: allowing users to consider, for example, an item of clothing on the model from all angles or even in motion.