Covering Disruptive Technology Powering Business in The Digital Age

AR in Marketing: A New and Exciting Way for Retail
June 8, 2021 Blog


Written by: Rogelio Legaspi, Journalist, AOPG

In today’s competitive environment, especially for the commerce industry, various strategies are being adopted by companies to drive more customers. Some enterprises rely on discounts and similar tropes, while others are investing in advertisements to attract people into buying their products or services in the first place.

To put a modern touch on such marketing, companies are now utilising technological advancements in their strategies – and Augmented Reality (AR) is one way to realise this. More commonly, AR is found in the gaming industry, with games such as Pokémon GO generating 60 million users in its first year of release.

In-game, players can catch Pokémon outside of their homes using their mobile devices, with the animated characters showing themselves as ‘augmented’ in the real-life world. This gave a whole new level of immersion to users and as such, AR is now also being used in marketing in an effort to give a new and exciting way for customers to interact with brands.

According to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., the global Augmented Reality market size is estimated to reach USD $340.16 billion by 2028, with people increasingly adopting AR-supported online platforms for shopping, education and social media interactions.

With that, let us look at some of the ways companies can leverage AR technology to attract more customers and improve their buyer experience:

  1. Try Before You Buy: More often, we as customers tend to be unsure as to what specific product should we buy. ‘Is this colour right for me’? and ‘How will this design match my body’? are among many other questions. With AR, you can now try the item that you want – as much as you want. For example, Fossil lets you try their watch using your phone before you purchase it. You just pick your desired item, use your phone camera to show your wrist, and that’s it – you are now wearing their watch.
  2. Going Into Details: Ever wonder what’s inside the item you want to buy or what their mechanisms are? With AR, you can finally answer this question. Some companies are now using AR to explain the details of their products, to give customers a more detailed view of what they want. For instance, Toyota released an AR to let customers show the inside of a car, its internal mechanisms and other details important for a person in considering a product.
  3. Create Noise for Brands: Companies today are using more creative gimmicks to create buzz, and AR could help them with this by providing a more immersive experience. Pepsi did this with an interactive bus stop, where unsuspecting commuters and passersby were surprised with a giant laser-shooting robot, a fiery incoming asteroid, a manhole with tentacles emerging and more. The campaign caused sales for Pepsi Max to increase 35% year on year (YoY) for the month the campaign was live.
  4. Customer Assistance: For regular customers, companies are also utilising AR to improve their experience. Grocery shops use AR to guide customers inside while shopping, providing them details such as the location of items, discounts and other valuable information through their mobile phones.
  5. Add Beauty: Another innovative way to use AR is to add beauty to your products and services, especially for physical places such as restaurants and café. For example, Rekorderlig, a beverage company, used a Magic Leap AR headset technology to project holographic imagery and light waves together in the wearers’ vision, blurring the line between the real and virtual worlds.