When was the last time you browsed through a catalog and then picked up the phone to place an order? If you’re like most Americans, it’s been awhile: There are 217.1 million online shoppers in the United States—a number that’s projected to reach 224 million this year (Statista). So, how does that impact print marketing for retailers and other brick-and-mortar businesses?
Augmented reality (AR) is one answer. AR can be used to bridge the gap between print and digital, allowing customers to enjoy an immersive experience with your brand.
AR has changed how we interact with brands—and from a marketing standpoint, it has rewritten the rules of engagement. Now, print media can also be interactive. Once-stagnant displays or catalogs can spring to life using AR technology.
Here’s how it works: AR embeds virtual content layered over a real-world object, making a powerful, immediate connection with the user by providing information in a memorable or more convenient way (i.e. clicking on or scrolling over an item in an ad, which triggers the display of the item name and cost on the host website). The revenue-generating potential that AR provides is incredible.
According to a study published by the ISACA, 62% of consumers believe augmented reality has the potential to improve the shopping experience. In addition, AR has reached revenues of about $428 million in 2018, with that number expected to explode in the next few years, with display ad and visual search revenues via AR totaling more than $2.6 billion by 2022.
This case study from Brand United details how an AR-enabled catalog improved the customer experience and boosted retail sales by 3% for automotive brand Quadratec:
According to Statista, the global market for AR is projected to grow to approximately $90 billion in the next two years. In addition, revenue generated by AR is expected to be three times higher than virtual reality (VR). And that’s because AR is so versatile and accessible for consumers. It can be customized to hit your audience when and where you want: geo-tagged for proximity-based marketing campaigns (think festivals, annual meetings, sporting events, etc.). AR can be used to create engaging customer experiences like taking customers on a virtual tour of a new property or helping customers easily locate your products—all from their smartphones or tablets, all with a couple of clicks.
AR also helps us become better marketers: Because AR interaction is trackable, we use the data from the experience to strategically plan the next step, modify the message, shape future campaigns, and so on. Where do you see AR fitting into your brand marketing? If you’re interested in learning more, connect with me on LinkedIn.