In the time and age where 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, there is no doubt in the minds of businesses how important it is to deliver an exceptional experience for their customers. As the world wakes up to a new post-pandemic world where people expect to get a lot of work done while staying at home, enterprises are looking to use the lucrative impact of immersive technologies like augmented reality, to enhance customer engagement and offer unique adventures. The AR and VR market is expected to grow by $125billion in the next four years.
AR blurs the lines of reality by overlaying our physical world with digital components to intensify experiences. These disruptive technologies are powered by artificial intelligence. The partnership of AR and AI is a natural choice to build interactive apps. AI replaces traditional computer vision approach with new features like object detection, text analysis and scene labeling. AR developers use AI algorithms to offer features like interaction with surrounding physical environment, image recognition and tracking, text recognition and translation, automatic speech recognition and human pose estimation. Modern AR apps rely heavily on machine and deep learning to provide advanced functionalities. Artificial intelligence is at the heart of AR platforms.
AR and VR are breaking the labels of being used in entertainment industry and shaping new customer experiences in retail. People are growing to depend more and more on digital tools to make decisions, complete purchases and for post-purchase support. It is estimated that in 2020 in the US alone, 83.1 million people used AR tech atleast once a month. By 2024, there will be 1.73 billion augmented reality users on mobile. People between the age of 16-34 fall into the AR user category. Augmented Reality has the potential to deliver intelligent and innovative solutions to support an enterprise’s customer experience strategy. AR is truly game-changing with the power to amaze, amuse, inform and connect customers and all that is needed is a smartphone to experience it. AR revenue is projected to hit $340 billion by 2028.
Explore use cases of AR in transforming customer experience
Try before you buy: AR allows customers to make informed decisions on products. Buyers can make even big purchases like furniture and cars, that generally requires in-store visit, from the comfort of their homes with certainty and satisfaction using AR technology. Furniture and car sales is slow online and AR has the capacity to change that. You can visualize the furniture in your home using AR applications. The visualizations will answer the many questions you have while making a purchase remotely from- will this sofa fit in the living room to whether the styles and colour of a refrigerator match the wallpaper in the kitchen. AR can also bring your architecture needs to life with 3D models of homes, with which you can even hammer out minute details.
Contactless shopping: AR applications and its features allows consumers to digitally superimpose garments or accessories on themselves using the camera on their phone to see how it looks on them. You can try different styles on shoes, eyewear, watches, you can also check which hair colour or hair style suits you the best or even use AR to find out your perfect lip shade and foundation. This empowers consumers with clarity and confidence over their choices and also allows unprecedented levels of personalization.
Immersive retail experience: AR can make even monthly groceries visits fun and engaging. Establishments can add entertaining and interactive visuals at various spots that promote brand engagement, which visitors can unlock via their smartphones. With Covid, in-store changing rooms may soon be a thing of the past and AR dressing rooms will be the disruptive innovation which will gives brands an edge over competitors. There are AR applications available that lets customers build a 3D model of themselves by choosing the right size and body type. The AR generated model can be rotated 360 degrees and allows the customer to get a better idea of how the clothes will look on them.
Interactive AR packaging: Scan products to get more information about them or engage in practical experience like following recipes through interactive food demonstrations. Some cereal companies offer interactive games that can be played at the breakfast table, entertaining their consumers while creating lasting experiences even after purchase. Using AR for interactive packaging will definitely improve brand loyalty.
Drive customer loyalty with AR: Augmented Reality-based self-service support for home applications has grown exponentially during the pandemic. By using a smartphone, customers can access interactive user manuals to fix issues or set up products themselves. The experience AR provides is more valuable than reading or even watching a ‘how to’ video, thus enhancing user experience. Automobile industry is leveraging the power of AR to troubleshoot car problems remotely. Drivers can also learn about the all the features a car offers by simply scanning the car and getting digital data overlaid on top the physical world. They can even perform simple maintenance jobs like changing oil or topping wiper fluid with AR customer support initiatives. Capturing the customer’s attention even after sales in an interactive manner is sure to grow brand loyalty and customer engagement.
By merging the capabilities of AI with the possibilities of AR, any business will be able to scale their customer satisfaction rates by many-folds.