Augmented reality has been around longer than you probably realize. People are often surprised to learn that the first AR head-mounted display system was built over five decades ago by a Harvard computer scientist. But what’s more surprising is how popular and accessible augmented reality now is to the general public. 

Augmented reality isn’t just making waves in the tech world. Yes, it’s completely transformed the video game industry and has given us incredible games like Pok√©mon Go, but it’s impact doesn’t stop there. Businesses can also tap into augmented reality to enhance the customer experience, which is something that consumers are starting to expect. 61% of people say they prefer companies that offer AR experiences, and 71% report they’d shop more often if companies made augmented reality an integral part of their business.

If you’re wondering how to leverage AR to improve your business, consider these five benefits.

1. Create an Immersive Customer Experience

AR blends the digital and physical realms to create a unique experience that isn’t possible with other traditional marketing tactics. You can literally bring products to life and interact with them as if they were really there. Two of my companies, NFT-Merch and Deciph-AR, help companies design and develop products that their customers can interact with online. There are also home design companies that use apps to show consumers what certain pieces of furniture will look like in their homes, and real estate executives even use AR to show homebuyers information and statistics about a neighborhood as they’re touring a house.

2. Heighten User Engagement

All business owners share the goal of improving user engagement to build brand loyalty and encourage sales. Print used to serve this purpose, and then companies were able to use social media to expand their reach. Now, digital tools like scannable product labels and interactive ads can quickly capture someone’s curiosity and get them excited to browse your website. Just take ASOS’ ‘See My Fit’ marketing campaign, for example, which has helped them achieve a 275% jump in profits since 2020.

3. Get a Competitive Edge

There are so many industries that are heavily saturated with products. So, how do some companies stand out from the competition? There are a number of factors involved here, but getting creative with your marketing campaigns and using innovative technologies, like AR, is how you can get a leg up over your competitors and stand out in a crowded market. This is especially true if your target audience includes younger generations like millennials and Gen Z.

4. Reduce cognitive overload

Consumers want an effortless and engaging experience from the moment they see your ad to when they browse through your website to when they purchase one of your products. They don’t want to be overloaded by information or have to follow convoluted steps to look at your products. Augmented reality allows companies to extend small digital snippets to customers that are visually engaging and help them reach a purchasing decision without feeling overwhelmed.

5. Generate Analytics

An effective marketing campaign relies on great analytics. If augmented reality features are built into your app or website, you can easily monitor and track how people interact with your site and products and then use that to inform future strategies. 

Augmented reality offers lucrative benefits that companies can’t ignore. The question you should be asking yourself isn’t should you adopt AR, but when will you adopt AR?

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