4 ways AR transforms the customer journey

Maria Stenina

The digitalization of the customer journey is an inevitable leap for every brand. AR is here to help!

Digital transformation has been fueled by a series of events in recent years, making brands think on their feet and reactively adapt strategies on all levels. The customer journey has become one of the areas in the limelight.

While the pandemic imposed restrictions on daily lives and affected purchasing habits, the online dwelling time has propelled, giving the marketers a solid reason to take a closer look at emerging technologies such as AR.

Brands worldwide show that digitalization of the customer journey is a necessary step. Luckily, advanced technological solutions are here to help make a leap. Thanks to its versatility, AR solutions gradually become a vital component in accompanying the customer throughout the entire sales funnel and beyond.

Awareness: advertising of tomorrow

Starting from the very top of the funnel, marketers could use AR to boost brand awareness and customer engagement.

Let’s take advertising. AR-powered ads that we know and love rolled out just a couple of years ago. Snapchat pioneered programmatic AR ads in 2017. This pushed other social media giants like Facebook and Instagram to catch up on the trend and present their take on using AR in advertising. According to Digiday, TikTok gets ready to introduce a new AR ad format soon.

What started as a beta-testing for selecting industries, was rapidly scaled and implemented on a broader scope, based on raving feedback of advertisers and end-users. As AR technology becomes progressively light-weight, various platforms can integrate solutions without additional workload.

For customers, “seeing is believing” is synonymous with AR commerce. As brands tell their stories in new ways, customers experience products and services in simulations that feel real. With social distancing coming to stay for a while, trying things out through AR or learning about the product without physically visiting the store becomes vital.

The transit through customer journey stages gets streamlined and leads the prospects directly to the next stage.

Interest: a new dimension of customer experience

After the attention is caught, how do the brands spark interest and make a customer spend time exploring more? Immersive AR solutions make it possible. Advertisers who chose to tune in, receive a new toolset, powerful enough to flip the established paradigm of customer-brand interaction.

The AR industry provides technology to seamlessly create new customer and brand experiences on a larger scale.

A bonus for agencies and marketers is the high adaptivity of the AR solutions, meaning they could be customized for each industry’s specifics. Powered by cutting-edge AR products, brands leverage their ROI and supply customers with digital content that can be directly engaged with.

The level of interaction with such content is unprecedented and goes well beyond reading and liking. Given that augmented reality allows adding any digital content to the real-life environment, it sparks genuine emotions that no video or image could beat.

Desire: expanding functionality

Growing in functionality year to year, AR moves from a single-use experience to becoming a connecting tissue for many uprising technologies – such as AI, machine learning, and robotics.

Being less hardware dependent than VR, augmented reality proves to be a go-to solution that offers a lot of ways for deployment while being more user-friendly and highly customizable. Customers already carry AR-powered devices in their pockets (aka smartphones), creating an additional touchpoint to deliver experiences anytime.

Thanks to AR features such as Object Tracking, users can freely move around and actively interact with 3D content. Instant tracking allows the experience to take place literally everywhere – from the screen of the user’s smartphone or laptop to physical objects around, like buildings and city infrastructure. AR solutions open a new dimension of indoor and outdoor advertising.

Action: show and shop

Now, that the customer is attracted and engaged, how can we harness that attention and convert it to engagement and sales? AR comes in handy not only to present the product but also to add branded content of various complexity, showcasing product functionality and innovation.

With 3D instructional overlays, customers can visualize and learn more in real-time: be it a particular campaign or brand’s mission. Imagine allowing customers to try things virtually. Let’s say, verify if a piece of furniture fits in the room.

With AR, you can go a step further and even guide the assembling of the product. The augmented reality experience can spread throughout the entire customer journey, creating a comprehensive roadmap for brands to act on.

Design Ar GIF by Wikitude - Find & Share on GIPHY

Augmented reality solutions have the power to reimagine the customer journey as we know it. From harnessing customers’ attention by creating unique experiences that spark a genuine interest to boosting engagement and driving sales – this technology has it under its belt.

How are you leveraging AR in your customer journey? Let us know in the comments below.

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