It wasn’t until a bunch of people started hunting for imaginary creatures, often in places they weren’t supposed to be, that industry professionals were convinced of the potential of augmented reality.
While the success of Pokémon Go has tapered off, and we are years from living in the promised future where we are spammed to death by holograms, it is hard to deny the impact augmented reality is having on industries all across the world.
From large companies developing their own technology to small businesses using existing platforms, the AR industry promises to grow significantly in the next few years.
For small business owners and digital advertisers looking for new ways to communicate with potential customers, it may be time to get in on the AR action. Even though it won’t completely revolutionise marketing and customer service, now is the perfect time to start using AR technology to create a new hybrid experience few other businesses can offer their customers.
Most business professionals understand that marketing and customer interaction is a bit like fishing: you have to go where the fish are. In this case, consumer trends and customer expectations influence a lot of how businesses operate these days.
Whether you have a traditional brick-and-mortar store or an online business, if you do not cater to what your customers want, you are at a competitive disadvantage.
Now that the ecommerce space has proved its worth as a dominant form for everyday business, enough time has passed to see how users and customers prefer to shop and conduct business online. Recent trends, especially among the younger demographics, reveal that things are not as simple as “out with the old, in with the new.”
In fact, industry experts have tracked the rise of the “hybrid consumer experience” for the past couple of years.
Taking the benefits and conveniences of online shopping/advertising with the more intimate experience businesses can offer, this hybrid approach tries to blend old and new ways of doing business.
For example, despite popular belief, many Millennials continue to shop at local mom-and-pop stores while using their phones to research products, find good deals or communicate with others.
This has been good and bad news for small businesses.
On one hand, it means a typical small business does not have to abandon the old ways of advertising, servicing customers, and keeping track of logistical matters. At the same time, it has forced many owners to get creative when trying to use social media, paid advertising, and other digital channels of communication to convert potential customers.
Since this trend is expected to grow in the next few years, small businesses wanting to remain competitive, locally or online, need to think about how they can provide or cater to this hybrid approach.
This is where the realities of AR can be beneficial today.
The most direct approach to use an augmented reality platform for your business is with custom content and applications. Creating a native app designed to work with mobile devices, for example, is a common way large corporations have utilised AR technologies to create games, shopping assistants, product guides, and more.
This is also how many businesses have made their mark in the AR space by pushing the envelope of digital marketing/brand awareness, customer interaction/service, and education.
This trend has become so popular, in fact, its presence can be seen in industries from retail and gaming to real estate and education.
You can start creating custom AR content and apps regardless of the industry of your business.