The Internet has fundamentally changed the way we shop. Today, more than ever, consumers are informing themselves about future purchases and acquisitions. As technology advances, this movement isn’t stopping – it’s amplifying much more. In a recent post on Forbes, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council highlight some ways companies can use immersive media, such as augmented reality or virtual reality, for customer communications on the website to stand out and use this shift in consumer behavior to their advantage.
1. Bringing the shopping experience to the customer
The Internet has ensured that we are more decentralized than ever. Not everyone can actually visit a POS and explore the thoughtful strategies of store design and shopping experience. Therefore, virtual showrooms present a great opportunity. Especially during the pandemic, many customers are still apprehensive about spending long periods of time in a store, so it is important to bring the shopping experience conveniently to the customer through virtual media.
2. Customization and customization are the key
Virtual experiences using AR and VR can be used to personalize services. For example, if you want to buy furniture, you can have it right in your own home thanks to VR and get an idea before ordering online. The same goes for anything where you can bring information, supplementary images or other visuals to the customer.
3. Use visual experiences to drive purchases
Companies can leverage AR or VR to create a unique visual experience for customers. Examples, YEC members said, can be found at IKEA, which allows consumers to place furniture directly in their own living rooms in its app. This visual experience increased the furniture giant’s sales tremendously, as customers were able to make an informed decision about their purchase without visiting the store.
4. Gamification as the key
How will you motivate customers to use the immersive experience long-term? The answer lies in gamification. For example, using augmented reality, customers can not only discover the product from all sides, but also collect additional hidden clues or points to get discounts. This is how you keep the customer in the long run and motivate them to keep coming back for new discounts or profits with this gamified element.
5. Illustrate the usage
A great way for virtual reality and augmented reality on the website is to educate the consumer about the product’s capabilities. For example, when customers have the opportunity to virtually try out the product in VR, dismissing any potential doubts beforehand, can be very liberating. VR makes use of different senses of the users, which help them to learn multisensory and to better understand the possibilities of the product and to use it later.
6. Touring with the customer
Especially since the advent of the pandemic, immersive media has become increasingly popular for businesses and retailers. In a time when it was hard to get out, customers could explore new areas and experience tours. Even without going to the showroom, sightseeing tours were possible. Tourism in the virtual world was becoming increasingly popular, making people want to see more as soon as they could. As the cost of VR and AR becomes lower and lower, the possibilities to excite the customer are increasing.
7. Virtual try-ons help make decisions
Whether it’s clothing, makeup or accessories, companies selling such products are already frequently using augmented reality to give customers the opportunity to try on or try out their products before buying. Users, according to recent studies, love to virtually try on a necklace or sunglasses in advance before paying online and sometimes really spend a lot of time doing so.
8. Branded filters for the platforms
Filters belong in times of TikTok, Instagram and Co to the normality. Whether to change the appearance, complement clothing or to express the opinion or personality. A filter is a good chance to stand out. However, these AR filters as a trend in social media are also a great opportunity for companies to position themselves and thus improve their own reach. A clever augmented reality filter will entice people to share content and thus become brand ambassadors quite voluntarily.
These were just a few examples of how augmented reality and virtual reality can change the corporate world and the user experience. With these eight tips, the members of the Young Entrepreneur Council have provided a good overview of the possibilities, which often go much deeper in practice.