Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that combines the virtual world and reality by overlaying digital information onto the real-world environment through a device, such as a smartphone or a tablet.
Augmented reality has been growing in popularity and is expected to keep growing. Businesses from various industries have been adopting AR as a marketing strategy and a work tool to enhance the user experience from the perspective of both customers and workers.
Although industries have started adopting this technology recently, AR has been around since the late 1960s, when Ivan Sutherland developed the first AR head-mounted display. Then, in the 90s, AR began to be used in various applications, from pilot training in the military to manufacturing.
In 2008, AR reached the consumer market with Wikitude, the first AR app. A few years later, the game industry started using augmented reality, bringing it into the mainstream.
The continuous growth of AR’s popularity stems from its numerous advantages. In this article, we are going to focus on 5 of the most relevant benefits of augmented reality for businesses.
Improved User Experience
AR creates a unique user experience, allowing customers to interact with the products and services they are interested in. An example of that is the virtual try-on feature that can be used for several products, from clothes to glasses to furniture. Virtual try-on helps customers make decisions and increases their satisfaction with a product or service and engagement with your company.
A UX design agency can help take advantage of AR’s potential by helping create tailored experiences for your target audience, thus providing a pleasant user experience.
Increased Efficiency and Productivity
Augmented reality can impact your business’s efficiency and productivity through streamlining, that is, by simplifying and optimising processes. Streamlining the training process, for example, helps employees learn new skills and complex tasks in less time, thanks to AR’s immersive and interactive nature.
Another process that AR can successfully optimise is maintenance. Augmented reality can help technicians identify and fix issues faster by providing real-time information.
Streamlining business processes is highly beneficial, as it helps companies reduce costs and accelerate product delivery.
We get bombarded with advertising hundreds or even thousands of times per day. That leads to perceptual or selective blindness, which makes us ignore ads from many businesses. AR helps contradict that because it allows companies to develop appealing marketing campaigns using immersive approaches that invite the audience to interact with the brand through a game or challenge.
These innovative customer experiences draw attention to your brand and give you a competitive edge as you gain more visibility and recognition by differentiation.
Enhanced Data Collection and Analytics
Augmented reality can also help you obtain more data about users so you can work on enhancing their experience and increasing your sales. This technology can tell you which products different users seem more interested in or collect customer feedback that can help improve your products or services.
Gathering valuable data with AR can help make informed decisions about product improvements, inventory management, and more. Likewise, it gives you unique customer insights so you can know your audience, what to expect from them, and what they expect from you.
New Revenue Streams
AR is present in several distinct industries and allows businesses to benefit from AR-based products and services to generate revenue. Gaming and e-commerce are two areas in which AR can be profitable. AR-based games can be monetised and promote brand awareness; AR technology in e-commerce attracts customers with the opportunity to try on all types of products before purchase.
Businesses can diversify their revenue sources instead of relying on a single product or service. That is a safety net against customer preference shifts and other common risks. Moreover, different revenue streams generate a lot of profit as they allow you to explore new markets and reach larger audiences.
Augmented reality can benefit your business by enhancing your products’ user experience, improving your efficiency and productivity, giving you a competitive edge, bettering data collection and analytics processes, and creating new revenue streams.
AR technology is expected to continue evolving. In the future, AR is likely to become more closely integrated with other existing technologies, such as artificial intelligence. Likewise, AR will continue to spread to various industries, from eCommerce to advertising and publicity. This benefits businesses in the future as it gives them additional tools to optimise their performance cost-effectively.