We know that your business is one of the most important parts of your life: it’s your creation and you’ve worked hard and made sacrifices to ensure that it grows and moves in a favorable and profitable direction. As the “parent” of your business, you want to give it all the necessary tools to make sure that it succeeds in the ever-changing world out there.
Despite all good intentions, however, tools can and do change frequently, especially in this era of technological breakthroughs. And while you might not consider yourself to be a tech savvy person, you can bet that that a number of your customers are. Moreover, many of these customers will have certain expectations while shopping and it could potentially mean “no deal” if a competitor down the street offers them an experience that is more in line with what they expect.
As a business owner, it’s critical to keep in mind that even though your products may have a slow rate of change, technology is still moving forward. You want to be sure you can not only accommodate existing customers, but have a solid foundation established for the needs of future customers as well.
In other words, it pays to be prepared, and it’s our job to make sure that you’re equipped with the right tools to future proof your business for the years ahead.
WHAT IS AUGMENTED REALITY PRODUCT VISUALIZATION (ARPV)?
Augmented reality product visualization (ARPV) is a technology that allows your customers to preview your products in the environment where they will ultimately be placed after they’ve been sold and delivered. It’s a much more efficient and immersive alternative to videos and photographs because it gives users the unique opportunity to really get a feel for how the exact final product will look, not in someone else’s home, but in their home with their decor, creating an instant emotional connection.
For example, let’s say I’m considering purchasing a new bookshelf for my living room and I want to get a clear understanding of which styles and colors of products offered by your company match my decor. With a simple gesture I can use my mobile phone to scan the floor of the room and almost instantly see a high-quality, lifelike digital replica in front of me through my phone screen. But that’s not all: I can also move the digital bookshelf across the room, position it against a wall, or rotate it 360 degrees to fit any specific configuration. Likewise, I can also swipe through your entire furniture collection with ease and determine exactly which bookshelf model / color / design suits my room best.
There’s something unique about discovering something through your own initiative instead of being encouraged to discover it by someone else. By giving your customers this valuable tool, you’re letting them wear the mantle and make critical decisions regarding their home, office or yard. This results in a highly memorable experience which they’ll be sure to discuss with friends and family, further promoting your brand.
For a more detailed explanation of how this technology works, take a look at our blog post on the subject.
IS THERE A FIT FOR MY BUSINESS?
Before moving forward with ARPV, it’s critical to assess whether showing your products digitally will be advantageous for your company. Although we can cater to the needs of virtually any business and display a vast array of products digitally, it turns out that some products just make more sense to display than others.
Generally, the items that are best displayed via ARPV are those which have a specific destination within the home / business / yard, etc. These are products which will bring about a greater advantage if they are viewed in a specific context before they’re purchased. The main questions to ask here are: Will this item fit here? How will it look within the context of this space? Think serially produced furniture, home decor, large appliances, solar panels, intricate items that need close examination, etc. On the other hand, items meant to be moved around frequently and have no location-based value are generally are not ideal for augmented reality visualization.
Another thing to consider is the uniqueness of each product being displayed. In most cases, it doesn’t make economic sense to display one-of-a-kind objects in augmented reality unless the value of the item being displayed is particularly high and there is a good ROI. So businesses such as used furniture stores and stores that deal exclusively in non-replicable custom-made items aren’t generally a good match for the simple fact that after the item has been sold, the augmented reality application as a sales tool has no further use. For high-end products, however, such as luxury real estate, where the sale of the product justifies the experience, a considerable exception can be made.
WHAT IS YOUR END GOAL?
If your business meets the recommendations above (physical products that are destination-based and produced in a series, rather than one-of-a-kind), there are still some final things to take into account.
One important thing to consider is the long-term strategy for your business’ ARPV approach: how frequently does your inventory change? Does your storefront go through frequent updates? It’s essential to keep in mind that an app will also need to be updated in order to stay in step with the storefront. This can be done manually on a regular basis for slower-changing inventory, but will require extra services to support inventory that changes frequently.
It’s also important to note that our mobile apps are designed primarily to be another funnel through which your customers can reach your storefront and make a purchase. Though it is possible, ARPV apps generally don’t consist of full-fledged e-commerce experiences – they are a tool used to get your customers familiar with your brand, help them make strategic decisions and guide them to a final sale through your traditional means. Though the apps can include buttons that direct your customers to the corresponding specific product page, more often than not, the sale will occur on the platform you already have in place.
Our apps are permanently hosted on the App Store (iOS) and Play Store (Android) and will be available for you in perpetuity. To get them in front of your prospective or existing clients, only a minimum of marketing is required and this can take place in either print or digital format. One of the most effective ways to promote your apps, for example, is to attach a QR code to your marketing materials and your customers will be taken directly to the app store listing where they can download this valuable tool.
THE ROAD AHEAD
If you haven’t heard a lot about augmented reality, you can rest assured that you’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the years to come. Most big name brands that have seen the value of this technology have paved the way and we’re beginning to see more and more small and medium-sized businesses jump on board as well.
Our company offers the same cutting-edge technology available to large corporations, but for prices that are within reach of smaller, locally-based businesses. If you have any questions about our cutting-edge technology and how it can benefit your business today and tomorrow, we’re only an email away.
Please click here to reach out to us for any questions you may have.