Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
Augmented Reality offers commercial value extending way beyond the gimmickry and gaming uses that popularized it initially. AR provides another tool in your belt when it comes to driving sales and enhancing brand value through mobile devices.
The best AR mobile apps serve a purpose, entertain, and are easy to use. There are several apps that serve as a reverse marketplace of sorts, where users can scan a product, and an AR experience along with purchasing info will pop up.
Developers have made augmented reality apps that help you decide which paint to buy, which makeup to wear, and even which couch goes best in your living room.
2020 is the year to expand your brand into AR, but you need to make sure it is AR ready first. Here are a few simple steps, to ensure everything is ready to take the next step into the future of sales.
1. Make Sure Your Brand Identity Speaks to Your Target Audience
With the endless options for any product or service to become easily searchable, you’ve got to make sure you fully understand your target audience.
If your brand does not effectively reach your target audience, an augmented reality enabled app will do no good. You need to make sure your brand is properly calibrated to catch the interest of the people you are trying to reach.
For established brands, this may be the time to step back and evaluate whether your customers are the people you intend to reach. Do they have a strong understanding of your products or services? Do they seem to identify with your brand?
You can do this research by surveying your current customers, searching for online input about your brand (like reviews and product mentions on Reddit, Yelp, Facebook, etc.), or simply asking customers about how they perceive your brand.
If you are just getting started, then now is the time to establish and research your target market. Which demographics are you trying to reach? Gender, age, and income level, may all play a role in how you present your brand.
Once you have your demographics down, figure out which of their problems you can solve with your products or services, ways they communicate about their need for whatever your brand offers and other interests that may align with your brand.
2. Make Sure Your Brand Identity is Crystal Clear
Once a potential customer visits your website, you have less than 15 seconds to make sure they know your brand, and that time is even less on social media.
You need to make an impression and make it fast, and this carries over into augmented reality too. If your customers do not immediately know what they will get out of your AR app, they will not bother to use it.
Use your logo, fonts, colors, images, and overall aesthetic, to develop your identity quickly, so that customers recognize you right away. Stay consistent so that they will know your brand when they see it and think of your brand every time they use your app.
3. Incorporate Your AR Into What You Already Have
When you already have an existing strategy, do not completely start over. Instead, work on bringing new material into your current system.
Building an entirely new app is costly, and changing everything may make it challenging for existing users to adapt. Work with what you’ve got, to enhance your user experience, keep current users coming back, and gain interest from new ones.
Sephora sold cosmetics, offered comprehensive product information, and scheduled beauty consultations through their mobile app. Then they added the ability to actually see what their products would look like on your face.
This model kept the original value and boosted the app’s usefulness, to increase sales and give customers a unique at-home shopping experience.
4. Go For Utility, Not Just Novelty
While novelty may attract immediate attention, AR apps people can use in everyday life will keep them coming back on a more long-term basis. Keep this in mind when developing augmented reality features for your app.
When you provide something truly useful to your customers, they are more likely to maintain brand loyalty and recommend your brand to others.
Think about how AR can enhance the experience your customers have when they use your app. If you are in retail, how can AR help them interact with your products and learn more about them? If you offer services, what can AR add to your value?
5. You Need Speed
We’ve all been there. You start to open an app and it takes forever to load. Again. So you look for alternatives. When apps take a long time to load, freeze up a lot, or are glitch, it is inconvenient to use them.
Unless your augmented reality app is something completely necessary and unique, users will find other apps that fill their needs and solve their problems.
Make sure your AR app has lightning speed by simplifying its design and optimizing its server. Don’t let the augmented reality portion of the app weigh it down with complicated bells and whistles it does not need.
Additionally, a high-quality server that can expand with your business is essential to ensure your brand is AR ready.
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