We preach a lot on this blog about do’s and don’t’s of implementing new technologies. At the top of that list of commandments is this: Never implement technology for the sake of technology. Every decision should be driven by customer needs and backed by data–full stop. If you don’t have those two boxes checked before you start to implement a new piece of technology, then I hate to say it, but your strategy is doomed.
Enter the latest tech trend you’re likely considering: AR (Augmented Reality). It’s making waves in industries like sporting venues and teams, restaurants and QSRs, and CPG–and if you’re in any of those industries, this technology is likely on your radar. So, in order to help you make sure that this tech is right for your business and, most importantly, your customers, let’s decode a couple of common AR stats that are being thrown around.
- 70% of customers see clear benefits of AR
This is important. If your consumers don’t see a clear benefit of AR within their interactions with your brand, then they’re a lot less likely to adopt it. So, how can you determine if your customers are a part of this 70%? Survey them! Include a question about AR in your next customer survey to get a pulse on whether or not an AR feature would appeal to them. And if you’re looking for a quicker way to garner your customers’ appetite for AR, look into other brands in your industry implementing AR projects and see if they’ve shared any of their results publicly. This will likely give you some good insights into your consumers’ wants and needs, and give you an idea of which of your competitors are already implementing AR in their strategies.
- The AR/VR market will grow to $200 Billion by 2022
This stat seems pretty telling at first glance, but if we dig a little deeper we can glean some even more meaningful insights. First, most of that number is predicted to come from consumer spend, AKA, people buying personal AR/VR devices like Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlayStation Virtual Reality. So, although this number is big, it’s not exactly telling of the spend for B2C brands. What is more telling is the fact that retail alone makes up about $1 Billion of that, meaning that industry is still expected to very much lean into this new technology.
- 80% of midmarket companies are using AR
There’s no doubt that the releases of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore in the past couple of years have opened up AR opportunities to B2C organizations, but it’s not all full-blown, in-house AR projects that we’re talking about here. Plenty of organizations are latching onto existing technologies that open up AR opportunities, like Snapchat and Facebook advertising. In fact, AR-driven mobile ad revenue is expected to hit over $2 Billion by 2022. So don’t let this stat fool you into thinking that 80% of brands have come up with fully-fleshed out AR strategies–it’s more likely that they’ve made investments in existing technologies that allow them to try out AR in small doses.
- 50% of consumers are more inclined to shop with retailers using AR experiences
Honestly, not too much to decode on this one! Retail is clearly a leader in AR implementation, with stores like Macy’s and Foot Locker and brands like Sephora and Star Wars (Disney) leading the charge with mobile-driven AR experiences that compel their customers to shop and buy.
So, AR isn’t for everyone. But, it’s definitely making waves for certain industries, consumer segments, and use cases. And, as with all technologies, you should really consider the facts and your consumer’s appetite for new tech before you charge head-first into a new strategy based around that technology. As far as AR goes, brands in industries like retail, CPG, sporting venues, and restaurants should definitely start laying the groundwork for where they could start piloting AR-driven campaigns. For brands in other industries, it’s never too soon for early adoption–but make sure you’re doing your research, and keeping a pulse on your customers every step of the way.