Business and Marketing Trends: The State of Virtual and Augmented Reality

Augmented and virtual reality let consumers experience products and services in an enhanced way, which can promote sales and increase brand awareness. While augmented reality involves an interactive experience in the real world along with information provided by the digital realm, virtual reality offers users a simulated experience that can be different and similar to the real world. 

According to a forecast by eMarketer, the number of augmented reality users in the U.S. will reach 83.1 million by the end of 2020. By 2021 and 2022, the user base will increase to 90.9 million and 95.1 million respectively. 

For virtual reality, both headset and non-headset users will amount to 52.1 million by the end of 2020. For 2021 and 2022, this number is expected to increase to 57.4 million and 60.8 million respectively. 

Given these predictions, businesses should consider the implementation of such technologies when it comes to marketing and advertising products and services. There are several ways to include augmented and virtual reality into a marketing campaign. 

For example, augmented reality is used in a mobile game known as Pokémon Go. Players can walk to a location, find a Pokémon, and see it being displayed on their mobile phones as if it was part of the actual environment. This not only amplifies the gaming experience, but makes it memorable. 

Players who enjoy this aspect of the game can end up spending more time capturing Pokémon with it. What makes this mobile game profitable is that it allows users to make in-game purchases and encourages micro-transactions for more supplies that capture Pokémon and help them win battles against other players or non-playable characters. 

Another example for the implementation of augmented reality is how LEGO has an in-store application that allows store visitors to strike a pose beside its mini figures. This helps enhance the in-store experience and makes use of the innovative technology. In this case, the customer experience plays an important part of the generation of sales. 

Memorable customer engagements do not always have to take place in-stores, either. Snapchat Lenses, for example, lets users experience augmented reality by sharing their virtual creations with others through Snapcodes and Lens Links. 

Other users can then take a photo using these unique creations as their backdrop. Brands can leverage this technology by creating customized Snapchat Lenses for special events or targeted marketing campaigns.  

As for virtual reality, there are also many applications for it. A newspaper, for example, can enhance storytelling through the use of virtual reality goggles. Stories get enhanced because readers can be taken right to the simulated scene. The advanced level of immersion is a powerful digital marketing tool that leverages the customer experience. 

Virtual reality is not only limited to innovative content creation. Businesses and marketers can also take advantage of this technology by showcasing product catalogues with it. IKEA, for example, had a virtual store where shoppers got to explore different departments from anywhere and at any time. Customers were also able to make purchases without having to visit the actual store itself.

Another example of putting virtual reality to excellent use is how Thomas Cook, travel agency, promoted trips to customers. The customers got to experience new locations before deciding whether or not such a trip would be worth it to them. 

Implementing augmented and virtual reality into a business strategy requires expertise and thorough market research. Understanding the latest trends can lead to improved customer experiences, brand awareness, and sales. Ultimately, companies that continue to innovate their marketing strategies would rise on top.

To begin taking your business to the next level, contact the Find Your Audience Team by either phone or email at 647-479-0688 and hi@findyouraudience.online.

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