July 28, 2020 Colin Jacobsen

Why Brands Struggle with AR

KAWS exhibit featured in Acute Art’s AR app. Photo credit: designboom.com

The international market for AR products will increase by 80% to reach $165 billion by 2024 and nearly 70% of consumers expect retailers to integrate with AR technology by 2021. Today, 61% of consumers prefer to shop at eCommerce stores that offer an AR shopping experience, and up to 40% of these consumers actually end up purchasing a product once they’ve experienced it through AR.

While many brands recognize this opportunity, very few have moved beyond the experimentation phase and even fewer consider AR an integral part of their marketing strategy.

Augmented reality helps brands drive tangible business outcomes and create memorable experiences that keep customers coming back to the brand, but there are several challenges that brands face as they scale up their AR efforts. Specifically, companies are wrestling with obstacles related to market maturity, campaign impact measurement, limited understanding of the technology, and the overall disconnect between a brand’s marketing strategy and the AR technology being used.

Demand exists, but platforms lack accessibility

Augmented reality should be simple to implement and easy to replicate. Many brands fail to progress past AR experimentation simply because they cannot find a platform that makes the creation and implementation of AR seamless enough. This is rooted both in brands’ misunderstanding of how the technology works and in limited exposure to the available platforms designed to help brands curate AR content.

To date, most AR solutions are tailored towards enterprise-level business and walled gardens.

Issues with market maturity and limited successful track records

Many brands are focused on the awareness and consideration stage when utilizing AR as a marketing tool. Few have seen a proof of concept showing that the use of AR does indeed lead to purchase intent and ultimately incremental sales. As a result, there is a common perception that overcoming these hurdles will require too large of an investment and will outweigh any tangible benefits.

Similarly, brands are unsure how to accurately measure ROI — a problem that can be overcome with widespread AR adoption leading to more robust metrics. Industry benchmarks would allow peers to gain comfort by taking a data-driven approach to testing AR.

Foot Locker used AR ads on Snapchat to boost Air Jordan sales. Photo credit: adsoftheworld.com

Despite cautious sentiments, a few early trailblazers have successfully utilized AR as a core marketing strategy.

  1. Michael Kors saw 10x higher performance on AR virtual try-on ads compared to static banners.
  2. Foot Locker AR ads averaged 45 seconds in dwell time per user.
  3. Home Depot’s AR ads saw 2+ min average engagement and 12.5% CTR

Bridging the gap between the brand, technology, and customer

For brands, marketers struggle to create AR content that fits into a broader, cohesive marketing strategy. Brands need to align their marketing strategies with appropriate technologies that best leverage their brand values.

A great AR experience is only half the battle — curating meaningful content starts in the ideation phase when brands answer what it is they are trying to accomplish with AR and how they can provide customers the most immersive experience to achieve that goal.

Final thoughts

While obstacles remain regarding adoption, industry metrics, and implementation, wider adoption will drive marketers to overcome these barriers. Arlene strives to democratize AR by providing a simple turnkey solution that ensures brands can provide customers with the most authentic immersive experiences at scale.

Stay tuned for more blog posts that dive deeper into Arlene’s products and vision.

Want to learn more? Contact us at sales@arlene.io.

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