Customers, these days, shop with their phones by merely pointing the device to the object of their choice. QR codes have charmed a lot of marketers for years now and many have been using them onto magazine pages, newspaper and billboards.
Years back, Layar used augmented reality technology to allow Netherlands’ house shoppers to get instant information about houses for sale by just pointing their phones at those houses. The relation information was displayed right on their phone screens. And as mentioned, AR technology has already explored the printed pages and other flat surfaces. Now the next giant step for this technology is to create friction-free mobile shopping opportunity for the buyers with the power of one-click-buy.
A number of smartphone and tablet users have already started scanning codes and using augmented reality apps for shopping purposes, though not massive in number. For example, half a million buyers used Blippar’s AR technology on the ketchup container of Heinz. Around 41% of those scanned consumers have viewed or tried the recipes mentioned there.
Ambarish Mitra, Blippar’s CEO and co-founder is very clear about augmented reality’s mass acceptance. He said, “Some people see it as amazing, some see it as gimmicky. Big publishers have been shoving it (AR) down their throats, but it turns out consumers liked it.”
Apart from Heinz, many other companies such as Cadbury, Stylist Magazine, Wrigley’s Gum, and Domino’s have also implemented augmented reality to increase customer engagement and sales. Mitra further said, “Of the first 100 brands we went to, 94 said no. The other six saw immediate benefit.”
During the initial phase of augmented reality and QR codes, marketer will receive valuable insights and back-end data regarding location information, demographics and customer usage patterns. However, to leverage upon AR technology, the company must have a mobile website for the completion of the actual transaction.
Regarding the next move of augmented reality into the world of retail and commerce Mitra opined, “It’s a very natural fit, to point at something for information and with one click you own the product. One publication already sells $2,000 to $6,000 worth of goods a week through AR.”
Given the array of present mobile payments options, the paying part can be handled by any number of companies that have transaction capability.
According to the company’s CEO and co-founder, the mass adoption of this technology is still years away; however, three million people have already downloaded the augmented reality app of Blippar, including 93% iOS users and 7% Android users. Besides, there are around 65% of active users who are using these augmented apps on a regular basis. Though not many mobile users are using AR technology at present, the active users of this technology would like to see the ‘click to buy’ on their AR display.