Augmented Reality for Business: To Invest or Not to Invest?
Augmented reality is hot in the mobile app development space right now. Well, it has been for quite some time now.
But don’t just hop on the augmented reality bandwagon because it is prudent to get an upgrade in line with the emerging technological trends of the market.
As a matter of fact, there’s plenty to reflect on.
While the market size of augmented reality technology is expected to hit a good 100 billion mark by the time we have entered 2024, many of the AR apps fail to deliver meaningful results.
Therefore, before you take the AR train downtown, you need to confront yourself with a very basic question:
Is it smart (and safe) to build an AR app for your business? Or would a non-AR application suffice? The answer to which depends on ‘other questions’.
Augmented Reality for Business: Factors to Consider Before Investing in an AR App
Reflect on each question one by one.
1. Is augmented reality the right fit for your business?
Yes, it’s important that the glass slipper fits. However, it’s your shoe size that determines the fitting. Only the right AR experience delivered from your app will garner you multiple benefits in terms of revenue gains and enriched user engagement.
Popular Examples of AR in Businesses
Businesses such as IKEA, Nike and Coca Cola flexing the use of this technology are all over the media. IKEA uses AR for furniture preview via an application. This way customers do not order the wrong product and get the right color without having to step outside.
Nike uses AR to get you the right fit for your foot making it easier to purchase shoes online.
Despite how unhealthy Coca Cola is, it is always coming up with creative ways of connecting with their user base. Their ads almost make it seem healthy and fun.
This one time, they let people activate animated stories in AR with their cans. They always know how to captivate their audience.
Let’s analyze these popular ‘AR in business’ instances
In all three cases, AR was leveraged to increase brand awareness, establish a loyal customer base, and connect with targeted audiences by closing the gap between imagination and reality.
That’s not all, with AR any new products expensive to demo can be visualized rather easily and tested before an investment is made before any future losses are incurred.
By leveraging AR for your business, you can increase a user’s confidence in your product. As not all products sell themselves. This could benefit your business.
In today’s service-led economy, more and more companies are expanding into complicated products often difficult to demonstrate: therefore, difficult to sell.
Augmented reality helps provide a solution to this quandary, that too in a way that people can understand.
So to answer the above question, if it’s something AR sells – yes, AR will help your business stand out.
2. Who is your targeted audience and what do they like?
In order for your app to be successful and for your business to benefit from augmented reality, it is imperative you know your user base and their preferences in detail.
Know your audience!
You need to be aware of the user demographics, the type of user interfaces that appeals to them, what they expect from apps similar to yours. And all this requires profiling and solid market research.
You can even initiate informal research of sorts by interacting with your prospective users across various social media channels and other multiple avenues. Some of the key questions that you can ask your users in this regard may revolve around:
- their favorite digital experiences
- the frequency of using new tech
- New tech turn-offs
- Frequency of usage for digital apps (for solving everyday problems etc.)
All these considerations will give you a clear picture of the target users and their preferences.
3. How is augmented reality going to solve the user problem?
When it comes to the digital landscape, user experience is a crucial consideration. It determines users’ perspective about your product, therefore, a product needs to be user-centric.
You need to develop something that will be of value, is easy to use, and is effective for your target market. On the contrary, if your app has a complex UX, your prospective users will eventually uninstall without giving it a second thought.
It isn’t about AR, it is about building the right app
Augmented reality alone is not a user-magnet. There are a plethora of AR apps in the market. Most of them are uninstalled soon after first-time use.
Just like any application without augmented reality, your AR app also has to solve a particular user need. Understand what your users may want from your application.
In what context does augmented reality help your user base, for instance;
- Does your business involve selling products online? With AR you can deliver a digital brick and mortar feel to your customers and help them make accurate buying decisions.
- You can use AR to give product demos. Some products are complicated to explain verbally.
- Or if it’s related to construction etc. AR apps can be used to offer a simulated real estate environment to enable users to make educated decisions.
4. What is the device usage of your target users?
What can your app offer your users that the others cannot?
Other than the target users and the kind of augmented reality experience that you need to deliver, you also need to know about the devices your users are comfortable using. Understand the kind of device operation they will most likely succumb to for their purposes.
So to create an effective and seamless journey for your user base across multiple devices, you first need to discern how and why a particular user will utilize technology differently.
It will allow you more technological flexibility when determining the platform for your new augmented reality app.
Although the most advanced augmented reality experience can support the modified and latest selection of iOS and Android devices, it will focus exclusively on your target users.
To sum it all up
If by now you have made up your mind about developing an augmented reality app for your business, you should know it is not going to be a cheap endeavor. A well-expressed and suave AR experience will incur you many challenges: there’s a substantial cost involved too. Above all, while it doesn’t have to be unique, it has to be addictive and it needs to address the targeted users’ problems!
Should you choose to hop on the augmented reality bandwagon, carry out the essential research or better yet opt for a checklist to help you add the right features to your application.