VR and AR technologies have transformed how customers look for information, interact with brands, and even shop. From virtual opportunities to augmented 360-degree videos for product testing and even digital showrooms made possible through VR, brands are no longer limited by the need of potential clients to see a product firsthand or visit a location.

Virtual and augmented reality brings an interactive element to the table – it has become a crucial aspect in today’s digital advertising landscape. Customers today no longer want to be solely the recipients of the message; they are looking for active participation in helping shape up a campaign and personalize the message. VR and AR technologies make that possible.

Since the time this technology has shown its ability to entice users, an increasing number of businesses are making use of it to engage current and potential consumers.

In an environment where most customers own a smartphone, AR and VR is an obvious next step since there’s no need for the additional hardware, and it has a great capacity to enhance the effects of digital marketing.

New Consumer Needs

VR and AR advertising is not just more engaging; it comes with the increased capability of meeting the specific needs of today’s customer.

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The world is becoming increasingly mobile-centric. People rely on their mobile phones to accomplish a wide range of tasks. Businesses that make themselves readily available via a mobile device can reap the benefits of technological adoption.

Anant Arora
Anant Arora, Senior Director – Product Management for Merchandising at Lowe’s India

Anant Arora, Senior Director – Product Management for Merchandising at Lowe’s India, says,Growing penetration of smartphones will put more customers into the digital economy and with the local language content and immersive voice-enabled shopping experience through various social media channels, the volumes are set to increase exponentially.

“The key will be technologies that simplify this experience, such as AR/VR, computer vision, voice assistants, customization, and localization. Connected commerce- borderless shopping, interactive media, voice-based assistants, chatbots, interactive emails, social media are set to redefine the way we do business,” he adds.

Augmented and virtual reality provides an immersive, tailored platform that brands can rely on to boost their storytelling efforts. Customers are brought into an experience that they can tweak and control based on their preferences.

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Superimposing a virtual element on top of the real-world surroundings is a perfect merger between the two worlds that customers live in – businesses can easily work on ideas specific to what the customer is doing and what they could benefit from, at that very moment.

A New Dimension to Digital Marketing

Given the impact of introducing videos to digital marketing strategies, adding AR to videos creates a whole new level of immersion for the customers and gives those videos a new life. Currently, AR is already being used by brands in a multitude of industries to reinvent how people shop and receive advertising.

The use of augmented reality technology has the potential to capture a lot more data and real-time feedback. It helps brands assess how much time is being spent and how consumers are looking at or spending time on – this will be of great significance as brands can make a much more accurate analysis of consumer behavior.

AR/VR-based campaigns can offer personalized information and additional information that can lead to higher interaction rates, higher dwell times, and higher click-through rates. Creating real and authentic experiences will be vital in engaging the right audiences. AR/VR technology is a tremendous asset to companies; however, they need to be conscious that they aren’t just using it for the sake of using new technology but to serve a purpose.