As the use of the Internet and social media become more and more prominent in everyday life, companies are searching for new ways to reach their customers. Online shopping has taken the world by storm- people can now receive almost any item without having to step foot outside of their residences. Now even fitting rooms have become virtual, making it easier than ever to find the perfect fit, color, or style. This can be attributed to Augmented Reality (AR), a technology that enhances real-world items using computer-generated software. So, what does this mean for businesses?
Why Augmented Reality?
There are many instances in which customers may not purchase items because they are too busy to visit the brick-and-mortar location of a store to try something on, or because they are unsure of how it will look in their home. Many companies have started offering applications leveraging augmented reality in many industries, including makeup or home decor. Anything from piercings, necklaces, hair dye, lipstick and eyeshadow colors, couches, paint colors, and articles of clothing can be “tried on” without the user ever having to enter a store or purchase anything.
While it sounds complicated, augmented reality is relatively user-friendly. Once the application is downloaded and running, you simply hold the camera up to whatever it is that you wish to alter. Snapchat is a simple example of an app that incorporates augmented reality into its functions. With its numerous filters and lenses, Snapchat users can search a hair or eye color, or even see what a certain piercing or tattoo would look like. Many other companies have begun marketing new products through Snapchat filters where users can test them out. The Ikea Place app shows what furniture would look like in your home- just point the camera at a blank wall or floor space. The Home Depot’s ProjectColor app allows its users to test out every available paint color on walls and save their favorites so they know what to buy when they visit the store.
The use of augmented reality is a great way to eliminate a lot of post-purchase dissonances and a smart option for any business that sells a wide range of products in a variety of colors or styles. As technology advances, augmented reality seems to pass as reality itself, giving extremely accurate depictions of what a product would look like if it was there.