AR Trends

Improve sales performance in retail with these AR advertising ideas

Augmented Reality is the perfect means to advertise products in retail. Discover great AR advertising ideas for your business and how to implement them.

If you work in the retail or advertising space and are looking for effective advertising ideas, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Read on to find out more about the power of Augmented Reality (AR) and how it can make your sales soar and your customers beat a path to your door in no time.

Welcome to the New World - if modern businesses want to remain competitive, they need to connect with customers more efficiently

The world is changing and so are we. The unstoppable technological progress we’ve been experiencing in pretty much all areas of our lives has come to determine the way we think, how we like to spend our days, and also what we desire. When it comes to retail, this situation presents both challenges and opportunities: As a retailer, on the one hand, you’ll have to rethink your marketing strategies from the ground up if you want to meet the changing demands and expectations of your customers, on the other hand, there’re great and innovative tools out there which open up never-before-seen opportunities for you to drive sales by adapting your traditional advertising methods to the new reality.

This is where the pioneering technology of AR comes in. Undoubtedly, AR advertising is one of the best, if not the best, ways to make retail products attractive and appealing to customers, giving you the chance to offer the best and most personalized shopping experience possible.

What is AR advertising and what makes it so effective in boosting retail sales

AR advertising offers customers memorable experiences by overlaying real-life objects with digital content. These objects can be the packaging of a product, the product itself, a flyer or brand banner, you name it.

A list of practical, concrete modern advertising examples will follow in a bit, but let’s focus on the general benefits of AR advertising for now.

The overall goal of AR advertising is to make prospective customers feel more connected with the item on display, thereby becoming more willing to actually make a purchase decision.

augmented clothes in retail store

The fact that AR advertising is able to create this emotional connection between the product and the customer makes this technology specifically suitable for the retail sector, which thrives on customer centricity and emotional purchasing decisions. In the end, the more fun and interactive the augmentation, the higher the emotional engagement with it and the higher the likelihood that the item will be bought.

What makes AR advertising, in particular, so effective in boosting retail sales and revenue? Here’s an outline of the main reasons:

  1. AR advertising engages prospective customers, increasing their loyalty and satisfaction.
  2. AR advertising boosts brand awareness and perception.
  3. AR advertising attracts even customers without an initial purchase intent.
  4. AR advertising creates trust and credibility by showing more information about the product.
  5. AR advertising makes the brand recognizable and products memorable.
  6. AR advertising creates upsell opportunities by targeting customers emotionally.
  7. AR advertising sets businesses apart from their competition by providing unique experiences and selling points to customers.

5 creative advertising examples with AR

Now that we’ve established the particular aptitude of AR advertising for the retail sector, let’s move on from the abstract to the concrete.

Here’s list of 5 concrete application ideas for AR advertising in retail.

1. Show enhanced product information with AR

AR is suitable like no other medium for showing additional product information to the customer, directly inside the store. What makes AR advertising so practical is its flexibility with regard to what and how much additional information to overlay the product with.

For instance, you could choose to add valuable information to the packaging of the product (e.g. how to use it most effectively, visual instructions on how to put it together, list of benefits of using the product, etc.).

augmented assembly instructions for chair

All your customers need to access the information is a smart phone with Internet access. Of course, the AR experience will still be available to your customers once they’ve purchased the product and left your store, which serves as an additional motivation for them to buy from you.

2. Showcase different product versions or models

AR advertising is the perfect means for showcasing the full range of different product versions and models you carry.

Let’s say your department store carries some of their sofa models in different colors and varying assembly styles, but you simply don’t have the space to exhibit all of these variants of the products inside your department store.

AR solves this problem for you. Simply by scanning, for example, a tag on your displayed sofa, customers can get a visual impression of what the item would look like in another color, in various materials, or if assembled differently.

Offering an AR visualization of various product versions makes for a great retail customer experience and is especially useful for those customer types who make their purchase decision dependent on how pleasing an item is on their eye.

Let’s have a look at another concrete example.

Imagine a supermarket carries your brand. A customer walks in and displays some interest in a cookie box, but the packaging seems not to be convincing enough. Adding an enticing AR image of the cookies to the box might do the trick in swaying the decision of your customer.

But why stop there? With AR, you can include delicious-looking images of your entire cookie portfolio that will get your customers’ mouths water, and even add special promo offers your customers can unlock by clicking on a prominently placed button directly within the experience. This way, you can place ads on products where there are none, which makes AR advertising one of the most effective cross-selling methods out there.

augmented cookie promotions

As you can see, AR advertising can be a win-win for all: your customers are rewarded with a discount, and you might be rewarded with additional sales across your product portfolio.

3. Enrich your products with storytelling elements

What makes people choose one item over another when doing shopping? Studies have shown that customers often go for the item they feel most connected to, particularly on an emotional level.

This is where storytelling comes in.

AR advertising allows you to turn each of your products into a gripping tale that your customers won’t be able to get enough of, as it is with stories that you can reach people’s hearts and win them over.

If you’re selling wine, for instance, you may visualize its history of origin directly on the bottle. Whatever story you decide to tell, always make sure it’s on brand, internally consistent, and interesting to experience. Studies show that the richer, more powerful, and more emotion-based the representation of the brand is, the greater the positive effect on your customers will be.

Needless to say, the example with the wine bottle is just one of countless other options.

Tell your customers your motivation for offering a certain item and what’s in it for them if they decide to buy it. Nothing pushes consumers as strongly toward action as targeting their emotions directly. When it comes to building stories around your products, there’re really no limits to creativity.

4. Add seasonal and regional animations to your product

We all have our favorite times of the year - for some it’s Christmas or Easter, for others it’s the whole of summer or the idyllic snowfall in winter. What we all have in common is that being reminded of these special times has the power to evoke feelings of warmth and comfort in us.

AR advertising can help create those feelings in your customers.

In spring, for example, you may add a beautiful AR beach background to certain products, which will emotionally connect with any customer who already looks forward to their summer holidays with great anticipation. In December, you may place AR Christmas hats on your items or make snow fall on top of them to get Xmas-lovers excited for your products. Once again, there’re no limits to your creative possibilities.

One huge advantage of WebAR in this regard is that it provides you with complete flexibility when updating your visualizations. As AR experiences are stored on a server and accessed via a browser, you can easily have the same item display various visualizations throughout the year.

augmented play station

Additionally, AR lets you easily tailor your advertising experiences to the regional particularities and cultural preferences of your geographic sales regions, enabling ad localization and leading to a great retail customer experience.

Dress your items in an AR version of a German Lederhose or Dirndl, put a French beret or a Venetian carnival mask on them, or add a Greek fustanella to the mix. Apologies if your favorite folk costume is missing from this exemplary list, but you get the gist of it.

Assuredly, your customers will feel a strong emotional sense of affiliation with your products, which will automatically raise your goods’ value and sales volume.

5. Visualize products in their fully-assembled form (e.g. puzzle, cabinet, Lego, etc.)

Try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers for a minute and think about your own purchase habits.

Have you ever caught yourself shrinking back from making a purchase because you were unsure of what an item would look like once unboxed or in its assembled form? Let’s take a piece of furniture, for example, or also smaller sales products like a puzzle or a Lego building set.

If you have, then understandably so! Oftentimes, making a purchase decision feels like signing a contract before actually reading it.

AR advertising can help here, as it can provide your customers with a live-size 3D depiction of what the individual item is going to look like.

AR lego castle

This means no more doubt when making a buying decision. No more frustration after purchase. No unwelcome reviews from unhappy customers.

The best WebAR tool to start your AR advertising campaign

You can’t wait to jump in at the deep end and add the power of AR to your professional advertising portfolio?

That’s the spirit! But how can you actually get started?

What you’re looking for is an easy-to-use tool that lets you manage the whole process from one source.

This is where SQUARS comes in, a powerful, fully web-based AR (WebAR) creation platform that lets you perform all the necessary steps within your creative advertising campaign: create, share, and view your the AR content.

The fact that WebAR is accessible 100% through the browser and doesn’t require the download of any additional app makes SQUARS a great tool for any ad campaign aiming at high user reach, scalability at a low cost. To give you more information about why WebAR should be your tool of choice for your advertising strategy, we’ve compiled for you a list of facts about why WebAR greatly outperforms app-based AR.

What makes SQUARS attractive specifically to advertising agencies is its coworking environment that comes with advanced project-based collaboration features for smaller or also large-sized teams. This way, all project members can keep an overview of each other’s progress and directly provide feedback to each other along the way.

Get in contact with SQUARS and explore partnership options for exciting AR ad campaigns

You’re itching to add AR to your advertising portfolio to raise customer experience in retail to the next level? Get in touch with SQUARS so we can individually discuss your ideas further and explore potential partnerships.

In the meantime, you can also always sign up to SQUARS for free and try out our services.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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