Print drives the AR experience

Print drives the AR experience imageTechnology giant Apple has opened up a whole new world for marketers with the launch of ARKit, a development platform for iOS mobile devices. ARKit allows developers to create high quality Augmented Reality (AR) experiences enabling consumers to interact with brands at an immersive level.

Since its launch, consumers have taken their AR experiences to social media to show off the fun and creative ways they have used the new feature. Videos range from virtually seeing dogs appear around the office to having lovable Star Wars character BB-8 appear in their homes. ARKit has even allowed consumers to feature in their very own A-Ha ‘Take on Me’ music video. What will be next and how can retailers leverage from AR to boost sales?

Successful AR experiences are created when they are supported by a strong print channel blurring the line between online and offline experiences. Now it’s up to retail marketers to consider AR as the next venture in their marketing strategies.

According to Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey in 2016, 84 per cent of Australians are smartphone users. With the smartphone ownership at an all-time high, Apple has made a clever move to enable retailers to target audiences where our attention already lies.

AR isn’t new for Australians who have been exposed to high-tech and visceral partnership experiences for a long time. However, many retailers are yet to delve into the world of AR, but those who have, have seamlessly merged the real world with digital by layering AR with print. With IAB’s Cross Media Ad Effectiveness survey showing a 50% uplift in sales when partnering print with digital, retailers have an opportunity to marry AR to work alongside print and create a unique experience that completely immerses consumers in their brand.

Ikea is infamous for their catalogue. After reaching its cult status, the major furniture retailer used AR to bring their catalogue to life. Consumers had to place the catalogue on the floor where they wanted to see the furniture, open the Catalogue app and follow the prompts to see the items in their homes prior to purchasing. According to company reports, the app was downloaded 8.5 million times.

Lego Connect have also leveraged print to drive higher engagement with their catalogue through an augmented experience. Once downloading the Lego Connect app, consumers can see the pages come to life unlocking animated scenes featuring the products on the page. The campaign received positive feedback from Lego customers earning a Google Play rating of 4.5 of 5 stars.

Retailers are now provided with the relevant tools to carry out an impactful AR campaign. With Ikea and Lego showing strong results from combining AR with the already powerful channel of print, a battle is brewing to see which retailer can produce the most creative campaign from pairing the two channels.

The most valuable lesson retailers can learn is that the AR must offer a unique adventure that consumers have never experienced before. In order to do that, using print – a trusted, easily accessible and affordable channel in an innovative and sophisticated way increases the effectiveness and impact of the campaign.

For more information visit the Australasian Catalogue Association

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