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How Can Augmented Reality Help
Small and Medium-Sized Businesses?

We live in a time of the so-called "Digital Revolution" (Industry 4.0), the essence of which is that the material world connects with the digital, which leads to upheavals in various areas of business. Amazon, Alibaba, etc. And they all use technologies from this list to develop and grow.

Augmented Reality (AR) is one of the components of this revolution. Remember the loud game Pokemon GO? It uses this technology, Pokemon appears right at your home, on the street, in your office.

In technical terms, Augmented Reality (AR) is the technology of adding digital elements to the physical world in real-time, using smartphones and other computer devices, in order to supplement information about it and improve the perception of information.

With high-quality content, a person loses the line between "hard" reality and artificially created, digital elements. It is important not to confuse AR with virtual reality. VR is a complete immersion in the virtual world.

Now is the time when the real world will be increasingly connected to the digital. See how important high-speed Internet, smartphones, social networks, and other components of Industry 4.0 play today.

How is AR used in SMEs and what problems does it solve?

There is no business where now it would not be possible to apply AR, increased sales, brand popularity, efficiency, training, speed of any operations, their accuracy, etc.

Internet business

Now a huge number of goods are sold via the Internet. It is especially easy for the younger generation to buy and trust online shopping, which is growing rapidly and creating new demand. This is a great direction for the business. The Statista portal publishes data on the growth of retail sales revenues in the E-commerce segment. From 2021, they will grow to 4.88 trillion. US dollars.

But at the same time, there is one big problem in online sales. When buying goods online, it is difficult for us to sufficiently feel and appreciate the product. We can't try it on, see what it will look like in our house, decide which color is best for us, etc. This problem has an extremely negative effect on the conversion and the percentage of returns, which is quite high and averages 30%. And this is a big expense for business owners. AR technologies allow solving these problems by 60-80%. Now, with their help, the buyer can try on almost any product without leaving home. Furniture, appliances, glasses, watches, sneakers, and more. other. You do not even need to download the mobile application; everything can be done directly from the site.

As a result, the conversion increases many times, and the number of returns of purchased goods due to the fact that they did not fit, falls sharply. Using the AugmentEcom platform, the function of visualization of any product in 3D and AR can be added to your site in just 10 minutes. This makes online shopping more convenient, enjoyable and informative, gives the buyer more opportunities to make the right decision, increases sales of online stores, and reduces the number of returns.

Exhibitions, conferences, events

To present your products well and highlight your product on the market, it is not enough just to hand out leaflets or brochures at exhibitions and trade fairs. With AR you can create a unique 3D presentation of any product or service. Even the most complex products can be presented in a clear and interesting way. You can show prototypes of installations, machines, or other products that cannot be brought to the west or are still under development.

Organization of large events, business events

In the industry of planning and conducting various events, a lot of money is involved. Weddings, conferences, corporate parties. But their very organization, the choice, and booking of premises, the choice of design - a long and complex process requires a lot of time, research, relocation, and remote cooperation between several parties over a long period of time. AR can make this process easier and more efficient.

Employee training, process optimization, and service

AR enables industrial enterprises to make a new leap in staff training, the creation of innovative work instructions, the transfer of practical experience in a new way, practical training, and the provision of remote assistance. With AR, all of the above cycles can be optimized and pay off fairly quickly.

Service companies often lack competent specialists, traditional tactics of preserving experience bring less and less return. But AR solutions will help technicians store valuable data, always have access to up-to-date information in real-time, reduce maintenance costs and get satisfied customers.

Retail, loyalty programs with AR/VR

AR and VR also have great potential for retailers, allowing you to showcase goods in virtual showrooms, creating new shopping experiences, and saving on retail space. And well-designed loyalty programs are based on AR/VR technologies, allow retailers to attract more customers, increase the average check, and most importantly, increase the loyalty of their visitors

Augmented Reality packaging

AR is an innovative marketing tool that helps to create an emotional connection between a brand and the end consumer. This is no longer just an increase in loyalty, but the creation of a certain degree of love for the hero of the brand, which is especially important for children's products. It's one thing when the character is just depicted on the package. Another thing is when with the help of AR, he comes to life, tells his story, you can contact him, find out who his friends are, understand his character, look into his world. When a child comes in contact with your brand, his love and commitment to the brand character grow many times over. And the next time he sees a few products on the shelf, he will, of course, choose the product with which he already has an emotional connection, a certain love created with the help of AR.

AR technology can be applied not only to products that have their own characters. Due to the endless possibilities of interactivity, adding games or cognitive content of interest to consumers, AR acts as an amplifier of any product. AR allows you to put additional benefits in the product and thus increase its value in the eyes of the buyer.

Promotion on social networks

Of course, you know about Masks (filters), which are widely used in such social networks as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

But not everyone knows that these filters are augmented reality technology. Today, emotions are important to people, and if your product causes them, the chances of success are much higher. Any company can create its own Masks, thus drawing attention to its brand or service. At the end of 2019, Instagram opened a service for everyone who wants to create their own Masks - Spark AR. It is quite convenient, not difficult to master and even beginners can create simple effects. But still, it is better to turn to professionals. A good mask can create a powerful viral effect, making your company better known.

About the author

Samuel Judge is a writer with a 5-years’ experience in journalism. While working with Servreality he became a pro in the field of virtual technologies and shares his knowledges through writing.

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