Although technology is constantly evolving, both applications are nothing new. We are talking about AR and VR – summed up under the term Extended Reality (XR). Following initial successes such as the hype of the smartphone game "Pokémon Go," sales in the AR and VR sector have stagnated. Due to necessary devices such as special glasses, the applications were mostly difficult for users to access.
However, the potential of XR is still huge, especially in B2B and B2C marketing. This is because XR can push the boundaries of reality and still create experiences that generate emotional and lasting memories.
Many companies are still reluctant to embrace XR, believing that advanced technologies are only useful to very digitally sophisticated brands. Some also see AR and VR just as gimmicks for end consumers and nice-to-have. However, this is not the case at all.
Because the power of XR lies in its ability to evoke an emotional response in the user through immersive interaction with products, which remains in the user's memory. This turns extended reality into a powerful tool for marketing and sales. The goal of these two areas is to facilitate the customer's decision-making process and to provide him with all the necessary information that will ultimately convince him to make a purchase.
Ideally, the user is at the center of every XR experience, because it is the user who actively interacts with the respective product – whether in a completely virtual environment with VR glasses or as augmented reality. Both technologies trigger a feeling of joy through their interactivity and increase the interest in gaming. This gets users to actively engage with the product and the company behind it, something that other advertising media don't necessarily achieve.
The assumption that XR is only suitable for technically extremely advanced companies is therefore wrong. The constant further development of both technologies now also makes them easily accessible for the masses and thus also for every target group.
While VR has recently benefited from the release of more and more consumer-friendly headsets, AR experiences are becoming more available due to the development of WebAR and the expansion of the 5G network. In addition, both technologies are now enormously detailed and capable of depicting situations in a realistic and tangible way.
The use cases of XR are diverse and not limited to the areas of marketing and sales. In human resources, for example, both AR and VR are useful tools to reinforce learning content through virtual application or to convey it to employees at a distance. Complex concepts and processes are transformed by AR and VR into interactive experiences that embed the shown in the memory.
The media processing of XR is just as diverse as the areas of application. Classically, AR and VR are created as part of apps and can be accessed from any location. Thanks to WebAR, however, there are now other ways to use virtual experiences without having to download an app.
The scan of a QR code enables access to browser-based XR applications and thus realizes "Print-to-AR" experiences at any desired location. But also the integration for selected users as an installation in the showroom on site is useful for building an emotional customer relationship.
Interactive XR experiences influence the customer journey through user-oriented and emotional experiences. The only important thing in planning and using them is that the focus should clearly be on the target of the experience. This is the only way to ensure a positive ROI in the end.
As long as an AR or VR experience is designed correctly from the start, sustainable benefits can be derived from it without investing heaps of money. This is achieved, for example, by the possibility to adapt and change the experience afterwards. With modern technologies such as the VARYCON Media Configurator, it is possible to flexibly adapt these experiences and also to personalize them in order to address each user individually. This is the only way to create sustainable, emotional experiences.