As Augmented Reality retail technology evolves, new possibilities for mobile retail applications are emerging. Retailers are increasingly using the technology to engage consumers and draw them into stores. Strategic and creative AR campaigns have the capacity to build foot traffic, increase basket size, collect purchasing data, and build brand loyalty. As AR gains popularity, these five elements provide a recipe for successful Augmented Reality campaigns in retail.

1) Start with strategic focus

The excitement of AR is most powerful when it’s tied to a clear, measurable business goal. Each campaign should begin with a discussion of the strategy behind the campaign, driving the creative concept. Examples might be using AR to drive sweepstakes entries, email newsletter sign-ups, coupon redemptions  or even full-price purchases of specific products.

2) Consider a custom AR experience

A meaningful brand experience should go beyond launching a video from a brandmark on a POP display. AR experiences  that are thoughtful, personalized and unique can be truly powerful. When customers can interact directly with a product and customize dimensions to create a meaningful, personal experience the outcomes are  loyalty, increase in basket size and driving intent to purchase. This IBM app provides personalization by allowing users to highlight meaningful selections such as gluten free foods in a supermarket.

3) Integrate AR with real-world environments

Augmented Reality can seamlessly connect web services to physical content. For example, connecting printed catalogs to digital shopping carts or in-store experiences to social networks.  In-store shelf space can be expanded digitally with apps that display additional information as in American Apparel’s AR experience with videos and color options. Consumers can also try out 3D products in their own homes with AR furniture and or try on shoes and clothes in AR virtual dressing rooms. Geolocation beacons (also known as iBeacon) are a new trend among retailers, tying in closer-proximity geolocation to engage customers while inside the store.

4) Use AR games to encourage engagement

In-app games add an element of fun and competition to retail experiences. Apps can also transform the usual consumer coupon experience into a game, with built-in loyalty programs and immediate rewards that link to consumer actions. Game mechanics like immediate feedback and rewards can encourage larger basket size and increased frequency of visits.

5) Immersive, innovative and surprising

Consumers are busier than ever, and it takes something innovative and surprising. The wide range of AR mechanics and the endless opportunities to integrate with different content types and technologies mean that there is always room to create immersive experiences that surprise and delight consumers. AR can add a memorable dimension to the retail shopping experience and lead to ongoing consumer engagement with a brand. With these key elements, retailers can employ a wide variety of new creative innovations using emerging technologies such as Google Glass, wearables, and micro fencing to create standout AR experiences that drive results in retail.

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