In October of 2021, VR headset Oculus Quest 2 1.87 million was sold as the company was acquired by Facebook. At the same time, Facebook rebranded to Meta, launching the metaverse. In comparison to the 2.912 billion active Facebook users in January 2022, the adoption of at-home VR remains slim.
What are the implications of these emerging technologies and how can a brand adopt emerging technologies to increase customer sales?
Whether VR, AR or branded filters, these are more than icing on the cake, but for many brands entering a saturated retail market have become the cornerstone of their marketing campaigns.
Improve Promotion With Branded Filters
With the rise of gaming and interactive filters within an app, users are delighted with a sense of play and surprise. We see the height of brands introducing these filters during deep winter and in the height of Q4, gaining high levels of virality. From Taco Bell’s Snapchat filter, turning faces into tacos to Delta airlines spotlighting travel destinations with a revolving bubble over the head of a user, these experiences create humorous touchpoints and increase brand equity.
'Try' Before You Buy
When a product is launched by a Kardashian, we can expect a cult following to easily rush to shelves to purchase items quickly. However, within cosmetics there is always the question of skin matching that remains essential to a customer purchasing online. When Kim and sister Kylie, launched their cosmetic lines, a filter on Instagram allowed users to virtually try-on products before purchasing. The filters were a hit and sales continued to skyrocket.
As we look to the virtual try-ons offered by AR, it’s necessary to speak to a COVID-19 pivot.
In 2010, Warby Parker began. With the firm belief that prescription eyewear shouldn’t be expensive, they upset the optometry market with an at-home try-on kit. Offering 5 frames of their customer’s choice, it allowed for influencers to post on social media and use polling features within an app for best looks. However, when the pandemic struck, the company made a pivot to highlighting their virtual try-on services instead. This allowed the company to stay afloat and reduce overall shipping expenses during an economic downturn.
Increase Impulse Buys
With 40% of the buying power with GenZ, there is a need to blur the line between a customer’s reality and the aspirational images they see. (Remember: the oldest members of GenZ are in their early 20s). Through AR, these purchases become quickly attainable and allow the user to overcome purchasing obstacles by imagining products in their life. One of the best examples is AR in the home furniture space. Through a few pans of a wall, a phone becomes a measuring tape and allows a user to picture the furniture within their space to scale.
In campaigns, a still photo or video retains user attention for a few split seconds. By creating interactive and dynamic AR experiences, users engage with the content longer and are more likely to reshare with their audience. Based on global brand recognition, brands are now combining physical traditional advertising like billboards or print magazines and creating AR experiences that pair seamlessly.