With companies like Amazon making our consumer behavior and purchases much more convenient and affordable, it was only a matter of time before the next layer of the consumer equation was added; augmented reality.
According to an article from Reality Technologies, augmented reality (AR) is “an enhanced version of reality where live direct or indirect views of physical real-world environments are augmented with superimposed computer-generated images over a user's view of the real-world, thus enhancing one’s current perception of reality.” In other words, AR allows consumers to visualize their purchases in their environment before actually making the purchase. This technology gives consumers an extra level of convenience and assists them in executing an effective decision-making process when buying products for their home.
Leading the race with the use of augmented reality is IKEA, with their newly designed app giving consumers the ability to picture IKEA products in their homes before purchasing them. With this extra level of convenience, IKEA has increased in popularity and sales, according to their 2017 numbers.
But of course, nothing in life, especially in the digital era, is ever perfect. As such, augmented reality has taken a hit by critics worldwide, leading to its slow race toward popularity with the general public. According to Haptic, AR faces six major threats in the consumer market, including social rejection, poor experience, miniaturization issues, digital fatigue, legal blocks, and lack of use cases. While the concept of AR is ground-breaking, the trend may take a few months before impacting the lives of everyday consumers.
Nonetheless, the advantages of AR speak for themselves, with increased sales, enriched content, and improvements to notoriety leading the pack. And while consumer trends based on convenience continue to lead the technology race, I would not be surprised if AR makes its way into decision-making processes and consumer behavior faster than consumers and companies anticipate.
Paige Clayton – Business Development Account Executive