What’s the ROI of augmented reality marketing?
Augmented reality is incredibly fun and feels like magic when you first encounter it. However, a business shouldn’t pay for an AR campaign simply because it’s cool – it must also yield an ROI. Does AR deliver a positive return on your money, and how do you measure it?
Many people associate the term “ROI” with sales. Say you spend $1,000 on ads for a dress and its sales grow by 20%, bringing you an additional $1,200 in revenue. That’s a 20% ROI. But “return” doesn’t necessarily mean the extra money you earn right there and then.
More ways to look at ROI
As Google puts it, ROI comes in many flavors. This is especially true for augmented reality because AR technology has so many use cases beyond simple ads. Here are a few examples:
1) Lower long-term customer acquisition cost (CAC) and more brand awareness. Maybe the customer won’t buy the product that’s being promoted through AR, but they will remember your brand or store and buy from you next time – without any extra effort on your part.
2) Lower return rate. Augmented reality shopping relies on virtual try-and-buy functionality to cut the rate of returns by up to 25%, and that will let you save on postage and refund processing. ARzilla recently implemented such a try-and-buy AR experience for a furniture company that sells work desks:
3) Lower campaign costs. A single good AR filter for Snapchat can deliver as many conversions as a month’s worth of Google ads – at no extra cost. AR advertising content has a natural tendency to go viral.
4) Time saved on tech and customer support. If customers can use an AR manual to set up or fix a product, your support team will receive fewer calls. According to TechSee, AR-enabled remote assistance increases the rate of first-call resolution by 20%. Perhaps you can even hire fewer support specialists and showroom assistants, saving on their salaries and training.
5) Faster, cheaper, and more comprehensive data collection. This is such a huge advantage of AR that we’ll look at it in more detail later on. But for now, let’s go back to the most basic measure of ROI – sales and conversions.
4 beginner tips to boost an AR campaign’s ROI
In a RetailPerceptions survey, 40% of customers said they would pay more for a product that offers an AR experience. However, the ROI can vary dramatically from one experience to another. If you’ve never used AR marketing before, you should follow these four beginner tips:
1) Choose solutions that are fast to develop. Think of the first few campaigns as prototypes for your future AR strategy. Prototyping should be fast: It makes no sense to spend months and thousands of dollars on a heavy AR application. In contrast, web-based AR only requires a browser to work, along with a landing page with the experience. In fact, 75% of consumers admit to preferring web-based AR. SocialAR, such as viral Instagram filters, is just as easy to implement.
2) Play to familiarity. Your AR experience should be intuitive and seamless to access – no learning curve. This is one more reason to go for WebAR and Social AR: Your audience already knows how to scan QR codes and use Instagram filters. In contrast, an AR app is something that has to be mastered – yet another barrier.
3) Make it shareable. If you’re after a viral effect and better brand awareness, let users interact with your AR content and share the results. Social AR works great here, because users can share their selfies with filters. For example, ARzilla recently partnered up with the ice cream manufacturer Tutti Frutti to create a simple augmented reality game for Snapchat. Users had to catch pieces of fruit in a virtual container they held in their mouth. It was a very basic thing that only took a few days to implement – and yet, sales grew by 6.7% and shares hit six-figure numbers.
4) Ask users to choose between a few simple tasks. When working with Web AR media like interactive packaging, you can create a selection of tasks, missions, or quests and track their relative popularity. This way you’ll know what to include in your next AR campaign.
For example, in a campaign for an Ed Sheeran concert in Helsinki, people could scan stickers on a bus and choose to buy a concert ticket, purchase the album, listen to songs on Spotify, or play a game based on a song:
It’s all about the data
Every time a user engages with your AR content, they provide you with a treasure trove of data – for free! Moreover, it’s data that is very hard to collect otherwise, especially in the case of brick-and-mortar stores. Here are a few things you should measure:
1) Number of marker scans/clicks: Which products elicit more interactions, such as virtual try-ons?
2) Engagement time: Did the user view the AR-embedded video in full – or just for a few seconds? This says a lot about the quality of your content.
3) Number of AR interactions by each user: Find out how many of your users are augmented reality fans to target new experiences to those users in the future.
You can also try to enhance your data collection by adding a simple feedback tool, like a smiley-face voting system. Of course, it should be in AR, too!
All we need now is faster Internet
The only thing that can spoil your users’ AR experience is slow download or stuttering animation. This can happen with WebAR when using 4G internet.
Luckily, slow connection speed will soon become a thing of the past thanks to 5G. It will even be possible to render 3D AR videos in real time. That’s when WebAR and AR marketing as a whole will truly take off – and we here at ARzilla are ready!
If you’d like to know more about the ROI we’ve created for our clients, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to talk about your product and find the AR solution that works best for you!