Augmented reality (AR) apps might sound futuristic, but consumers are catching onto the trend much more than you might think. About 60 percent of them prefer stores that have AR as part of the experience. Not to mention, 40 percent would pay more for your wares after experiencing it through AR.
But almost two-thirds of companies don’t even use the tech.
The question is: Is it time for you to consider augmented reality applications for your commerce strategy?
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is a technology that virtually places a 3D visual into a “real-world” experience. This gives the user the appearance that the virtual object is co-existing with them in the physical world.
AR is often used in gaming, bringing a more realistic experience to gamers and engaging more senses. But it’s also helpful in the shopping experience.
Think about it this way: Shopping online is limited to product photos. Occasionally, there’s a video or 360-degree image, but that’s not commonplace. Compare that to an ARexperience – one where you can see how a hat looks on your head or how a table fits in your kitchen.
That’s why some brands are incorporating the technology into their strategies. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best augmented reality apps, based on a five-star rating system from consumers.
10 Best Augmented Reality Apps in 2020
The “View in My Room” feature uses AR technology to place products into a photo of the user’s home – using 3D technology, so the resulting image is lifelike. It even goes as far as showing what the product will look like in different lighting. Consumers can literally shop for a new couch from their couch.
2. IKEA Place
IKEA Place is another of the AR apps for iPhone and Android that’s also focused on home decor. The Swedish furniture retailer gives shoppers a chance to put their products in their homes – no assembly required.
This app looks at the bigger picture, taking into account your home’s entire floor plan to see which items will fit best where. Easy drag-and-drop functionality and the option to see different colors almost takes the fun out of the IKEA experience. (But there are still no meatballs.)
3. YouCam Makeup
Buying makeup is typically a leap of faith – you might get to try on samples at the makeup counter, but fluorescent lighting plays tricks on the eyes and doesn’t account for typical selfie lighting conditions. But YouCam does, allowing shoppers to test makeup from tons of major brands with AR technology.
4. GIPHY World
If you’re looking to add more personality to your social media content, give GIPHY World a try. Add graphics and animated elements to product photos to give them extra flair for a social audience.
5. Google Lens
Pro tip: You can also use Google Lens from within the Google Photos apps (a hack for iOS users!) and from Google Assistant.
These assets are then primed for your own AR experience, whether that’s in your mobile app, on your website, at in-person activations, or via some other channel. It’s particularly handy for driving “field sales” – in other words, pop-up shops, farmers markets, event sales, and other temporary physical retail ventures.
On the consumer side, the app enhances both in-store and at-home brand experiences by providing deeper, more engaging content and information about the products they’re interested in. They can browse reviews, look at pricing, and even purchase the product in-app.
Amikasa is one of the home-furnishing AR apps only available on iOS (no Android version is currently available). Rather than focus on a single store or brand, Amikasa aggregates products from all over the web, so shoppers can create a cohesive room without visiting every store or website.
Users can even purchase items without ever leaving the app. Remember, more channels means more conversion opportunities. If you sell home goods, it could be worth getting your items listed on Amikasa.
Brands can incorporate Snapchat marketing and AR into their strategy by creating a presence and also investing in branded filters. Find out more about how to use Snapchat to promote your business.
10. Wanna Kicks
And because this demographic is so socially driven, of course there’s a built-in option to share on social and solicit friends’ feedback.
AR gives consumers a new, multi-dimensional way to research and interact with products before making a purchase. This list is just 10 of the top augmented reality apps available. There are tons more, too – from third-party apps that ecommerce brands can use to boast their wares to branded experiences that add another customer touchpoint.