A/R a futuristic trend: ride it with a Pop-Up event!

While Virtual Reality or VR did not make it to our daily reality, Augmented Reality or AR, however, thanks to our mobile phones and an App., is a technology that is being largely used in retail and consumers will increasingly expect to have this option when getting in contact with a brand. What is exactly AR? Augmented reality is a technology able to expand the physical world, adding layers of digital information to the reality we see. AR to the contrary of VR does not create a whole artificial world but enhances, adds or complements the reality we touch with bytes. Do you remember when everything started? Pokemon Go disrupted the concept we had of reality until that time a couple of years ago, through an app. downloaded around 500 million times, we could walk the street and capture the Pokemon we would find. The success of the game is a clear signal that consumers want to play: consumers want to be amused.

Why is so important to give consumers the possibility to use AR in the process of purchasing?

According to Psychologist Phil Zimbardo, in the U.S.A. by the time a boy is 21 years old he had spent 10.000 hours playing video games alone. What does it mean? It means that the way these young men relate to the outside is quite different as they live in a world they create. The brains of these young consumers have been digitally rewired to the point that the way they do a lot of things, including purchasing, is not in analogue. If we take into account this important characteristic when we want to appeal to younger consumers, AR comes in as an essential tool to conquer them.

It is quite self-explanatory that companies and brands need to understand the psychology of their consumers but, AR not only can easily amuse young generations,  it also has several other reasons why companies and brands should be thinking about using it even during a pop-up event:

Never-ending catalogue: instead of having to store all your products, you can augment them to show them your customers. This comes very handy when you think that for time reasons and space constrains during a pop-up you are not able to bring all your products!

Easily customizable: whatever experience or product you offer can be almost customized to their need. You can use AR to further tailor the experience you want to offer to your customers’ needs during the pop-up!

Getting acquaintance with the product: multichannel customers buy 3-4 times more than single-channel consumers. Can you imagine if you are about to launch a new product and first you give your consumers the possibility to experiment with it through AR and then actually see it at the pop-up launch event!? What a success!

According to Good Work Labs:

  • 77% of shoppers think that AR will help choose products based on colour or style

  • 65% of shoppers think that AR will educate them with product information and utility

  • 55% of shoppers think AR will make shopping fun

So, how can we use this technology in a pop-up reality?

One of the first brands that experimented this new possibility was  Airwalk that already some years ago launched the very first invisible pop-up stores! How? With a smartphone, plus a geolocation and AR, as you can imagine this created an incredible media buzz: Airwalk sold exclusive products, targeted for an exclusive audience that was looking for an exclusive experience. Still doubting? Airwalk’s unusual choice resulted in $5 million earned media and represented the busiest weekend for their e-commerce store.

Appealing, right? Remember that you must always evaluate how any new technology or strategy you put into place will connect with your consumers and which impact will have not only on the business but also in the customers’ expectations. AR is a very interesting way to create a lot of attention around your brand, of course, it has to be playful but make it also useful too! If you are thinking to opt for this technology ask yourself:

“How can I enhance my customer’s experience and make my product more appealing and easy to digest?”


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