What is Augmented Reality in Business | Use of AR in Business

AR experience is becoming very much part of everybody’s daily lives, almost like daily activities. With so many people appreciating the use of AR in their daily lives, it becomes necessary for companies to integrate Augmented Reality in Business. 

Let us look at a few interesting statistics:

      • Gunner Kennels, a leading manufacturer of dog crates, increased its conversion rate by 40% by adding a 3D/AR experience to its product views.
      • According to Gartner’s estimation, more than 100 million shoppers used AR for shopping online and in-store in 2020.
      • IDC estimated that in 2022 global spending on AR/VR will reach $13.8 billion, and grow to $50.9 billion by 2026.

What is Augmented Reality in business?

Augmented reality is transforming how businesses work. The cool concepts of AR, which once felt like fiction, are making their way into everyday businesses. Companies across the globe are adopting them in transforming how things work in their organization. 

Every department and every employee is benefiting from the immersive technology, using AR applications to turn boring jobs into fascinating experiences, from learning & training to HR operations to advertising & marketing and much more.  

How can augmented reality change business operations?

Most modern-day smartphones are ARKit and ARCore compatible (technology required to access mobile AR experience). Also, most web browsers support WebAR, which means users can view AR experiences without having to download and install additional software. Hence, businesses are leveraging this to their advantage by integrating AR experience in most of their projects, from marketing campaigns to operations and other activities. 

Here are a few prominent ways, augmented reality is changing business operations across the globe:

    1.Recruitment

Companies are beginning to use AR to enhance how they hire. For instance, you can design an AR game to assess candidates’ skills. Or, imagine if you could conduct an immersive online video interview with not just face and upper body parts but the full body avatar to gauge candidates well for their body language and confidence. Another great way recruitment teams use augmented reality is during the onboarding of remote employees. You can recreate your office space in AR to give new joiners an immersive office tour on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

   2. Employee training and education

Traditional methods of employee training and education included referring to documentation, videos, eBooks, etc., and participating in real-world classroom education and training with real devices and equipment. While it was time-consuming, it incurred huge training costs and involved safety concerns. For instance, today augmented reality is used to train US air force pilots, healthcare professionals, and engineering workers to reduce heavy equipment costs, time, and risks involved in physical training.

Walmart uses AR to provide hands-on training to its employees. The AR experience is built to visually display all possible circumstances and ways to react and respond to them. Companies like Porsche and Boeing use AR to train their mechanics about various components, assembly, and installation processes.

3. Logistics and warehousing

AR is changing how logistics and warehousing work by solving problems that led to human error, inconsistency, inaccurate inventory management and incorrect order picking. 

With AR for pick-by-vision technology, companies equip their workers with AR glasses to view product information before picking them for delivery. Previously, QR codes could be scanned to check if the products picked were the right ones.   

4. Marketing

Augmented reality is changing how marketing works. It is transforming the idea of showrooms and product demonstrations. Augmented reality in the marketing mix allows customers to see how a product will look in a real setting, thus influencing their decision. While it is enhancing customer experience, they are much more confident about their purchase decision.

The architectural paint brand Dulux, for instance, uses AR to show its customers how around 1200 different colors look on their walls. So, when you look at your house walls through a phone or a tablet, you can change the wall color using an AR application. You will not have uncertainty about your choices for wall colors. It helped Dulux significantly reduce its sales cycle. 

5. Developing MVP

Before building the minimal viable product (MVP), companies spend a lot of money designing the product and making a prototype to show to their clients. Based on the client feedback, many iterations of the same prototype are made which can make the cost go manifold. With AR companies can reduce the number of iterations to minimize their cost. An immersive product experience before making a physical prototype can address most of the issues in the product. You can work on the feedback even before starting with the prototype model.

How is augmented reality used in Businesses?

The use of Augmented Reality in business is an evolving phenomenon. According to a survey, 40% of consumers are ready to pay more for a product if they can view the product in AR. Thus, brands across sectors emphasize using AR to improve customer experience and boost sales.

  • Retail

The retail sector is widely adopting AR technology to improve customer experience. By integrating AR into their marketing mix, retailers allow their customers to walk through their smart stores and take a close look at their products. An immersive experience of the store and product try-on helps people engage. They can make more confident decisions, thus boosting sales and reducing the number of people returning the product after purchase. 

Also, the retailers integrate AR into their business operations to simplify problems and improve logistics and warehousing. The workers can locate and track the best path to transport goods and make use of AR technology in picking and delivering the right products, thus avoiding unpleasant situations like wrong order delivery, return, and replacement.

  • Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry can benefit significantly by replacing physical product designs and prototype models with AR alternatives. The limitless possibilities of augmented reality enables creating product designs and interaction. For instance, a car manufacturer will save tons of cash spent in designing a car model and its functionality as a prototype before going with the decision to produce one fully functional for testing cars and then on a large scale for selling in the market.

Similarly other engineering product manufacturers can explore designs and functions of new and innovative products before designing a physical model.

  • Fashion and beauty

A large number of fashion and beauty brands make use of AR in allowing their customers from the opposite world to try their product before buying. 

Product trials in the traditional setting required people to visit stores. In absence of brand presence offline, either they end up selling only a few items or face situations like a lot of return and replace requests. However, using the AR technology, most brands implement 3D product trials for garments and accessories. Also, people can try cosmetic products to see how it looks on them.

  • Real Estate

Real estate sector is adopting AR technology to let prospects walk through the property. It helps them make better decisions.

Many times, traveling becomes hectic or is not possible due to time shortage and long distance. However, using AR people from distant worlds can travel down and have an immersive experience of the property they wish to buy. 

  • Healthcare

The healthcare sector was among some of the early adopters of augmented reality technology, primarily for training purposes. Today, the healthcare sector is highly encouraging its use to simplify learning and in day-to-day activities in hospitals for a closer view and experience during diagnosis and treatment.

  • Automobile

Today, automobile companies use AR for recreating virtual showroom and vehicle models. Lately, businesses are encouraging creating experiences on one-to-one scale to ensure that the showroom, car and other vehicles look and feel as big and shiny as in real to people sitting in the distant world.

The user can use their mobile device, tablets and laptops to view the vehicles in the same size and appearance as in the real environment. Also, many automobile companies are providing users an immersive vehicle experience with a virtual test drive.

  • Entertainment

The entertainment industry is always looking to enhance the experience they deliver to their audience. And augmented reality seems to make jobs in the entertainment sector much easier. 

  • Education

In the past years, effectively explaining complex topics and technical ideas felt challenging. However, with AR technology, the education sector has simplified illustrating concepts to AR demos, immersive applications of technical ideas which otherwise would require creating physical models and building real functionalities. It is both an effective and least costly option for educators to put their ideas, explanations and demonstrations across.

  • Tourism

In the past few years, the tourism industry has been banking heavily on the use of augmented reality to enhance travelling experience. The marketers in the tourism sector use AR experiences to influence travellers’ perception of a place, thus encouraging more trip bookings.

Advantages of using Augmented Reality in business

Tech giants, big companies and innovative startups are already benefiting from the countless advantages of augmented reality, some of which include:  

  • Augmented Reality in business contribute to better decision-making 

Businesses can use augmented reality to generate visual insights on some of the most complex processes to help decision makers take effective decisions rapidly.

It helps avoid complex analyses in making decisions, thus saving a lot of time and improving operation.

  • Augmented Reality in business enable interaction-driven customer experience

Today, rather than product or service, people tend to buy experiences. Like a video experience is always better than viewing images, an immersive AR experience is better than a video. For instance, product demonstration using AR is interactive and appeals way more than video demonstration.

  • AR in business optimise cost and save time

Time is one of the most important aspects for businesses, the reason why we tend to meet deadlines. When using AR in most of the businesses, companies can save a lot of time by doing away with time consuming physical processes. Also, it can replace most of the materialistic practices to save on huge costs. 

  • Augmented Reality used in business Provide competitive advantage

Although the use of Augmented Reality in business is picking up rapidly, still there is a long way to go. Even today, you can be some of the early adopters to have a greater edge over your competitors.

So, even if there are many businesses selling similar products/services, you can stand out by incorporating AR in your marketing campaigns. 

  • Boost sales

The ultimate goal of any business is to boost sales numbers. Augmented reality is an effective technology to help marketing and sales reps take advantage of it to increase sales numbers. When customers have an immersive experience of a product, it develops positive feelings in them about the product. They are more confident in making decisions. 

The future looks bright for businesses with AR technology. As the demand for an interactive product experience among online users is picking up, more industries are diving in to adopt AR and VR solutions for a variety of applications, such as training, marketing, and entertainment.

How can PlugXR help integrate Augmented Reality into your business?

With PlugXR, you can create immersive AR applications in minutes. So far, more than 40000+ creators and businesses across the globe have used PlugXR to integrate augmented reality in their business applications, from creating comprehensive training to marketing campaigns and many more to improve efficiency, enhance customer experience and boost sales. 

What makes PlugXR the best option:

          • Easy-to-use interface and clear communication
          • Powerful features with exciting possibilities
          • Hasslefree no-code experience building
          • Effective customer support

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