With the continuing upward trend of virtual and augmented reality, it’s easy to envision a future in which the lines between the real world and the virtual world become even more blurred than they are today. In this second of our four-part mini-series on the future of marketing, we look at the technological advances coming our way in virtual and augmented reality and what these might mean for brands and retailers.
VR technology offers businesses an incredible opportunity to stimulate potential consumers on many levels and deliver interactive and individual experiences through engaging storytelling, ultimately strengthening brand loyalty. With the purpose of promoting products through the use of virtual and augmented reality technology, brands can use single-sensory (such as Instagram’s AR filters) or even multi-sensory experiences, to create an immersive experience (specific equipment such as headsets are used for this purpose).
While virtual reality creates a completely fictional virtual environment, augmented reality assumes that virtual filters overlay physical reality, creating a feeling of total engagement and realism. Automobile makers and smartphone manufacturers are already at the forefront in using virtual reality to create 360-degree interactive experiences, but other retail brands and retailers can take advantage of these technologies, for example by creating interactive filters on social media like Instagram and Snapchat.
VR technology will continue to evolve in ways we can’t yet even imagine. Without a doubt, it will be faster, lighter and more affordable. Advances in smartphone technology, such as better cameras and processors, will mean we can enjoy more riveting experiences on our phones and with the expanding access to broadband across wireless networks, we’ll be able to enjoy them wherever we are in the world.
At the end of the day, VR technology is about creating experiences, and this can make so many aspects of the shopping experience richer and more fulfilling.
Next week: The third story of our four-part mini-series on rethinking marketing looks at how artificial intelligence (AI) will radically enhance customer engagement. Tune in next week for our next installment on the future of marketing.