AR fuses the digital and physical. So, could it assist in the vexing and longstanding challenge of closing the online/offline gap? We’re starting to see signals that it might.
In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers the GroundLevel Insights and Town of Whitby Project, Vodafone rolling out centimeter-level tracking, GPS tracking for dementia patients with GTX Corp solution, and Gowalla coming back with AR location lenses.
Restaurants, retailers, and other local businesses looking to engage customers in a socially-distant way are giving AR-enabled interactive experiences a try.
The customer experience must be the central tenet for all brands in 2021. The retail changes that occurred in 2020 have made e-commerce the highest and most important expression of your brand. A digital-first approach to retail is now required to create frictionless experiences across channels.
One of the emerging technologies driving innovation amid Covid is AR. For example, its ability to add real-life interactivity to e-commerce gained traction in 2020. This could extend to a post-Covid world of “touchless” retail for in-aisle virtual product interaction.
Climbing Pokémon Go revenue is mostly from in-app purchases, where players pay for digital in-game elements to accelerate their leveling up. But Pokémon Go maker Niantic is also looking to diversify its business model with other revenue streams — most notably, local advertising.
Spending hasn’t declined — it’s just shifted. One of the themes we’re seeing is that the standouts of 2020 are those who have shifted with it. We’re talking here about a broad definition of e-commerce — not just ordering things online, but any digital or mobile purchase.
For example, in local commerce, these digital fulfillment models include mobile order-ahead functions in QSR and coffee. They also include curbside pickup for physical goods. And in an even broader sense (and looking forward), they will include touchless or cashier-less retail in a post-Covid era of physical retail.
Snap continues to make moves in local commerce. Historic steps include geo-filters, while more recent activity includes Local Lenses and business listings in Snap Map. These features are notable on their own, but they get more interesting when you view them together and extrapolate to Snap’s local road map.
For example, Snap has more 13-34-year-olds active than any other channel, including Facebook and Instagram. This essentially means Snap can offer SMBs incremental and non-duplicated reach to an attractive audience.
With hygiene and customer safety now a top priority, more retailers are beginning to use AR to simulate the try-on experience. Whether they’re “trying on” items at home or in-store, AR tools are giving retailers a way to assist customers in their buying decisions as they virtually test out thousands of products using their mobile devices.
Here are five examples of how innovative retailers are taking full advantage of AR in the Covid era.
Google continues to double down on visual search and navigation. Its latest move came last week with updates to its Live View visual navigation to help users identify and qualify local businesses. This follows soon after its Earth Cloud Anchors that will let users create digital content on physical places.
Both developments tell us something about what may well be the future of local search: augmented reality-enhanced visuals.
In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Ferrara’s Trolli brand creating an AR game for Halloween, Party City and NextDoor launching a Halloween campaign, Burberry teaming with IBM for product traceability, and Walmart redesigning its stores with a touch of airport way-finding tech.
When we return to shopping in physical stores, will that look different? It’s hard to imagine there will be as much much merchandise handling as before. Will it be a “touchless” environment? And if so, which technologies will power the touchless future?
Let’s dive into a few candidates.
Apple surprised the local search world last month when it announced local business reviews in Maps. Similar to its other search-based efforts, Apple formerly relied on partners like Yelp for local listings and reviews. But now, as part of its broader data-driven Maps overhaul, it will phase in original content.
Much has been written about this within the local search publishing world and analyst corps, including my colleague Stephanie Miles’ article on how brands can prepare for Apple Maps reviews here on Street Fight. So in the interest of treading new ground, what less-discussed clues lie in Apple’s recent mapping moves that can triangulate its direction?
In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Colorado artists selling their wares in refurbished vending machines, Google Maps enabling parking payments with Passport, Reveal Mobile looking at average CPMs for location-based audiences, and Amazon going big on AR with Room Decorator.
AR’s impact on local is playing out in many ways, including Google’s “internet of places” aspirations to let you point your phone at storefronts to reveal information like business details and reviews. It’s also happening in brand advertising activations to let consumers visualize products in 3D through mobile AR interfaces.
M7 founder Matt Maher tells us there are several advantages to this new flavor of brand marketing. AR’s immersion creates strong consumer engagement, which can be seen in metrics like session lengths. In-store activations mean lower-funnel impact near the point of purchase.
According to Gartner, in 2020 100 million customers will shop in augmented reality, both online and in-store. With these numbers in mind, it’s about time to jump on the AR bandwagon and start reaping the benefits of stellar customer engagement, improved conversion rates, and wider reach.
I’ve worked from a home office since 2002. Forced into it — and initially opposed due to unfamiliarity — I didn’t like the isolation. But after acclimating, I became more productive, happier, and healthier than in any previous office job. Now, 18 years later, I may never go back.
One question is if that same realization will sink into corporate ranks now forced to #WFH. Could adjusting to working from home be a silver lining for some industries? In being forced to try new ways of doing business, could we discover habits that work better than older conventions? How might this principle play out in local businesses?
I’ve been looking for discoveries that could be blessings in disguise. Just like remote work, these aren’t new concepts but ones that are now given the chance to shine. For example, I spend lots of time analyzing virtual reality, which could be a valuable virtual event tool.
But more to Street Fight’s main focus, what discoveries or business approaches could benefit local commerce? One of them could in fact be VR’s cousin, augmented reality. Its ability to help people visualize things or facilitate “see what I see” co-presence could help local service pros socially distance.
In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Amazon delivering Covid-19 test kits to residents in Seattle, Wirecard partnering with Klarna, Signify releasing “snap-in” IoT sensors for luminaries, Burberry partnering with Google for AR shopping, Cibo Express bringing Amazon cashierless tech to airports, and Wingstop shifting OOH budget to hoodies.
In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Pearl Jam releasing a new single via AR over the Moon, Outfront’s Valentine’s campaign that blends Instagram AR and OOH, Puma bringing hologram ads to car tops at the NBA All-Star game, Uber letting seniors use their phones, Dwise partnering with Digital Element for ad targeting, and IKEA letting customers use time as currency.