Contributed by Gilly Santos, IT Operations and Infrastructure Manager APAC, SGK.
Technology continually evolves with new research and development projects undertaken all over the world. Companies today need to adapt to stay ahead and indispensable in their industry.
How effective content delivery is in reaching consumers is closely related to how technologically inclined these companies have become at this stage. Leveraging technology for content delivery places companies in a stronger competitive position.
Two technologies that have yet to be fully explored by companies are Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). It is important to note the difference between AR and VR; though similar in many ways, they are not.
The most significant differentiation point between the two is the immersion capability they enable the user to experience. VR functions entirely on a computer-generated world, where the user encounters an immersive environment based on artificial scenarios and objects; losing contact with the real-world environment.
On the other hand, AR “adds-on” to reality by overlaying digital information to it while maintaining contact with the real-world environment during the experience. This technology allows users to interact with “AR created” objects while in contact with the real world.
How can we leverage such technological advances to improve content delivery?
Last Christmas, shopping mall 313@Somerset implemented immersive content interaction to provide a unique shopper experience to its customers. A Christmas themed land was created in the atrium with VR installed to give the shoppers a 360 degree VR sleigh experience providing patrons with an unforgettable shopping experience — an innovative idea to increase seasonal sales that generated heavy traffic and positive feedback from customers.
Another example is 19 Crimes, an Australian wine label. The winery launched wine bottles with talking labels that were powered by an AR app. By hovering the app over the wine label, consumers could watch the characters featured on the label come to life, to share a personal story about the brand.
It was the first time an Australian winery integrated an advanced technological application to its product, allowing the brand to enjoy a competitive advantage over other brands in the market. To enable the augmented experience, the app provides a new avenue for consumers to interact directly with the brand — projecting their brand story in a way that had not been seen in the Australian wine market.
Above are some examples of how brands can include AR and VR to deliver content; but how about taking those examples to the next level?
Imagine being able to walk through the supermarket from your phone. Yes, it is easy to do grocery shopping online nowadays, however, scrolling through product after product may feel like a chore — which does not provide the satisfaction of taking a stroll through the retail store.
Instead, imagine leisurely walking through the aisles, picking up items on your list and the items that aren’t but still ends up in the trolley (even that irresistible pack of Ricola sweets!) via a virtual environment. Sounds cool, right? The experience could be further enhanced because the possibilities to expose brands become limitless in a digitalised world.
There are two significant ways on how AR and VR can create business value. The first way is based on improving performance across the value chain which relates to product research, development, design, marketing and many other areas and second, by enhancing the products themselves.
AR and VR are redefining the concept of content delivery in various ways, evolving customer experience to another level, and adding that extra bit of oomph!
It also encourages companies to expand their conversation with clients on including experiential marketing by adding the right tech to bring their vision to life. A unique shopper experience is created where one walks away with a fond memory and connection (to some degree) with the product – every brands’ ultimate goal!
Strategic implementation of these virtual platforms reveals the success rate of content delivery as well as how willing the company is to explore new technologies to be ahead of the competition.