5 Ways to Use Augmented Reality in Business

By Nicole Ekström, Digital Marketing Strategist & Ciara Powell, Digital Storyteller

Published: November 11, 2019

From social media filters to online games to even company training programs, augmented reality (AR) in business is becoming more important by the minute. And, it’s here to stay. Currently, 88% of mid-sized companies are already using AR in some shape or form.

But, what exactly is augmented reality?

AR is a real-world view we observe with our senses that has a layer of digital elements, which are usually visible through the camera on a smartphone. Although AR can be a fun tool to throw silly filters on your face, it also makes daily tasks easier, especially for businesses.

This powerful tool is being revolutionized to help B2B and B2C companies around the world engage with customers. Just take a look at some of our favorite examples of augmented reality:

 1. Manufacturing

Companies are unlocking better productivity on the production floor with AR applications. One of our favorite examples is how Caterpillar uses AR to view repairs on their machines so they know exactly what to fix. Whether you need to change an oil filter or perform routine tasks like safety checks, Caterpillar’s AR technology gives manufacturers more time, increasing productivity.

2. Product/Service Demonstrations

Augmented reality makes lugging around big and bulky products to trade shows and sales meetings a thing of the past. It’s a convenient and simple way to not only bring products alive but to bring the product experience to customers. Just take a look at how Delphi, a car parts supplier, lets potential customers see a 360 view of a car and individual parts with detailed information. Using AR for product and service demonstrations is a great way to engage more with customers, stand out amongst your competitors and saves you from dragging a car all the way to a trade show.

3. Interior Design

Trying out the Wayfair app

We’ve all been there: buying a light fixture or a couch that looks really great in the store, but isn’t what you imagined it to be in your own home. It’s a struggle for most of us, but home decor companies like IKEA and Wayfair know how to fix all your doubts. Through the IKEA Place or Wayfair app that uses AR technology, customers can see furniture in their homes before buying it. It saves time and money for both you and your customers!

4. Clothing and Cosmetics

Trying out the Sephora Virtual Artist app

If you’re like most customers, you dread heading to a small and cramped fitting room to try stuff on. It’s inconvenient and makes us buy an item without making sure it fits, resulting in increased purchase returns. It’s the same story when it comes to cosmetics. But, what if your customers could try on clothes or makeup in the comfort of their own homes before spending money? That’s where augmented reality comes into play, and brands like Sephora and Zeekit do it well. Unsure of how that lip color is going to look with your skin tone? Download Sephora Virtual Artist and try it on. Want to go clothes shopping in the comfort of your own home? Use the Zeekit app to browse through and try on items from thousands of online stores.

5. Training and Education

AR is a smart way to keep your customers engaged. But, using augmented reality for internal purposes is also beneficial. Some companies and organizations use AR to train employees on everyday work responsibilities, including the basics like health and safety. Because it’s a top priority for many industries, employers are continuously updating and retraining their employees to minimize incidents. Through animated videos, overlaying elements and games, employees who are trained using AR are more likely to comprehend the material, resulting in fewer workplace accidents.

AR is also changing the future of the healthcare industry. From finding patients’ veins to better understanding the human anatomy, healthcare companies and universities are using AR to make healthcare workers’ jobs easier while improving the patient’s quality of life.

The opportunities for augmented reality are endless. Whether you’re looking for new ways to reach your customers, save time or be more efficient, implementing AR into your business strategy will keep you one step ahead of your competitors.

Interested in what AR can do for your business? Fill out our contact form, and let’s chat!