As technology is advancing, the hyperlocal market is slowly getting back in the competition and gaining more visibility and better platforms to advertise their business. A few years back, when e-commerce was new, people were moving to a more comfortable means of shopping and getting services. While that is still true for e-commerce, the local businesses also have better means now to advertise their company and services.
Nonetheless, these businesses have to come up with creative ways to stay in the market competition. Making the application more interactive (if any), offering discounts and membership deals, are a few strategies that the stores offer to build customer interest and retain them. Incorporating Augmented Reality in their apps and websites is one of the techniques that these businesses are coming up with to improve customer engagement.
If you don’t already know, Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes computer-generated content on the real world view.
A very successful example of merging AR with a shopping experience is buying furniture online. In the past, people would go to a shop, look around, and imagine how a specific piece will fit in with their existing decor. If the furniture seems to fit well in their imagination, then the customer would buy it. However, by using AR, these companies attract more customers and allow them to virtually try the new furniture in their space before buying it.
One good example of this is the world’s largest furniture manufacturer, Ikea. It has supposedly generated global revenue of more than 35 billion Euros, with significant credit to the introduction of AR in their app. [src]
Stores that sell clothes, shoes, watches, glasses, and different accessories are other examples of businesses that are adopting AR. The customers get a creative space to try out new products from the comfort of their homes before actually buying anything. They have better insight into what they are investing in with no or very little surprises.
Restaurants and Cafes are other industries that have profited from the use of AR technology. Imagine yourself roaming in the streets of a new city. With an AR-enabled app, you can look for places of interest to visit near you and get directions to it in an interactive way. These businesses can also advertise their products or offers to prospective customers who are closeby.
AR systems give more visibility to the hyperlocal businesses and also help the customer invest their time efficiently while looking for a specific kind of place or product.
88% of Mid-Sized Companies Are Already Using AR in Some Capacity [src]
And although I agree that AR is promoting local businesses and customer satisfaction, there are a few downsides to it.
If a business is small and does not have enough resources to fund new technology, such as AR, it will lag in the market competition. This, in turn, will impact its visibility amongst potential customers. So these kinds of small hyperlocal businesses will have to be extremely good at the traditional methods of advertising and customer relationship building to stay in the market.
Augmented Reality is an up-coming technology with a high commercial success predicted. As a hyperlocal company, if you adopt this technology sooner, it will help your business boost extensively. On the contrary, if you are not prepared to incorporate new and upcoming technologies, you will need to increase your advertising efforts to keep up with the growing market.