Here’s what to focus on if you’re investing in VR and AR

Just getting VR or AR isn't going to delight your customers. You'll only get their attention if you have great content.
1 May 2018

VR all set to go big this year. Source: iStock

Having read all the articles about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), have you actually tried using the technology and experiencing it for real? If you have, chances are, it hasn’t lived up to all the hype.

Don’t blame the technology for it. The technology, to be clear, has a tonne of potential. It can really help businesses transform their workplace and their strategies.

Whether you’re thinking about classrooms, meetings, conventions, and seminars, or just in entertainment, VR and AR can really make things exciting.

If you go looking, there’ll be plenty of examples of what companies are doing with the technologies. New companies launch VR and AR powered solutions every day. A quick look at Twitter revealed something UPS and Dell showcased just yesterday.

It’s not the case that there’s not enough action on AR and VR. The problem is people aren’t creating experiences that are exciting enough – and that’s hampering customer’s experiences and therefore the returns from such projects.

Brands with experience of VR and AR seem to find out (the hard way) that initial excitement draws in customers to try the new experience they develop, but it seldom becomes something they use often.

According to an eMarketer study in January, the primary obstacle to mass adoption is the user experience and the content. Cost (of headsets) used to be a problem as well, in the past, but since new-age headsets are cheaper, it’s much less of a barrier these days.

What should brands focus on?

A recent report by eMarketer found that VR will get more traction in the gaming industry, followed by education, architecture, and healthcare.

However, if you’ve got a VR or AR-driven solution in mind, and want to invest in the technology to transform your business or excite your customer, here are a few things TechHQ recommends you keep in mind:

Don’t ignore your content

Imagine going all excited for a VR or AR experience and then not getting much out of it. Failing to delight your customers is your most significant risk when investing in the technology because expectations are pretty high at the moment.

When you create content that’s meant to be delivered using such technology, make sure it’s absolutely amazing.

“Good solid content will always be the key to success on any format. It just so happens with VR content, deploying the tech correctly as part of the narrative is a big part of creating that content well,” says Chris Saint, a professional VR / 360-degree content creator.

Make sure you’ve got a good experience lined up for your customer

Customer experience is key, and when you’re launching an ambitious AR or VR project, you need to get everything right. Whether it’s finding the app on the app store, downloading and installing the app and the environment, or just getting started with the experience, make sure every step of the user’s journey is flawless and intuitive.

Focus extra hard on the customer experience (CX) because if you don’t, you’ll not only turn off your customers but also give them a reason to think you don’t care enough about them and their needs.

Build in some excitement but yet useful

When you think of apps, the thing that builds “stickiness” and gets users to keep the app on their phones and use it often is the excitement it builds. If your AR or VR experience can help users do something really exciting, you’re going to get a share of their heart and eventually, their wallet.

Two examples of companies building amazing AR and VR experiences that come to mind are Macy’s and Sotheby’s.

Macy’s is using the technology to help customers “experience” room layouts so they can better understand the furniture options offered by the company. Sotheby’s uses VR to help investors “visualize” properties that are for sale in other parts of the world – to gauge interest without actually traveling to the property site.

If you’re able to build in this excitement and show users why your VR or AR solution is useful, you’ll have a winner.