Dubai: Augmented Reality (AR) transforms and shapes an innovative and technologically advanced future for the luxury retail segment, globally. The need to use AR technology in the retail sector is now booming, especially in thd Covid-19 world. "AR offers a high-value advantage to the premium retail brands, enhancing the physical marketing efforts of their business," says the Lebanese entrepreneur, Rayan Tarraf, founder and CEO of Glimpse Digital Marketing in Dubai.
This year, Glimpse, a homegrown agency, won Gold at the MENA Digital Awards for best use of digital by Retail sector, positioning itself as the leader in the digital marketing for luxury and retail segments. Using AR tools – filters and lenses on both Instagram and Snapchat, the agency transformed and digitally powered the historical Tiara's, owned by Empress Josephine Aigrette - wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, giving users an exceptional immersive experience. The agency ran a successful campaign for Chaumet Paris, the official jeweller to Napoleon and Empress Josephine (Part of LVMH) in Paris. "We used AR features, allowing people to have a special personalized experience with French history, enabling the brand users and fans' to try the Tiaras and immerse in the brand, rather than looking at it behind a fortified glass wall."
Why use AR tools?
With online video content being the top brand engagement strategy for marketers, using AR technology further enhances immersive experiences for the customers with the real world, says Tarraf, who is an expert, award-winning digital marketer. He is the author of two best-selling books and recipient of several national and international accolades, including the recent recognition for Chaumet Arabia 360-degree marketing and media-buying campaign.
Brands and consumers can connect more intimately when a strategically planned, and powerful AR campaign is used as a digital marketing tool. AR tools offer a bespoke and unique opportunity to the retailers to interact with the audience and boost engagement. "In the post COVID era, where online buying is on the rise, premium brand marketers view great value in jumping on the AR bandwagon, creating custom filters and lenses for clients."
People will use these branded lenses on Snapchat or branded AR filters on Instagram, for instance. Here, savvy marketers look at ways to encourage and motivate users to tag your client’s brand in their stories, thereby extending the brand reach, making them the brand ambassadors, he says.
"These tools are engaging and help to raise people's awareness of a brand or product, allowing users to test how the product will look on them, and even showcase what makes your brand unique," adds Tarraf.
AR growth and future
'Try it before you buy it' is the approach most shoppers practice mainly in the luxury retail segment. With mobile apps and mobile devices now becoming a top medium of researching, selecting, purchasing products in the recent times, Glimpse predicts, companies that utilize AR to provide consumers with realistic and unique experiences will thrive in the future.
Marketing through AR tools empowers brands, enabling them to give a realistic experience of being there themselves to use and try your brand product. It primarily influences the buying decisions of the people who adore and appreciate luxury. Premium retail brands will obtain a value advantage when they use AR to innovative ways of marketing, showcasing their products, bridging the gap between the luxury brand experience and consumers.
Tarraf says, "Having a virtual try-on service, customized features for social media platforms and on the shopping portal is a marketing trend that has grown in recent time in many folds and is here to stay. The unique kind of interaction, vividness brands provide consumers, instil confidence in them, making it easy to decide on a purchase." The trend of buyers going to the store to make a purchase is rapidly changing towards online purchases. Therefore, giving your audiences realism reality with a truly immersive experience opens up new avenues for luxury brands to expand their reach and spread awareness about their brand, he says.