Apple’s ARKit has great implications for e-commerce. It’s the next best thing to literally trying before you buy, and you can do it anywhere you have your iPhone with you. Thanks to AR, consumers get a better feel for products before purchasing, increasing cart checkout totals and reducing returns.
But the capabilities of AR promise big things for other industries, too. Here are five surprising ARKit applications that are changing the customer experience for the better.
1. Car Showrooms
Thanks to e-commerce and review sites, the car industry has been slowly shifting to be more customer friendly.
Augmented created a virtual showroom experience of a Mercedes sedan using ARKit. Users can walk around the car, open and close doors, and try out different paint colors, allowing them to get a feel for the car without having a pushy salesman breathing down their shoulder.
Once they choose a model and color, users can take it for a test drive with Vincenzo, and imagine what the car would look like parked next to their apartment building.
2. Ordering Food
Alper Guler of Kabaq Food Technologies created a food ordering app that helps users envision ordering food at a restaurant.
It’s easy to apply the same technology to food delivery and meal kit services like Blue Apron. If consumers can imagine what the finished meal will look like on their table at home, they might be more quick to order or subscribe.
3. Event Marketing
At Disney’s D23 expo this summer, Steve Lukas dropped a “live” Mickey Mouse in front of the conference entrance.
Companies can do something similar to enhance their brand presence at events, creating a virtual game or scavenger hunt experience to direct attendees their way.
4. Online Tutorials
Whether they’re hardcore DIYers or just want to take on a new craft project, one thing that gives customers pause is whether they’ll be able to actually assemble the final advertised product. Online tutorial videos exploded in recent years to help address this problem.
AR transfers the tutorial from YouTube to your very own craft table or garage, helping you put the product together yourself. Artists can gain inspiration from AR experiences like this one, which shows a friendly blob creature drawing a flower according to your command:
5. Product Promotion
From logo decals to product samples, companies are always thinking up new ways to give you freebies along with what you purchased. AR unlocks yet another freebie option, allowing customers to bring the brand to life in their own home. For example, upcoming DVD releases of Star Wards might come with an AR version of BB-8 to watch the film alongside the purchaser:
Alternately, brands can delight customers and cement their loyalty by doing crazy things with their product, like raining endless cans of La Croix down on the floor:
ARKit will come to all iPhones this fall. Until then, stay up to date with the latest ARKit developments by following MadeWithARKit, a Twitter account and blog showcasing the best submissions so far.
Michael Quoc is the founder & CEO of Dealspotr, an open shopping platform bringing together up-and-coming brands, influencers, and savvy shoppers around today’s best deals. He was previously the Director of Product Management for Yahoo’s media lab, spearheading the launch of several innovative live video and mobile social networking services. Michael has been awarded nine patents relating to mobile and social network applications and technology. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelquoc.