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How to Use VR and AR to Enhance Your Product Launches- By Sriram PH, CEO & Co-Founder, DaveAI

By Mr Sriram PH

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have emerged as game-changers in the realm of product launches. As we step into 2024, these technologies are not just futuristic concepts but practical tools that brands are leveraging to create immersive and unforgettable launch experiences. With the AR market projected to reach a value of $50 billion by 2028, and VR technology becoming more immersive and accessible, the potential for enhancing product launches is immense.

Augmenting Reality, Enhancing Connections

 AR adds a layer of digital interactivity to the physical world, allowing customers to visualise products in their own space. This technology has been instrumental in retail, with companies like Sephora and Wayfair using AR for product visualisation, leading to a 60% customer preference for retailers with AR capabilities.

Transforming Perception with Virtual Environments

 VR’s power lies in its ability to transport users into a fully-realised digital world. For product launches, this means the ability to showcase products in dynamic, interactive environments that highlight features and capabilities in ways traditional media cannot. Reliance’s JioGlass, for instance, has set a precedent with its dual versions for consumers and enterprises, offering a glimpse into the future of product interaction.

Innovative Uses of VR and AR in Marketing and Customer Engagement

 Some examples of successful product launches using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) include:

  • New York Times: Utilised VR for storytelling, providing immersive experiences for their audience.
  • GSK: Created a VR experience to simulate a migraine, raising awareness about the condition.
  • Adidas Terrex: Offers a VR experience called “Delicatessen” to engage customers uniquely.
  • McDonald’s: Implemented “Happy Goggles,” turning Happy Meal boxes into VR viewers for gaming experiences.
  • Lowe’s: Developed “Holoroom” for customers to visualise home improvement projects in AR.
  • Ikea: Launched “Ikea Place” for customers to virtually place furniture in their homes before purchase.
  • L’Oréal Paris: Introduced the “Makeup Genius” app for virtual makeup try-ons.

These examples demonstrate how VR and AR technologies have been effectively utilised in product launches to engage customers, enhance brand experiences, and drive sales. The successful product launches using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) showcase the diverse applications of VR and AR in engaging customers and creating memorable experiences.

Effective Strategies to use VR and AR for Product Launches

Here are some key strategies to effectively use VR and AR for your product launches:

  • Enhanced Customer Engagement: Utilise AR to provide interactive experiences that capture customer attention and increase brand recall.
  • Memorable Experiences: Create immersive VR environments that leave a lasting impression on customers, setting your brand apart in a competitive market.
  • Visualising Products: Allow customers to visualise products in real-world settings using AR, bridging the gap between online shopping and in-store experiences.
  • Reduced Return Rates: Enable virtual product trials through AR to reduce return rates by helping customers make informed purchasing decisions.
  • Personalisation: Use AR to offer personalised product experiences, fostering brand loyalty and uniqueness.
  • Interactive Demonstrations: Showcase product features interactively with AR, helping customers understand the value of your offerings.
  • Gathering Insights: Utilise AR applications to gather valuable customer data for refining marketing strategies and enhancing the overall customer experience.

By implementing these strategies, brands can create engaging, personalised, and memorable product launches that resonate with customers and drive business success.

Demonstrating the Effectiveness of VR in Engaging Customers: The DaveAI’s Case Study

In an era where digital realms are becoming the new frontier for commerce and interaction, Maruti Suzuki has embraced this shift with the launch of NEXAVERSE. This standalone Metaverse, developed in partnership with DaveAI to launch the Grand Vitara in a virtual Nexa showroom, represents a bold move to redefine customer engagement and sales strategies in the automobile industry.

The NEXAVERSE Experience

  • WebGL 2.0 Technology: A web-based NEXAVERSE experience with real-time rendering, making it accessible on a wide range of devices including mobile phones, desktops, and tablets.
  • Virtual Reality Integration: An immersive VR experience available through VR headsets, enhancing the sense of presence within the virtual showroom.
  • Life-Like 3D Car Models: Detailed and optimized 3D models of Maruti Suzuki cars, offering an in-depth look at the vehicles.
  • Customisable Avatars: Customers can select and customize avatars to navigate the Metaverse, adding a personal touch to their virtual journey.
  • Photo-Realistic Environment: The Nexaverse is designed to mirror the look and feel of a real Nexa showroom, bringing a realistic experience to the user’s location.
  • Streamlined E-Booking: An efficient e-booking process with no registration hurdles, simplifying the path from exploration to purchase.
  • Interactive Showroom Tour: Users can take a virtual tour of the showroom, exploring car features and booking test drives with ease.

Impactful Results

The introduction of NEXAVERSE has led to remarkable outcomes for Maruti Suzuki, generating over 700 leads daily and attracting more than 30,000 users each month. The platform’s success is evident in the 20% of electronic bookings made for the Grand Vitara within the first three months of its launch.

This case study exemplifies the transformative power of virtual spaces in the automotive sector, highlighting the potential of technologies like AR and VR to create engaging and effective customer experiences. As we look to the future, it’s clear that the virtual spaces will play a pivotal role in shaping the way businesses interact with their audiences.

The Statistics and Numbers Speaking Volumes

Here are some key statistics related to the topic:

  1. Increased Engagement: Studies show that incorporating AR into marketing strategies can increase engagement rates by up to 20%.
  2. Sales Boost: Companies using VR in their sales process have reported a 130% increase in sales.
  3. Customer Satisfaction: 61% of consumers prefer stores that offer AR experiences, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  4. Conversion Rates: Businesses using AR have seen a 90% increase in conversion rates.
  5. Brand Differentiation: 70% of consumers believe that brands using AR are more innovative and forward-thinking.
  6. Time Spent: On average, users spend 2.7 times more time in AR experiences compared to traditional digital experiences.
  7. Return on Investment (ROI): Companies investing in AR and VR technologies have seen an average ROI increase of 30%.

Conclusion

The future of product launches lies in the seamless integration of VR and AR technologies, where creativity, technology, and customer-centric strategies converge to redefine the way brands connect with their audience and drive business impact. The transformative impact of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is encapsulated in product launches, emphasising the importance of innovation, customer engagement, and technology integration for brands to thrive in a dynamic market landscape.

 

(The author is Mr Sriram PH, CEO & Co-Founder, DaveAI, and the views expressed in this article are his own)