We learned it the hard way: AR is not used by a large portion of the users. This post analyzes why that is and what we can do about it.
Over the past couple of years Vuframe® has built and released dozens of consumer-facing applications which contained an Augmented Reality component.
The key users of our customers love this feature when talking to their clients and leads because of the “wow effect”. Keep in mind key users are professionals who are using the app in a business context as a tool in their day-to-day job and consequently will have a marker image handy more readily.
However, we realized, that the AR-features in our consumer-facing apps are only activated by those key users (mostly in meetings and for presentations as we learned). The public app users only showed conversions between 2–7% of the total app audience to users who actually successfully augmented something.
The problem was easy to spot: no one wants to print the marker image. People who do it most of the time already have made a purchasing decision and just want to learn more about what they are getting into. A random app user without any special interest in the products shown in AR will not go through the trouble to print some random image.
Now, you might say: “No problem. We just mail/give/send them the printed marker.”
Nope. Not a solution. We tried that. Conversion only increases for users you met personally (e.g. at an event or tradeshow), demonstrated the app to and handed the marker image together with an explanation how to do it. Any tool where you have to onboard your leads in-person is not a scalable marketing or sales tool.
In B2B-Apps marker-based Augmented Reality is “okay” to “good”. Adoption of professional users is very high.
In B2C-Apps marker-based Augmented Reality is “bad” to “very bad”. Safe your money until better AR-tech is ready for consumer-facing apps.