Augmented reality and sales conversions

Augmented reality increases sales conversions and perceived price points of products, writes Matt Trubow, chief executive of Hidden Creative.

We recently launched a new report, Sales Technology: Selling With Augmented Reality, and did our own version of the famous Pepsi challenge, comparing augmented reality versus traditional display advertising.

Our study found that, compared to traditional display advertising, those exposed to augmented reality are more likely to buy and do so at a higher price point. 

The Methodology

One hundred people were shown a display advert for a child’s toy, while another 100 people were shown the child’s toy as an interactive augmented reality experience.

Each person was then asked two questions:

  1. Would you consider buying this toy for a child?
  2. How much would you consider paying for the toy?

The duration of engagement the audience had with each format was also monitored.

Let’s look at the headline figures:

Likelihood to buy

After viewing the 2D printed display advert, out of 100 parents, 45% would consider buying the toy for a child.

Out of those who viewed the augmented reality experience, 74% of the parents would consider buying the toy for a child. 

What we found even more intriguing was the price point at which the parents were prepared to make the purchase.

Attitude to price

Out of those parents who viewed the printed advert, the average price of £5.99 was attributed as the estimated retail value of the product.

Of those parents that engaged with the augmented reality experience, they estimated a higher average price of £7.99.

Advertising engagement

For advertisers there were other relevant findings with regard to the depth of engagement with the audience.

We calculated that the parents spent an average of 12 seconds actively engaged with the print advert.

Those parents using the augmented reality experience did so for an average of 1 minute 23 seconds. 

The analysis

Although the study compared a print display advert, there are also obvious major implications for the DOOH, events and digital marketing sectors.

Whether the product is a complex engineering structure or FMCG, people seem to become emotionally attached to a produce because of contact with the augmentation. 

As a sales person in a B2B market, imagine being able to demonstrate products that are too big, dangerous or too complex to engage with first-hand.

Augmented reality technology gives an innovative and insightful edge to the sales professional by allowing non-verbal communications with the audience in a far more informative and immersive way.

Augmented reality can also support sales professionals who use neuro-linguistic programming techniques as part of the sales process.

By showing a client a product augmentation, sales people can communicate more easily with what NLP practitioners term visual and kinaesthetic audiences. 

These two audiences prefer non-verbal communication as a way to understand and connect, for example by looking at graphics or touching a product with their own hands as a means to explore its functionality and use.

Storytelling is another powerful tool in the sales person’s armoury and is an area where augmented reality can enhance the sales process. 

Creating a narrative around a product is one of the longest standing and most relied upon sales techniques in the world.

Augmented reality creates a visual and interactive narrative, one where both sales person and prospect can share the same visual experience. 

In short, AR can be employed to connect with customers in a storytelling way that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch.

The research shows that AR is a powerful persuader. There is more to AR than just being an intriguing technology and it’s a tool that switched on sales people should take advantage of. 

Matt Trubow, chief executive, Hidden Creative