As some of you may know, when it comes to consumer facing Augmented Reality experiences here at Zugara we’re opposed to executions that require people to download a plug-in. Our deep experience in the interactive space has taught us that downloads are a gigantic barrier for people, that’s why our products are built in Flash (which has a penetration rate of over 99%). Of course, the question is: how big of a barrier are plug-ins?
Now the technology companies that require plug-ins for their Augmented Reality executions aren’t quick to release stats regarding bounce rates (which isn’t exactly the most shocking piece of news), but I just found some stats in a Unity Technologies blog post that I find incredibly telling. Unity Technologies are the makers of Unity 3 “a game development tool that has been designed to let you (developers) focus on creating amazing games.” Like Shockwave, Unity 3 requires that the gamer has a specific plug-in to play the games that are developed using the proprietary platform.
In their blog post, Unity divulges that for users that don’t already have the plug-in only 60% successfully install it. They go on to note that “for Shockwave we believe it is around 40%.” Obviously, in relation to Shockwave, a 60% success rate is pretty good… but that still means 40% of the people you’ve worked to get to your site, are opting out of the experience because of the download. And judging by the fact that they blogged about it, it appears that a 40% bounce rate is a good number for the industry…
Okay, I don’t want to argue, so let’s just split the difference between the Unity and Shockwave numbers noted above and say that the average successful download rate is 50%. If you’re creating an Augmented Reality experience for people, a 50% success rate on a download is unacceptable, and terrible for your business. Would you stand outside a brick and mortar store and only let in 50% of the potential customers people who wanted to enter? Of course not… So why aren’t we as an industry applying the same principles to our online branding? Why do you think marketers are still forcing downloads on their consumers? What are the “pros” that outweigh (what I see as) a very big “con”? I’d love to hear your thoughts below (especially if you have more data on download rates)…
This morning I read three articles on InternetRetailer.com that contained some pretty interesting info, so I thought I would share. All the articles pointed to the success online retailers are having with advanced product viewing features (e.g. zooming, 360-degree spins, etc.).
This probably won’t shock many of you, but we see Augmented Reality Ecommerce Applications (like our Webcam Social Shopper) as the next step in advanced online product visualization, so third party data like what’s noted below is fantastic to see.
Article 1: Rotating images generate higher conversion for DueMaternity.com
“360-degree spin images convert 27% higher than standard photos.”
“Our shoppers want to see every detail and look at a particular item from every angle before making a purchase,” says DiPadova. “A rotating image provides that detail and this feature really improved the conversion rate on many of our merchandising pages.”
Article 2: Against Nudity hopes shoppers linger longer with 360-degree images
“However, buying clothing is much more personal, which means it requires more product information, Moreau says.”
“Investing in the technology to produce 360-degree images might cost between $15,000 and $20,000, Moreau estimates. Ongoing costs are not prohibitive, he says, adding it costs Against Nudity about $40 to create each 360-degree image and get it online.”
Article 3: Businesses say rich media helps lure shoppers
“When web marketers were asked in a new survey what marketing techniques were most effective at luring consumers more noted multimedia product viewing.”
“The Adobe Systems Inc. report, “Adobe Scene7 2011 Survey: Digital Marketing in the Next Decade,” found that 39% of marketers said multimedia product viewing was “very effective.” That result marked the third year in a row that a rich media-related method topped the list.”
Recently, we partnered with Georgetown University to conduct usability testing on our Augmented Reality Ecommerce Software, The Webcam Social Shopper (WSS). I know data pertaining to Augmented Reality is hard to come by, and many of you are interested in it, so I wanted to share some of the results:
Females that shop online, age 17 – 24.
Nearly 2/3rds of participants said that WSS would help them in making a purchase decision.
SOME ADDITIONAL FINDINGS:
Users were asked the question: “if an online store had this product, how interested would you be in using it?” Over 83% of users answered between “Interested” and “Very Interested”.
Users were asked the question: “How interested do you think your friends would be in using it?” 88% of users answered between “Interested” and “Very Interested”.
When the users first viewed WSS “the typical initial reaction was a surprised exclamation.”
It took first time users about two minutes to understand, and become comfortable with the motion capture interface.
We also were able to learn where our product needed improvement. Much of our learnings have already been integrated into our brand new online demo: www.webcamsocialshopper.com – we’d love to know your thoughts on it!
If you’d like more details on the usability testing, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Augmented Reality has become a term now that’s an umbrella of sorts, covering everything from gestural interaction to projection mapping. AR has now gone beyond it’s literal definition of “animations in a live video feed”. When the animations occur outside of a video feed (or mobile device), is it not still augmenting one’s view of reality? Most projection mapping occurs under optimal circumstances (i.e. very dark areas so the projection can be seen) and is, at it’s core, an engagement mechanism (i.e. advertising). However, it does appears that the technology is evolving for more beneficial uses for the consumer such as mapping features of a car in a showroom so a prospective buyer can see the technical and mechanical benefits – inside and out.
Wherever you fall on this thought, you can’t deny that 3D Projection Mapping is continuing to evolve with some very engaging examples. The best two I’ve seen to date are for Lexus and Toyota…embedded below.
Earlier this week, our CEO Matt Szymczyk spoke on a panel at the Augmented Reality Event in Santa Clara. The topic was “AR for E-Commerce”, and embedded below is his presentation. In it, he discusses our history of innovation; webcam usage stats; the fact that our product The Webcam Social Shopper is completely ready for market; and, findings from our Usability Testing.
On the surface, Augmented Reality and Tablets seem like a match made in heaven. The press has fallen in love with the idea and given the concept an inordinate amount of coverage. But the fact is 95% of Americans don’t own a tablet (admittedly, some might argue that I should add a “yet” at the end of that sentence). So when it comes to AR should brands and marketers dedicate budget towards the device today?
According to this article, Nielsen Research states that 4.8% of Americans have a tablet (and the piece states that that number is even lower in the UK – 1.7%). It’s also important to note that that number wasn’t broken down by device, so we don’t know how many of those Americans have the first generation iPad… That is, the iPad that lacks a front-facing camera (necessary for most AR). But odds are, it’s a solid chunk (if not the majority).
In my opinion, for Augmented Reality to advance we need to focus on creating applications that people will actually use today, not tomorrow. It’s not about buzzwords, tech demos, and concept videos… It’s about using AR as a tool to create meaningful experiences for “real people”…
What do you think? Should brands dedicate budget to tablet based AR, or should they be focusing on creating goal oriented web, kiosk, and OOH based executions with technologies that are available today (please note, I left mobile off that list for a reason)?
Every since the Microsoft Kinect came out, we’ve seen some talented individuals create some pretty amazing hacks demonstrating what the system is really capable of. Recently though, we’ve started to see “Commercial Hacks”, that is businesses hacking the system to create in store experiences for their consumers. I just wanted to point out real quick, (before you rush out and create your own hack) that these executions do not have Microsoft’s blessing. From an article in the Telegraph:
A Microsoft spokesman said: “While we are aware of hobbyists and third parties taking advantage of raw data to explore the exciting possibilities of Kinect for Xbox 360 for themselves, we do note, however, that any of these uses of Kinect for Xbox 360 are not licensed or authorized by Microsoft.”
Don’t worry, rumor has it that a commercial SDK will be available later this year… but, at this point it does seem to be only a rumor…
Just wanted to share some more good news. A few weeks ago, we let you know that a banner ad we concepted and created for AT&T (with BBDO and Zoic Studios) was up for a Webby Award. Well, we just wanted to share the news that today the winners were announced, and we won!
We Are Organized Chaos (WAOC) is Zugara’s (www.zugara.com) interactive marketing and advertising blog where we’ll be featuring some great projects and discussing upcoming trends in the digital world. Work — good and bad — will be critiqued. Hope you’ll enjoy reading our insights and thoughts on interactive.