Augmented Reality in Packaging – Enabling Transparency and Product Visualization

Augmented Reality (AR) is a concept where technology is used to superimpose virtual information in a physical/real world object.

It is incredibly useful for the packaging industry as it allows for transparency, can help improve brand loyalty, bring in new customers and help the brand stay ahead of competitors. Using AR a link can be put on the packaging itself to create a media channel for personalizing, updating and measuring marketing success in real time. It is a technology that provides an

innovative way to communicate with the end user and give a unique experience after the package has been opened.

How can AR in packaging bring about transparency?

AR can bring about transparency as it allows one to map the entire story of the life cycle of a product – literally a farm-to-fork experience by showcasing details of key products and facility information.  

In traditional packaging, end users receive limited information on the package. Companies too get limited scope of sharing information because the label size is limited and there is only so much that can be shared on a small label. Leaflets within packaging are used, but they too offer limited opportunity and space for sharing information. Additionally, there is the issue of printing information and the information getting dated.  With augmented reality in packaging, companies can add a large amount of interesting information and customers can check additional facts, trivia, nutrition information, contact details of the company, all with the help of a simple QR code.

Branding with AR in packaging

About 86%, customers are willing to pay more for a product or service they perceive of superior quality and offering better value-for-money. If businesses focus on crafting better perception of the brand with the consumers, they would earn a higher revenue and attract high quality customers. Premium branding is about selling the product before potential customers speak to any sales person. If customers are satisfied, then a deep relationship is established between the product and the customer.  AR helps in brand building, especially using digital marketing, and the AR in packaging complements the digital marketing efforts.

Product visualization with AR in packaging

Perhaps the most unique advantage of augmented reality in packaging is that consumers are not restricted to the traditional avenues of information like text and static images. The QR codes can be used to show consumers various details of the product, how it looks in a realistic environment and interact with the product. This mode of virtual interaction allows the user to understand its value better, learn how to use it, its functions, how it has been assembled and the other uses that it can be put to, all of which completely change the user-interaction with the product.

So how does this work?

To use AR, businesses need to acquire specific hardware and it can be quite expensive. But the advent of smartphones has made it easily accessible. Apple and Google have supported the software platforms with ARKit and ARCore respectively. This has made it easy for developers to create augmented reality content for smartphones and the running of it, and for the consumers as well. Many popular brands like Nespresso, McDonald’s have introduced AR for maintaining and creating connections with consumers with the help of their smartphones.

With AR, any business would be able to establish itself as customer-centric and a digital-first business. It would remove the physical barriers and users can experience the product via mobiles or computers at their convenience.  This will help in optimizing business operations, engage with customers and help design products and services that would satisfy customer requirements.

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