3D and augmented reality (AR) tech, with emotionally compelling visual experiences driving its core, promises to tilt the needle back in favor of sales-and-revenue leaders grappling with the mystery of the ‘new online buyer’ in an uncertain new world
- A unique breed of customers is disrupting sales across industries and enterprises
- Decoding the traits of the new buyer
- The two-part play that business and entrepreneurs can unleash to woo the next business shopperç
It wasn’t a Chief Technology Officer, as the joke goes, who was responsible for the trend of digital transformation that’s sweeping global economies and businesses today. It was COVID-19. The pandemic saw adoption rates of digitally enabled products, services and systems accelerate by a full seven years, engineering a watershed in the way organizations approach their Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy.
Rise of the new online buyer
At the heart of this cross-industry business transformation – the likes of which the global economy hasn’t witnessed since the Industrial Revolution in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries – lies the fast-evolving nature of the online buyer. How is this species different from the breed that came before? Well, in at least three ways:
- Today’s ‘always-on shoppers’ are far more tech-savvy than predecessors. Bred on an on-demand, 24/7 information diet, they are happy to wade into the online jungle and hunt for treasure on their own. This diet consists of sophisticated digital-discovery tools, online reviews, ‘insider wisdom’ gleaned from private-group exchanges and dark social interactions – an ‘under-the-radar’ crisscross of conversations occurring on channels such as messengers, texts, emails, intranets and professional work hubs like slack.
- Thanks to the Uberification and Amazonification of online habits, the new buyer can get easily frustrated if their ‘journey of discovery’ isn’t downright memorable or, at the very least, simple and seamless. Some of the things they are demanding from brands today are simplicity (“I don’t want to solve riddles or jump through hoops”), relevance (“How well do you know me?”) and information (“Don’t waste my time: Give me only what’s useful”). Thanks to multi-tasking trends, this new generation of buyers is also forever distracted, giving entrepreneurs and sales professionals an ever-smaller window to reach out to prospects, thus compounding the challenge.
- Finally, the 21st-century buyer shows a strong preference for self-serviced, digital, DIY experiences that put them firmly in control of the purchase cycle with minimal interaction or interruption. More than 30% of B2B customers are already tapping into self-service channels at each phase of their purchase journey, and that number will only rise going forward. The way this trend is advancing had led market research company Forrester to predict the death of the B2B salesman some time back. And while that may be a bit of a stretch, there’s no denying that the traditional sales person is today a creature whom purchasers have less and less of an inclination to run into during the exploration-and-consideration stage. When they do, they seek deep subject-matter expertise, which cuts to the chase and supplies them with precisely the information they are looking for, and not old-school whiskey-and-steak salesmanship.
The new buyer is tech-savvy and hard to convince - you need to woo them to get them on board. Click in "See in your space" to bring this avatar to life.
The 3D and augmented reality (AR) opportunity to reimagine B2B sales
How can enterprise captains, revenue leaders and founders ramp up their sales, function aggressively, and at the same time ensure online buyers have the space and flexibility they love? The secret to sales and business transformation in the ‘next digital normal’ is to strike the elusive balance between proactive, human-led selling, and hands-off, product-led growth. In other words, sync mind and machine. Juggling the moving parts and joining the changing dots can be challenging for any organizational outfit, but for businesses daring to take the digital-transformation plunge via 3D and AR, the rewards can be considerable: such as a 15% spike in growth from new customers and a 125% lift in installed base.
Here’s a quick, two-part framework for manufacturers, brands and businesses looking to transform their journeys and woo a new generation of online buyers with the power of 3D and AR – a tested strategy gambit that can amplify ROI by 22x and lift conversion rates by as much as 250%.
For businesses daring to take the digital transformation plunge via 3D and AR, the rewards can be considerable: such as a 15% spike in growth from new customers and a 125% lift in installed base.
The play for customers: Build ‘wow moments’ by bringing website e-commerce pages and online product catalogs to riveting life with 3D and AR
The new customer is accustomed to being pampered by brands who are forever innovating to raise the bar of delight, and these days demands nothing short of an extraordinary experience from every online interaction. This is where 3D and AR tech can buck the status quo and give the technology’s early adopters and businesses an unfair advantage.
Being able to reconfigure and resize products on one’s favorite device, or alter color and texture at will, can be a jaw-dropping, addictive experience. Items can be placed in one’s own home or office environment by virtually plucking them right off the supermarket shelf. And all of this can be done over a compellingly immersive narrative curve that sometimes doesn’t even require complicated headgear or equipment. This is the case for the proprietary solution from Enhance 3D and AR solutions, which only needs an internet connection to spring to life.
Not only are curious shoppers likely to spend more time experimenting with the novelty, they are also happy to share their ‘very own 3D and AR moments’ on social media. This positively impacts vital metrics – page views, average time on page, reach, engagement – for marketers, and also helps entrepreneurs and sales teams hit the Holy Grail of delighted customers who subsequently go on to become growth ambassadors for the brand.
It doesn’t have to end there, though. Leveraging customer data insight through granular, real-time feedback – a feature some augmented reality companies are beginning to offer, Enhance 3D and AR solutions being one – can help fine-tune and improve the experience even more. And offering subscription-based ‘success plans’ can incentivize adoption of 3D and AR further. Buyers ‘try-on’ wares and ‘test-drive’ products to unprecedented degrees of accuracy, thereby taking ‘informed decision-making’ to the next level, and irreversibly raising the bar of expectation.
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The play for leaders: Build multi-dimensional, cross-functional teams that are equal parts left-brain and right-brain – with 3D and AR at the core
Organizations must: Create proprietary see-commerce playbooks based on their unique learnings with 3D and AR sales; Set up systems that empower frontline teams with everything they need to deliver captivating 3D and AR demos; Align stacks and CRMs with 3D and AR workflows to bring everyone on the same dashboard; Encourage sales and marketing teams to work in unison and feed them with tools and insights to optimize online-prospecting efforts.
This is where things get really interesting, for this is also the stage and cue for business leaders to introduce the X-factor of human touch to their digital transformation matrix.
How do they do that? By creating multi-functional 3D and AR teams on hybrid models that allow specialists and experts to step in at strategic points. Plugging in their insights and recommendations personalizes the funnel, providing buyers with the right information, nudges and road-signs at the right time and the right place.
Finally, onboarded clients should be eased onto the 3D and AR highway by handholding them with best practices, insights and ongoing guidance during the initial months, to ensure great customer outcomes.
3D and AR: Ensuring products are bought, not sold
Enterprise commerce and B2B selling is going through a churn. To start with, sales teams today have only about 5% of a patron’s time to put a foot in the door. Aggravating the problem is the modern buying process, which can involve multiple stakeholders and decision makers – sometimes as many as 10. A non-linear purchase path – with the buyer swinging back and forth in an unpredictable manner – doesn’t help matters.
The good news? Some things haven’t changed. Emotions still drive business, as a in adoption of a major bank’s card - amongst a demographic that was targeted emotionally - reminded everyone a few years back), and customers continue to take purchase decisions with their right brain: intuitively, visually and sub-consciously.
Visually gripping 3D and AR moments engineer emotional pull and touch a deeper chord with audiences.
Redesigning the digital transformation arc with spatially immersive and visually gripping 3D and AR moments engineer emotional pull and touch a deeper chord with audiences - helping businesses venture beyond leads, and generate lasting demand. 70% spike in adoption of a major bank’s card, among a demographic that was targeted emotionally, reminded everyone a few years back.
Customers continue to take purchase decisions with their right brain: intuitively, visually and subconsciously. Redesigning the digital-transformation arc with spatially immersive and visually gripping 3D and AR moments engineers emotional pull and touches a deeper chord with audiences, helping businesses venture beyond leads, and generating lasting demand.