Navigating a wide array of technology options can be daunting, with everything from a website and mobile apps, to virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and even voice integrations becoming commonplace. It’s enough to make understanding your customer feel like a walk in the park. 

You want your customers to have the best possible experience with your brand, but the growing range of technology options begs the question:

How do we define what’s best?

Is the best technology option the most innovative? The most surprising? The most advanced? 

It is tempting to want your business’ technology to align with the above adjectives, but doing so may misalign with your customer. 

The best technology for your company’s digital solution will be the option that best services your customers and helps them solve the problem that made them seek out your company in the first place.

Need help navigating your tech options? Read our latest insights report

 

Amazon's AR: A Miss and a Win

Amazon has taken multiple swings at augmented reality (AR) to try to make it easier for customers to buy from them: one that did not accomplish this goal, and one that did.

Their first rollout of AR in 2017 integrated “Amazon Stickers” into their app, which converted various products into stickers that you can view in AR via your phone’s camera for the purposes of product exploration.  While the stickers could encourage customers to discover new products, they did not offer a realistic presentation of what the products would look like. Instead, they functioned similarly to features added by social apps such as Snapchat or Instagram, whereby you can decorate the photos you take before you post or send to friends. But the reality is that customers do not generally use Amazon as a social app, they use Amazon to buy things. 

There was little practicality for the stickers to lead the customer into a purchase—hence this use of technology did not solve the problem that made customers seek out Amazon in the first place.

Amazon’s second effort with AR, however, was more centered around improving the customer’s buying experience. Their app feature called AR View allows customers to get a three-dimensional visualization of products as they would appear in their living space. For furniture, decorations, electronics, and more, this answers a very legitimate question that customers ask when making a purchase online: “How will this product look in my space?”

AR View solves the challenge of customers having to measure and visualize with uncertainty before buying a new product.

For example, we can tell from using Amazon's AR feature that this new chair would easily fit in the middle of the office at Dynamit.

It’s clear that when Amazon invested in their AR View tool, they left behind the temptation to jump on board with the trends on the rise and use technology just for the sake of technology. They ended up choosing the solution that would truly align with their customers’ desires and motivations: to buy a product that fits into their life in the ways that they would hope and expect. 

The value of your technology investment will become clear in the “consideration” phase of your customer’s journey map. If your technology does not enable the customer to do what they sought you out for, they will move on. 

The right digital solution will be the choice that you could imagine showing to your persona, and they would say, Now THAT is the product and experience I have been looking for.” 

 

In our latest insights report, you can learn not only about evaluating your technology choices, but also the other two pillars of choosing the right digital solution.

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Brent Harmanis
Brent Harmanis