Program-Ace on value of immersive tech in retail

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AR and VR are still very much novel experiences for the average consumer, meaning that ‘even simple AR integration is impressive to buyers and influences their behaviour in a positive way’

Quick read

➨ Ukraine-headquartered Program-Ace launched in 1992, initially as a printing house
➨ Today, Program-Ace offers several immersive technology solutions for sales, marketing and retail
➨ To read more about Program-Ace and how immersive tech is changing retail, sign up to receive the third issue of VRWorldTech Magazine for free when it’s published on 24 April

The story

The value of immersive technology as a sales and marketing solution for a business in any industry comes down to effectiveness—in building revenue, but also ensuring customer loyalty, according to Oleg Fonarov, chief executive officer of Program-Ace.

Ukraine-headquartered Program-Ace launched in 1992, initially as a printing house, before moving into professional videos and video games and eventually software development.

Today, after 26 years in business, Program-Ace offers several immersive technology solutions for sales, marketing and retail. The company employs more than 120 specialists, who have developed more than 850 products for clients in many different industries, and picked up several awards along the way, most recently from IAOP (top 100 outsourcing companies) and Clutch (top 3 AR/VR companies).

In an interview for the next issue of VRWorldTech Magazine, Fonarov explained what he meant by ‘effectiveness’. He said: “In other words, how much profit [the immersive technology] draws in comparison with other solutions. Retailers are very focused on immediate and short-term improvements in revenue, so they often task us with shortening the steps users have to go through to place an order and creating a motivating environment for sales, encouraging consumers to quickly get what they need and move on.”

“However, this approach does not always live up to expectations, especially if the company makes it a goal to play the long game and keep the user buying the service again in the future. Our company understands it, and has devoted a great amount of time towards learning how the customer thinks. As a result, we host our own business analysis department inside the company, so that we may not only accept the order and deliver an app, but also study the market and provide recommendations about how to best launch the product.”

“Retail customers’ satisfaction, comfort, understanding of the application and the business behind it are all provided for, and retailers see these customers returning for the same product/service again and again.”

Oleg Fonarov, Program-Ace

“With this approach, retail customers’ satisfaction, comfort, understanding of the application and the business behind it are all provided for, and retailers see these customers returning for the same product/service again and again.”

AR and VR are still very much novel experiences for the average consumer, Fonarov said, meaning that “even simple AR integration is impressive to buyers and influences their behaviour in a positive way”. He added: “Furthermore, this is a relatively clear and simple way for people to create interactions in any environment.”

“VR’s role is tougher to analyse because most people lack the proper hardware. This makes it suitable only to those retailers whose product is very complex, and purchase of which is preceded by careful examination of its every detail. Giving them a headset with a VR simulation of the product addresses most concerns and minutiae of this process.”

“Furthermore, I believe that AR and VR are effective for solving one of the biggest modern issues of the retail industry—they familiarise people with the product and remove a major obstacle for consumers—doubt whether a product is worth its price. We are in the process of building solutions of this exact type, which will help the vendor better connect to the customer, showcase their product in the most advantageous way, keep the customer interested, and eventually lead them towards purchasing.”

Image: Oleg Fonarov, chief executive officer of Program-Ace

To read more about Program-Ace and how immersive tech is changing retail, sign up to receive the third issue of VRWorldTech Magazine for free when it’s published on 24 April

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