Augmented sales – digital ads 2.0

What do you prefer – the familiar feel of printed marketing materials or the accuracy of digital content?  Why not have both at the same time? Augmented sales combines the best of both worlds and we show you how.

Paper is dead! That’s a sentence you probably hear quite a lot. But vast amounts of catalogues and brochures are still being printed and distributed every day. Why do we still make this huge (financial) effort, while simultaneously spending large sums on digital advertising as well? 

One possible reason why print advertising is still being produced, is purely the force of habit. However, it also offers one crucial advantage over digital advertising –  it is something substantial that your customers can touch and feel. Of course, there are also many advantages to digital advertising, such as the high degree of flexibility in controlling your campaigns and a potentially larger audience, as well as the possibility of receiving feedback (e.g. how often and for how long a certain ad is viewed). But unfortunately, there is a wide gap between the two media. Printed content is usually only badly linked to digital content, if at all. (Remember those lovely QR codes? We all miss that great idea, don’t we?)

Augmented Sales – Don’t Settle

It is exactly this gap, which augmented sales is trying to close by linking existing printed materials to digital content in exciting new ways. A good example for this is a digital shopping cart that works in connection with a printed catalogue. The users can just view the catalogue through their smartphone, which then recognizes the products. Now they can easily place the products in their cart or access additional information. Without augmented sales, interested buyers would have to turn to the internet to look for the desired content on their own. Apart from being really tedious, this process harbours the danger of the customers being distracted by something else on their way (no, nobody has seen all the cat videos on YouTube).

blog-augmented-sales-intershop-neudoerfler Augmented Sales in a catalogue (c) codeflü


Analog & Digital – Hand in Hand

Another way of doing augmented sales is by creating a stronger emotional attachment of the customers to the product by integrating it into their own space. IKEA showed us how to do that in their latest catalogues, which come with an app that allows customers to digitally place selected furniture items in their own homes. This has the obvious advantage of giving customers a real feel of how the product would work for them, which they cannot get by looking at it in generic glossy prints with their perfectly staged model homes. If you can thus give your customers the feeling that the product is somehow already theirs, you will gain a considerable advantage over your competition.

A similar approach was taken by HELLA with their “Markisenviewer” (‘marquee viewer’) app, which serves as a sales tool and is available to the company’s employees in their internal app store. With this app, selected products can be virtually mounted to the clients’ own house facades. Thus, the customers can visualize those products much better than by simply flipping through the classic print catalogues. They can look at how an item would integrate into the space it is supposed to be installed in, rather than the wall of  an arbitrary show home.

blog-augmented-sales-hella-markisenviewer Augmented sales on a real bulding (c) codeflü


To make a long story short, print advertising is still going to be around for a while. But the gap between the real and the digital world leaves much room for experimentation and innovative ideas.