Hints, tips and best practice for pricing your AR services. This post is designed to give you practical advice on how to position, package and price your AR services so you can effectively market yourself or your business.

The complete guide to pricing, positioning and packaging your AR services.

 

 

With the AR industry barely out of its infancy, figuring out how much to charge for your AR services (especially if you’re still learning) can mean a lot of sleepless nights and time away from doing what you really love - creating awesome AR experiences. 

To help you, the ZapWorks community, we’ve devised this post to take the 13 factors used to price any AR project and show how they can be worked into your own pricing strategy. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to effectively market and sell your own AR services either in person, on your website, or on freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. 

To exemplify how some of our more seasoned AR creators price and sell their AR services, we’ve included some words of wisdom from ZapWorks users around the world who (like us at Zappar HQ) are working across a myriad of verticals and pricing AR projects on a daily basis. 

 



Do your research

Before you dive into your pricing strategy, you need to roll your sleeves up and do some research into what other freelancers, studios, or agencies are charging for their services. This should give you a general rule of thumb to benchmark your own AR services against. 

Freelancers sites

There are plenty of sites out there, so we’ve listed a few of our favorites below. These should give you a greater understanding of the scale of the market and a rough outline of what other AR creators are charging for their services. 

Other AR agencies

Dive into your favorite search engine and research other AR agencies or existing creative agencies offering AR in addition to their creative services. Try and get a feel for how much they’re charging (roughly) for varying levels of projects. Tread lightly though, you don’t want to make any enemies before you’ve even started!

Existing digital budgets

Dive deeper into existing digital budgets and how much brands and businesses spend on campaigns and marketing activities of comparable objectives. Ask yourself how much brands are spending on video, print collateral or brand awareness campaigns where AR could be used to create greater engagement, awareness or growth for their business. This is where the magic happens.

 

"AR is a really powerful tool to engage customers as well as to communicate to stakeholders. For a brand integrating AR can be a kind of revolution. A good one, of course! We usually work along with the customer to implement the solution that suits best to their needs considering the scope and the strategy of the project, whether it is a B2B or a B2C project or both. We also take into consideration if it is a standalone project or if is it part of a wider strategy and whether we can suggest to split the cost and allocate it to different cost centers.

Paola Fiorio, Senior Content Manager at Viewtoo

 

 

 

How to price your AR services

If you’ve done your research, setting a price and outlining how you charge for your services should be a breeze. In this section, we’ll go over the most common ways to charge for your AR services, as well as the pros and cons of each method.

 

Project pricing vs hourly pricing

There are two schools of thought when it comes to pricing: setting a fixed cost for your services (i.e setting different price points based on the 13 pricing factors) or charging by the hour.

 

"We usually estimate the amount of work that goes into content creation and charge based on that. 2D/video-based things are easy and fast to do if clients have video material ready (thanks to ZapWorks Designer), but 3D-projects are always custom priced. Designer-projects range in the hundreds, Studio-projects in the thousands (of euros). Since ZapWorks pricing is friendly and affordable, only a small amount of what clients pay us is for AR as a technology. This is where we differ a lot from our competition who have to invest lots of time and money in developing their own software and apps." 

- Frans Tihveräinen, Founder at FlyAR

 

Pricing hourly

For most AR freelancers, setting an hourly rate is the place to start. This provides a baseline comparison to other AR freelancers in the market and is easy for clients to understand - as long as they are flexible with the hours and pricing.

If you choose to price your AR services hourly, you can use time-tracking software (or a simple spreadsheet) to keep track of how much time you spend on projects so you’re not selling yourself short, and don’t lose out on any money in the long run.

Positives

An hourly rate is great if you work at a moderate pace, take on projects that don’t shift a lot in time (clients don’t love getting revised pricing estimates) and prefer the flexibility of this time-accounting method.

Negatives

On the other hand, some AR creators find that hourly rates hold them back because they can finish projects quickly and hours worked are not the only price consideration. Likewise, setting an hourly rate puts a limitation on your income potential (time).

 

Project pricing

Project pricing is the pricing method we advise ZapWorks users to apply to their pricing strategy. Remember, project pricing will mean asking the right questions before starting your AR projects and billing for the holistic value you’re delivering for the campaign and the ROI for the client.

Positives

Setting a fixed cost for the entirety of the project is our preferred method here at Zappar, simply because by charging based on the project, you are tying the price of the project to the client’s end result - which (at the end of the day) is what the client really cares about.

Negatives

Some ZapWorks users have found that project pricing can sometimes sell their services short in comparison to the number of hours they put into the project. Make sure you gather as much information before starting the project and account for any additional work or changes along the way.

 

"We like to get granular with the amount of resource, time and complexity dedicated to each project - the more accurate you can be with time and resource - the more smoothly the project will run." 

- Mario Sergio Faria, CEO at Massfar

 

 

How should I charge for my ZapWorks seat?

Lastly, a question that comes up fairly regularly for our more seasoned ZapWorks users who have their own AR agency is how should they factor in the cost of the ZapWorks seat in their billing.

In our opinion, there are two ways to think about your ZapWorks seat when creating AR experiences for a client:

 

1. Charge to the client

The first option is to charge the cost of a ZapWorks seat to the client. This way, whenever you win a brief, you create an account in the client’s name and build the experience within it. The client receives full access to their ‘Zap-alytics’, and has the ability to make changes to their content whenever they need. This model works really well for some of our partners, and is definitely worth exploring to see whether it will be right for you.

2. Fixed business cost

Another option is to view the price of your seat as a fixed cost of doing business, which is sunk into your operational costs such as your Adobe subscription, office equipment and permanent staff. This is perfect for agencies who are regularly creating AR experiences for clients as they are able to guarantee that the client’s zapcodes will remain live indefinitely. It is also the pricing methodology that has the least friction.

 

"AR projects are a lot like tailor made suits, even when you can build on elements from previous projects, it’s made up on a different concept, different UX, different assets, etc. The pricing model reflects this effort in terms of time and resources involved." 

- Paola Fiorio, Senior Content Manager at Viewtoo

 

One of the great things about ZapWorks is that you don’t have to factor in the cost (and time) of building and publishing an entirely new app for your client (unless you’re embedding AR in a brand’s own app), it’s all done through the Zappar app - allowing for instant publishing to the cloud, while keeping costs and maintenance to a minimum. 

 

 

How to position your AR services

Positioning refers to how you align your AR services in relation to the market to attract the right clients. How you position yourself in the market will ultimately come down to your expertise with the tools and the clients you want to attract. This is where the extensive research you carried out earlier will come in handy.

It’s important to note, if you’ve only recently started selling your AR services to clients, you’ll want to position yourself completely differently compared to if you’ve got a couple of years experience under your belt.

One way of looking at it would be to position yourself more competitively when first starting out, then work on refining your positioning further down the line when you’ve got a better idea of who your perfect client is and the value you can deliver them. Just keep in mind - a $100 AR experience never said “value” to anyone.

 

"At IMDM we try to position ourselves as competitively as possible when compared to other 3D animation houses. We believe that AR, VR and MR should become standard tools to be used in the digital marketing mix, and as such, try not to make price the barrier to entry for new and existing clients. Instead, we try to fall within existing digital budgets, ensuring that we make it as attractive as possible to potential buyers of the tech." 

- Daniella Louw, Managing Director at IMDM

 

Breakdown your AR services into different pricing tiers

Let’s face it, everyone likes options, especially if it means they get to choose their own pricing. By creating 2 or 3 distinct tiers, you can effectively target different parts of the market, from small mom and pop shops looking to compete with larger high-street retailers, or bigger enterprise clients wanting to build large-scale marketing campaigns.

Breaking your pricing down into different tiers also allows potential clients to choose their own budget and enables you to manage expectations - outlining what can be achieved within a set budget.

We usually advise breaking these tiers down into the complexity of the experiences offered. Starting with each ZapWorks tool and what they can offer is a good start. While you’re here, find out more about choosing the right ZapWorks tools to meet a client brief.

Example tiers:

More on how to package these different tiers below.

 

How to package your AR services

Packaging your AR services in the right way will enable you to better sell your AR services, mapping the complexity of the AR experience with the client’s objectives. In these next steps, we’ll show you how to package your different pricing tiers, including what ZapWorks features to include and what tool you should think about using.

 

"When it comes to packaging our services, we take into consideration the timing for the delivery and the general complexity of the project, interactions, functionalities, number of touchpoints and team involved. We also consider the assets carefully– are they provided by the client or should we produce them? What kind? Does this involve production of 3D and video?" 

- Paola Fiorio, Senior Content Manager at Viewtoo

 

Ways of packaging your AR services

Keep in mind that as you develop your AR capabilities, you’ll be custom pricing the majority of your projects. Although it’s important to understand the different ways of packaging your services, no two campaigns are alike

Here are the three most common ways of packaging your AR services:

  1. Complexity of AR experience (most common)
  2. Delivery time (e.g. number of days/ weeks)
  3. The type of experience (e.g. a basic video, an alpha channel video, a selfie, a mini-game)

Also:

 

"We package our Zappar experiences according to the complexity of the campaign, using previous experience to estimate a certain number of studio hours which determines the final production cost. Each campaign is priced individually, as we have found that there are too many variables to offer standard once-off rates across the board." 

- Daniella Louw, Managing Director at IMDM 

 

The starter tier

Tool: ZapWorks Designer*
Price point: £250 - £2,000

This is an interesting way to think about pricing. Many small businesses will be reluctant to invest a large amount of money in what will often be their first AR project. It will also likely be the first time that they are working with you. A great way to get around natural reservations is to offer them a “Starter Package”, which could hypothetically be somewhere between a £250 - £2000 price point.

Example starter tier:

 

The starter package will be incredibly valuable in keeping the lights on during the early days of your AR venture. As you have little previous work to showcase, it will be difficult to find partners who are willing to commit large parts of their budget. These starter packages allow you to establish your credibility and reputation, as well as making sure that everyone gets paid at the end of the month.

*Using ZapWorks Widgets here is absolutely fine, as long as you can deliver on the client brief.

 

The mid-level tier

Tool: ZapWorks Studio
Price point: £3,000 - £15,000

As you develop your own internal capabilities, hiring graphic designers, 3D artists and developers, the capabilities of what you are able to offer your clients will become more impressive - yet more expensive for you to develop. This will give you the potential to create a whole range of experiences in ZapWorks Studio. Your mid-level tier could theoretically be anywhere from £3,000 - £15,000.

Example mid-level tier

Ideally, the mid-range packages will make up the bulk of your work that you are bringing in.

 

The top-level tier

Tool: ZapWorks Studio
Price point: £15,000 - £50,000+

As you build a reputation for quality, the average order value of your mid-range package will increase, and you will be asked to produce the type of experiences that will stretch your (and your team’s) AR capabilities.

Generally, it is the increased complexity of the experience that correlates to the increase in how much you should charge. Teams will always want to push the limits of what they can achieve in AR, so with trusted partners, you should occasionally work with briefs that you know are going to be tough to pull off.

Example top-level tier:

Taking on a brief like this is a great way to establish your position as an expert, but you should be clear with the client of the scope of work involved from the start. With the skill and expertise it takes to pull off a top tier AR campaign like this, you could hypothetically charge anywhere between £15,000 - £50,000+.

 

 

The ZapWorks packaging toolbox

To give you a better idea of the complete range of functionalities offered in ZapWorks Studio, we’ve shared a full list below. Studio experiences will generally be custom priced, but it will help you to work out your capabilities for producing each of the different functionalities of the tools.

The functionality provided by ZapWorks Studio:

 

In addition to this list, we've also produced a handy PDF so you can peruse and share the full functionality of ZapWorks Studio at your own leisure. 

Download the ZapWorks Studio Overview

 

Final thoughts and advice 

Whichever pricing strategy you decide to go for, having a rough idea of your price points and how to package them before you speak to your first client is a must. Likewise, realizing that mastering the positioning, packaging, and pricing of your AR services is not easy and should be something you revisit on a regular basis to combat changes in the market and your own capabilities.

Ultimately, pricing comes down to flexibility. If you’re working as a freelancer as part of a wider team or agency then the billable hours model will be more appropriate. However, if you’re the ‘agency’ and have direct input into the overall project, then project pricing will be more applicable.

Lastly, as you continue to grow as an AR entrepreneur be sure to update your services and how you package and price them to reflect your skills, expertise and the clients you’re servicing.

To round this post off, we’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from the ZapWorks community on how to price your AR projects.

 

"Clients often don’t know what they want, or don’t want, until they’ve seen it for themselves. AR, being quite new to many, is difficult to explain without tangible examples to show. Be sure to have a bank of previous Zappar experiences to show the client when closing the deal. And be sure to understand the limit of the client’s budget. Marrying the two can be quite a challenge - ensure that the client has a clear view of what their budget is able to buy from the word go, and that they are specific with their expectations. Then cost your time accordingly and good luck! May the Zap be with you…" 

- Daniella Louw, Managing Director at IMDM 

 

"Try and motivate the client to disclose the true value of implementing augmented reality in their business and the problem you’re addressing - once you know this, you can better understand the value you’re delivering." 

- Mario Sergio Faria, CEO at Massfar

 

"Before committing to a quote, gather all the info on target, scope, concept, whether the project is part of a larger campaign, available asset, etc. As for every business make a list in advance of the activities and price them according to the effort each piece requires. Knowing the effort will make it easier for you to claim a quotation. Knowing the client’s budget is a good starting point: it defines the level of complexity you can’t overstep when creating your proposal." 

- Paola Fiorio, Senior Content Manager at Viewtoo

 

If you want more advice on pricing your AR services, you can contact us or head over to the ZapWorks Forum where the ZapWorks community are on-hand to offer their guidance.

 


 

ZapWorks users included in this post:

 


 

Disclaimer: the price points included in this post are guidelines only. What you charge for your AR experiences can depend dramatically based on a myriad of variables, including; the client, the industry and the level of your expertise. We advise all ZapWorks users engage in thorough scoping before costing their AR projects, and remember; every project is different.