New Data on Augmented Reality
(AR) in Consumer Shopping

Study uncovers how AR influences shopping behavior, impacts purchase decisions and increases brand engagement

Alter AgentsSnap, Inc. and Publicis Media today released the findings of new research into the influence of augmented reality (AR) on the way people shop and engage with brands. The study found that AR adoption is on the rise, and that consumers – particularly Snapchatters – are seeking this technology out during their shopping experiences.

“Consumers are expecting more from brands, and this research proves that AR supports these expectations by not only delighting customers but also positively influencing the purchase decision-making process,” said David Roter, VP of Global Agency and Brand Partnerships, Snap Inc. “Brands need to consider the utility and widespread appeal of AR-based experiences when developing marketing and engagement strategies, as the data shows that it’s becoming critical to long-term success.”

Alter Agents conducted a three-part study in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Saudi Arabia. Research included in-depth interviews with AR experts to explore AR’s evolving dynamics; mobile ethnographies with daily diary entries; and a quantitative survey among 1,000 people ages 13-49 in each market (n = 4,000) who are smartphone owners and AR non-rejectors.

Key findings from the study included:

Purchase decisions are spurred by AR: Branded AR experiences increase the likelihood to purchase, particularly in categories like home decor (73%), product personalization (73%), virtual try-on (72%) and product demonstration (70%).

High AR awareness and adoption: More than half of people aged 13–49 claimed to have used AR in the past, and nearly one-third have used branded AR. Snapchatters are 56% more likely than non-Snapchatters to have used branded AR.

Increasing role of AR in shopping landscape: More than three in four believe AR technology will play a role in how people shop in the next five years. Two in three who say they would use branded AR for shopping also agree they are likely to purchase after a branded AR experience.

Consumers are looking for AR: 54% actively search for AR experiences, most commonly seeking out branded AR by searching within the camera on digital platforms like Snapchat.

AR shareability heightens impact: 61% say the ability to easily share branded AR experiences is important to them.

The study indicates that branded AR experiences can positively impact and influence consumers at multiple points along the shopper journey, informing purchases, boosting positive brand perceptions and educating consumers.