Snap thinks augmented reality is “the future of shopping“—and it wants brands and marketers who might pay for its AR services to know that.
To illustrate the effect AR tech has on digital shopping, Snap partnered with ad agency/PR company Publicis Media and with market research consultancy Alter Agents to conduct a study that asked 4,028 shoppers about their experiences with AR, and looked at daily diaries from consumers in the U.S., U.K., France, and Saudi Arabia.
The study showed AR can significantly impact the rate at which digitally shopped items are returned: 66% of people who encounter AR tech in the buying process said they were less likely to return the product they bought once it arrived on their doorstep.
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Research also found that 80% of shoppers feel more confident in committing to the buy if there’s some kind of AR component involved in the shopping process.
“Brands can inspire shoppers to do a lot with AR, from product visualization to trying on the latest pair of sneakers, to using a product carousel to explore different colors or fits, and even interacting with the brand using special effects or gamified experiences,” Snap said in a post about the study’s results. “These interactive features inherently instill confidence in shoppers by offering them a more accurate and complete view of a product.”
Snap’s study claims AR features like virtual try-ons make people more likely to click “buy” across virtually every category, from beauty (69% said they’re more likely to buy with AR tech involved than without) to clothing (74%) to food/beverage (60%) to retail (70%) and travel (64%).
And, with all this in mind, Snap pitches itself as the solution for brands and ad agencies who want to wrap AR tech into their selling strategies.
“With 37% of shoppers discovering AR experiences on Snapchat, the platform is the second-largest source of AR discovery during shopping, after store websites,” it said. “Snapchat can work with your brand to make AR a part of your consumers’ discovery and purchase journey.”
Snapchat is far from the only platform interested in AR tech—and in blending social media with ecommerce as a whole. YouTube has dabbled with try-on features and is getting more and more into live shopping. TikTok, meanwhile, has a partnership with Shopify that lets users buy products directly from Shopify stores without leaving the TikTok app.