So far 2020 has been nothing but a year of massive growth for all things augmented reality (AR). Between the pandemic pushing brands to rethink their digital experiences and homebound consumers spending more time on their devices, augmented reality has become a mainstream technology that bridges the online gap between brands and their customers.
Given the absence and safety concerns around physical stores and outlets, augmented reality is not only giving brands an engaging way to offer immersive shopping experiences that boost conversions but also empowering online shoppers to virtually try on products before buying them, all from the safety and comfort of their homes.
Having said that, you don't have to take our word for it. Following are the latest augmented reality statistics that shed light on where the AR market, adoption, usage and benefits are headed:
With promising use cases of augmented reality exploding in countless industries like gaming, education, healthcare, manufacturing and tourism, retail and ecommerce has been the latest addition as more and more brands realise the advantages and impact of this immersive technology on their bottom lines.
One of the first adopters of AR shopping and subsequently driving astounding results, IKEA validated and paved the way for a number of retail brands to consider AR as a powerful driver. The biggest names that followed suit include Gucci, Burberry, Nike, Converse, Warby Parker, Sephora, Target, Houzz and GAP, to name a few.
In an attention economy, augmented reality has proven to skyrocket engagement rates and significantly increase brand recall as compared to any other form of visual media. Mainly due its inherently interactive nature.
Given the immersive nature of AR and the absence of in-store shopping, it comes as no surprise that the technology is producing higher levels of engagement. Coming to conversions, online shoppers have long demanded for better ways to visualize and try-on products online. With augmented reality, consumers are empowered to make confident purchase decisions as they gauge the actual look, feel and size of products on themselves or in their own space (for furniture and home items).
AR is winning against traditional product images, videos and size guides as a whooping 61% of online shoppers prefer sites that offer AR versus those that don't. Again, this comes as no surprise but what's interesting is the fact that they would choose to shop more. This is primarily due to the convenience factor that ecommerce brings against physical retail.
It's a known fact that consumers order the same products in different sizes and colours. Only so that they can try them, keep the ones that fit and look good and return the rest. They do so because current experiences fail to equip them to make the right choice- leaving them confused and not confident about which would look good. AR on the other hand tackles this problem with great ease.
Similarly, AR based tooltips are easy to interact with to find more product details, as compared to reading long paragraphs of product descriptions on each page.
AR-enabled try ons address key purchase objections and questions. Naturally, it saves time as they're not left to wonder a piece of clothing might look on them or whether a sofa will fit in their space.
With AR, online shoppers get equipped to make confident purchase decisions which inevitably increases their satisfaction with the brand.
Clothing & Apparel
Food & Beverage
Cosmetics & Makeup
With Apple rolling out ARKit and Android following suit with ARCore, AR based apps have become mainstream and is currently seeing more than 1 billion users globally
When presented with the option to use AR try-ons, consumers have shown an overwhelmingly positive response towards it. As a result, brands and retailers that want to keep up with changing consumer behaviour will have to innovate to meet the new standard. As Hanna Karki, principal research analyst at Gartner points out, "Retailers are under increasing pressure to explain the purpose of physical stores, and take control of the fulfillment and return process for cross-channel execution. At the same time, consumers are progressively defining the value provided by the experiences they receive from retailers. As a result of these pressures, retailers are turning to AR and VR to offer customers a unified retail experience inside and outside retail stores.”
With momentum and adoption on its side, according to Statista the AR/VR market currently stands at $18.8 Bn. Additionally it is projected to cross $50Bn by 2024. Growth in retail and ecommerce in developed markets is mainly responsible for this as more and more top brands jump onboard to meet changing customer expectations.
increase in conversion rates seen by retail brands after offering AR try-ons and visualizations
Reduction in return rates seen by brands as online shoppers are empowered to make correct purchase decisions
As Deloitte points out, retail brands that leverage AR currently have annual revenues between $100Mn and $1Bn. This comprises only 1% of retailers worldwide and leaves out countless brands that rake in lesser revenues.
For brands and retailers adopting AR presents a huge in-house challenge of hiring 3D and AR experts and equipping themselves with the infrastructure and resources needed. The better alternative is hands down to partner with the right end-to-end solution. Here at Designhubz, our platform and digitization rig can convert your physical inventory into ready to embed 3D & AR try-ons, at scale. We're the proud solution for brands like IKEA, Alexandra McQueen, JoiGifts and more. Book a demo to find out more.
If current statistics and trends are anything to go by, it's that augmented reality is no longer a farfetched technology that can be put on the back burner. On the contrary, it's meteoric rise as a mainstream technology proves that it's here to stay, and for good reason.
Brands are adopting AR for its positive impact on conversions, returns, engagement, brand recall and overall customer experience. On the other hand, consumers are loving the technology since it's empowering them to make better purchase decisions. In fact, for brands that are yet to adopt AR it might be time to reconsider.