Consumer expectations accelerate as AR transforms daily life

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New research from Snap released today reveals that as consumer expectations of the possibilities of augmented reality, or AR, grow, a major gulf exists when it comes to brands’ perception of how consumers want to use it.

AR revolution

The study of more than 25,000 people across 11 markets, in partnership with Ipsos, highlights mainstream adoption of AR amongst consumers and reveals massive opportunities for brands to use AR to engage, inform, entertain and build customer loyalty.

The UK survey reveals 94% of brands still perceive ‘fun’ as the main draw for people to use AR. 

In fact, only 54% of people think of it this way, with over half (55%) of UK consumers listing shopping as their top reason for engaging with AR. 

These consumers said the technology makes their shopping experience better, easier and quicker, with 6 in 10 stating that AR helps them shop in new and exciting ways.

According to the research, people believe the technology has the potential to transform their experiences in day to day life, not just when it comes to shopping but also in entertainment, work, education and health. 

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AR you ready… Brands need to do more work to understand consumers’ use of new tech.

The report found that 70% are interested in AR for entertainment such as concerts and sports events, while 60% said that they were interested in experiencing it at events and conferences.

Helping people use the new technology to learn more about the world represents a huge untapped opportunity for brands to innovate:

  • 77% of people say they’re interested in AR for learning, but only 23% of brands say that they’re interested in providing learning experiences based on the technology.
  • 67% are interested in using the tech to participate in wellness or fitness activities such as pace runners.
  • A desire to use AR to explore the world shows 78% of people expressing interest in accessing augmented reality maps.

Brands already using AR report its significant positive impact on loyalty, with 64% saying it improves loyalty and customer experience. 

Driving sales

Moreover, 82% of brands said it helps to drive sales, acquire new customers and drive performance metrics, while 88% said it improves engagement and appeal to young audiences. 

It helps their customers to explore the world, connect with others and improve themselves.

Ed Couchman, Regional UK General Manager, Snap Inc said, “Over 250 million Snapchatters use augmented reality every day on average and this report further enforces the importance of this technology. 

“AR has endless potential to transform our daily lives – from the way we shop, to our experiences in a crowd at a concert, or as a tool to learn about the world. 

“We’re excited to see the scale of opportunity for brands to entertain, engage, drive value, build loyalty – and crucially, deliver real business results.”