We’ve entered that glorious space between Memorial Day and Labor Day – summer weather, outdoor barbecues, white pants and more occasions to gather with friends, travel and pursue IRL experiences we have all missed out on over the past year and a half. Consumers are ready to make the rest of the year the best ever.
As brands look to connect with people in new and different ways, how will people be shopping? This past Prime Day, Amazon saw over 60% of sales happening on a consumer’s mobile device. Clearly consumers got a lot of practice shopping on their favorite device and that trend is here to stay. And while more consumers are flocking to physical stores, their mobile device is still very much part of the equation – helping them with list making, documenting experiences, exploring reviews, and social shopping by sharing with friends.
So this season, brands who want to help consumers have their best year yet better have a solid camera strategy in place. Here are some key tips to consider:
Understand the Power of the Camera
Everyone has a camera on their phone and is using it for a variety of needs. More than 200 million people interact with Augmented Reality (AR) on their phone on a daily basis, giving brands an opportunity to engage with a massive audience who is ready and willing to interact with your brand. According to a recent study Publicis Media did in partnership with Snap, we found that 66% of respondents were more likely to purchase after a branded AR experience and 76% believe AR will play a key role in shopping over the next 5 years – proving it’s not going away anytime soon.
The vast majority are using it for home décor (73%), product personalization (72%) and virtual try on for product demonstration (70%). Branded AR plays a critical role in converting to purchase and everyone has a camera on their phone that easily connects with AR technology, so if you’re a brand who wants to have long-term impact across generations, think about how AR can bring an immersive experience that adds value.
A Storefront in Your Pocket
AR allows users to “test-drive” products and see what they look like in their own worlds. Without having the in-store, tactical interactions, it’s essential for people to feel comfortable buying products that fit their needs and within their lives.
During the pandemic, we tested AR commerce with both Sally Hansen and Kohl’s, leveraging Snap capabilities. Sally Hansen had a major product launch in the summer of 2020 for its Miracle Gel collection. With COVID-related salon closures and stay at home orders, they needed a new way to reach consumers and maintain their category leader status. With social use on the rise during the pandemic, we found Snapchat users using AR lenses increased by 85%, so decided to introduce a first-to-market innovation: virtual try on technology for nails. Consumers could pick from five shades to try on and easily link to a shop button that took them to Ulta.com for a frictionless shopping experience. Similarly with Kohl’s, we created an augmented reality virtual closet in the Spring of 2020 with everyone’s favorite pandemic staple: athleisure wear. People were able to browse clothes from home via the messaging application and make purchases without ever leaving Snapchat.
Ease of social shopping also makes the experience more turnkey when it’s tied to product demos, recommendations or linked to social feeds – increasing purchase intent, so make the branded experience as frictionless as possible.
Starring Role in the Purchase Journey
If you have a camera on your phone, you can easily connect with AR technology. Your camera can solve math problems and reduce a number of friction points between consumers and brands - whether it’s virtual try-ons, browsing new products or seamless shopping without leaving the social environment or disrupting your experience. Pair this with the fact that there are numerous consumer need states where branded AR can play a role – everything from testing out home décor to product personalization to fitness.
People are purchasing things through the camera of their life
For brands, AR is a conversation powerhouse that holds enormous potential for brands. So as you prepare to take advantage of the summer months and near-term back to school shopping – with apparel sales on the rise and online shopping a long-term habit – you need to develop a camera strategy that builds brand connections and moves consumers to purchase. Having a camera strategy is your best defense against the old retail strategy.