New Report Shows AR Becoming Key To Consumer Engagement

A new report highlights the ways that AR plays a role in most consumers’ lives -- and ultimately, why it is the “gateway to the metaverse.”

Camera IQ  –– a no-code design platform that brands use to transform products and messaging into augmented reality (AR) experiences -- collected data from 1,500 U.S. consumers. Of those, 76% reported they had already used AR in some form, and over half said they expect to do so in the future. 

Camera IQ found that AR experiences are more likely to go viral, with 78% of respondents saying they were likely to share a brand’s AR experience with their digital community, while 53% said they have already done so on social media. Over 40% said they were more likely to share an AR experience on social media than other types of brand posts.

With 59% of consumers saying they would be more likely to buy a product they have seen visualized through AR, this type of immersive technology seems to accelerate a buyer’s journey. Eighty-two percent of consumers surveyed said they were more likely to accept a brand that used AR to educate them about their products or services, and 39% preferred when brands used AR over any other type of content. 

Companies like Pinterest and Snap have been dabbling in AR for years, recently utilizing various AR lenses to bridge the gap between social media and ecommerce. Specifically, with one-stop shop virtual try-ons, consumers are able to try a certain outfit or a new armchair virtually, before clicking on a direct link to the product catalog. 

Camera IQ found that 36% of consumers have engaged with this experience, whether trying on makeup, clothing, or accessories. This is just one significant brand use of AR. Thirty-nine percent of consumers have used product visualizations, and 32% reported playing AR-based games on their mobile devices. 

As AR lenses have become widely used in “Stories,” the report claims this ever-present form of social media has paved the way for AR’s popularity. Camera IQ found that 91% of consumers said they have used Stories, with 72% using them multiple times per week and 44% doing so daily. 

Just yesterday, Pretty Big Monster (PBM), an agency based in Los Angeles, attributed its 44% YoY growth in 2021 to its increased focus on AR and virtual reality (VR). Immersive experiential marketing campaigns helped PBM’s number of projects grow by 25%. They also reported a 15% increase in average project margins. 

“If social media platforms are the gateway to the metaverse, then augmented reality is the key,” says Allison Ferenci, CEO and cofounder of Camera IQ. “Consumers are already primed for mobile AR, so brands that choose to wait for an invitation to a single entry point into the metaverse are sure to be left behind.”

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