Augmented Commerce: Interactive Shopping
Nudged to embrace new features by increasing digitisation and the desire for frictionless user journeys, younger consumers are ready to embrace AR shopping.
As AR delivers twice the levels of visual attention compared to non-AR equivalents, brands will continue to enter the space with a focus on shareability and co-creation.
1. Snap is King
The platform has nurtured a 200M-strong community of users experiencing AR daily through Lenses, proprietary photo and video filters.
In 2022, Snap Inc. launched its Shopping Lens feature, allowing users to swipe through products from different retailers and 'try' them on by looking into their phone’s camera. AR is then applied in real-time, using facial mapping and computer vision technology to create dynamic 3D visuals.
250,000 creators and developers use Snap Inc.’s AR ecosystem to fuel immersive activations with partners including Prada, Farfetch, and Gucci.
As an indication of things to come, Snap’s AR Innovation Lab, GHOST, affords $4.5 million in special funding for research and development in cutting edge technologies.
Ulta Beauty and Mac Cosmetics are among the first to use Snapchat Shopping. Lenses allowing consumers to apply 3D cosmetics that move in real-time with their facial expressions, producing a high-accuracy simulation of real-life product applications. The technology is expected to increase conversions and decrease returns.
Pangaia debuted genderless grape leather sneakers with a virtual try-on (VTO) AR campaign on Snapchat. Users can ‘try on’ the sneakers and explore different colours before swiping up to buy.
2. Pinterest Expands AR Lenses into Home
Since its launch, Pinterest has been grounded in intentional search and discovery, turning 97% of unbranded searches into branded purchases. The platform started its AR journey in 2020 with a small roster of beauty brands, including Lacome and YSL, and recently introduced a Try On feature for Home Decor.
Brands like Wayfair, Crate & Barrel, CB2, Walmart, and West Elm are the first to set up AR Try On Pins, allowing customers to experience virtual items in their homes. The feature is available for U.S. users only, but extended access is expected soon.
According to Pinterest, users are five times more likely to buy items featured in Try On-enabled pins than standard pins.
3. Meta ads go 3D
Taking a step further into the metaverse, Meta announced its latest integration with 3D eCommerce technology provider VNTANA. This partnership will allow brands to automate creating and publishing 3D ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Brands will now be able to upload existing 3D designs from true-to-life digital product simulation programs, including Browzwear, Clo, and Keyshot, to allow users to view the products from different angles.
What does this mean for brands?
Consumers are more receptive to shopping when feeling engaged. Immerse them with rich AR experiences and cultivate top-of-mind awareness.
Eliminate friction through the funnel and decrease returns by allowing customers to interact with your product before committing to a purchase.
Consider purchase intent across your main audience segments and assign different objectives across channels. Augmented commerce filters can allow inspiration-seeking Instagrammers to get acquainted with your brand, and facilitate purchase for high-intent Pinners.