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Consumers expectations accelerate around AR, finds study from Snap and Ipsos

Research from Snap has revealed that, despite the growing expectations of consumers around the potential of augmented reality, a major gulf exists when it comes to brands’ perception of how consumers want to use it. 

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

Helping people use AR 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 AR learning experiences. 67% are interested in using AR 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 AR maps.

Brands already using AR report its significant positive impact on loyalty. 64% said it improves loyalty and customer experience. 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.”

The Augmentality Shift research combines quantitative surveys among consumers and brand decision makers that has been conducted in sixteen global markets, including U.S., UK, France, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, India, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The report is based on a survey of 24,849 participants aged 13-44 who own and use a smartphone, from which 20,279 use or are open to using AR in the future, as well as 1,021 senior decision makers drawn from brands or agencies that have used AR or are open to using AR in the future. 

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