Study: AR offers product transparency customers are willing to pay for

Three in four customers are willing to pay for a product that promises the transparency that AR can offer. According to a 2021 Deloitte Digital study commissioned by Snap which surveyed 15,000 consumers worldwide including Malaysia, 78% said AR gives them more confidence about product quality. On the same thread, over half want to use AR technology to assess products, allowing for a risk-free “try before you buy” experience.

In fact, 68% of users expect to readily view information about an item or product as soon as it is scanned with the phone camera to improve the shopping experience with minimal physical contact. At the same time, 94% of respondents will use AR the same or more when shopping next year. Companies with AR branded experiences are also 55% more likely to be considered by consumers. Consumers also rely on family and friends to discover branded experiences, especially 33% of Gen Z, 35% of Millennials, and 39% of Gen X. Meanwhile, the majority of Gen Z (54%) and Millennials (64%) find it important to share branded AR easily.

Some brands have already jumped on board this AR trend. Beauty brands and retail stores such as Sephora, for example, had to rely on AR during COVID-19 since testers were not allowed. Sephora’s virtual artist function on its app taps on the AR technology of ModiFace to enable consumers to try on a range of products. Meanwhile, BMW Malaysia and Pepsi also launched an AR showroom and an AR concert respectively.

Malaysians view AR as an important factor in their lives, with nine in 10 Malaysians indicating that AR will be even more important in their lives in the next five years. Staying connected with loved ones, learning something new, and improving productivity levels are some of the use cases consumers expect themselves to tap on AR for in the future. Moving forward, consumers plan on using AR more in four key growth areas: media (70%), shopping (65%), communications (58%), and gaming (55%).

According to the report, about three million Gen Z and Millennials are frequent AR users who use the function either weekly or daily. As of this year, the number is expected to grow by 187% to 8.6 million in 2025. The report estimates this number to be half of the Malaysian Gen Z and Millennial population in the country.  

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Gen Z and Millennials are also 71% more likely to use AR all the time versus older generations, the report found. Meanwhile, older generations are nearly 20% more likely to view AR primarily as a practical function.  Interestingly, household size also impacts the use of AR, with bigger households being 89% more likely than solo households to use AR all the time.

Approximately half of the 15,000 individuals surveyed globally are Snapchat users. For Malaysia in particular, 64% of the respondents who are Snapchat users said they use AR primarily at home for communication (98%), media and entertainment (81%), gaming (79%), and shopping (67%). AR is also most commonly used to remain connected with family and friends, with 88% noting that they use AR to frequently communicate creatively with one another.

Meanwhile, most of the consumers surveyed (73%) are also finding ways to make the media they consume more enjoyable and engaging through the use of AR, such as improvising their video content to stand out amongst others and elevating gameplay experience with interactive features.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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