The state of Augmented Reality and the trends businesses need to know, as told by 15,000 respondents.

Despite growing exponentially in use and popularity, Augmented Reality is often dismissed as a technology still in its infancy. This mindset is challenged, however, by the findings of a new study released by Deloitte Digital and Snap Inc., which conducted one of the most comprehensive surveys to date on AR and its popularity across the world. The key takeaway? Not only is AR here to stay, but its rise tracks with that of mobile phones in the early 2000s, and is poised to revolutionize the digital experience.

Pandemic World, Augmented Reality

As the world retreated indoors and people everywhere looked for ways to continue life from the safety of their home, the draw of Augmented Reality exploded. A key statistic showed that over half (56%) of respondents agree that COVID-19 increased the importance of AR experiences and technical innovations in general. This increased interest isn’t just a nebulous collective feeling – global spending on AR is now projected to jump from about $12 billion to $72.8 billion in just three years. And if this sounds like it might abate in tandem with the pandemic, think again – three quarters of those surveyed expect AR to become even more important over the next five years.

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Brands Get in on the Fun

While more and more consumers have come to view AR as a practical tool, that hasn’t hindered its rise as a source of fun digital experiences. And with the numbers of users increasing – 65% noting they use the technology to have fun – it’s no surprise that brands have increasingly incorporated it into marketing campaigns. From Richemont to Modelo, every type of brand is looking to capitalize on the success of AR and use it to create engaging customer experiences. Placing 3D AR games and apparel launches in their space allows users to connect with a brand on a deeper level than you might think – creating memorable (and shareable) experiences that establishes a lasting relationship. With popularity surging as high as the Snap/Deloitte report suggests, it’s only a matter of time before every brand is forced to utilize it in some way if they want to stay relevant in today’s digital landscape.

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Augmenting More Than Just Realities

The interest in AR might be mischaracterized as Gen Z simply having fun, but adding “fun” to a brand strategy has actually been shown to boost both brand awareness and sales. Companies can add some color to their image and reach new audiences, and the results are easy to track – 94% higher conversion rates, to be clear. And it’s not just about engaging experiences – consumers are extremely interested in seeing AR features when shopping or interacting with brands. Almost 100% of respondents believe they’ll use AR for shopping at least the same amount next year, if not more. The technology is evolving, and the demand is there. E-commerce and Augmented Reality are on the way to becoming inseparable, and this trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

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How You Can Get Started with AR

You might have the perfect way to incorporate AR into your marketing campaigns or into your latest e-commerce website, or maybe you have no idea how to use it but you know it’s necessary. Feel free to get in touch with us and our team can walk you through the process from start to finish. And if you’re interested in learning more about Snap and Deloitte’s finding, you can see the full report

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