The Future of Shopping Has Arrived, and it’s Augmented Reality

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The Future of Shopping Has Arrived, and it’s Augmented Reality

In a new post for their business blog, Alter Agents client Snapchat announced new research finding that “augmented reality (AR) is the perfect medium for brands to provide a seamless shopping experience.” We’re excited to present some of the findings from our study with the platform and partner Publicis Media on how brands and marketers can leverage AR to drive purchases!


“When buying products online, shoppers want to make sure they’re making a purchase that they will ultimately be happy with, and AR unlocks a huge opportunity when it comes to buyer confidence because of the advancements in fit and placement technology,” says Dave Roter, vice president of global agency partnerships at Snap Inc. “Immersive customer experiences using AR are helping our advertisers sell more products while driving more long-term customer value.”


Our international research study explored how consumers are using augmented reality for shopping in key categories including beauty, clothing, retail, travel, and food & beverage. We conducted this research in two phases. The first was a quantitative survey among 4,028 shoppers aged 13-49 in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Saudi Arabia who have used AR for shopping that featured a MaxDiff and TURF analysis of purchase drivers. The second was a qualitative phase involving 37 mobile ethnographic interviews and daily diaries among consumers in these 4 markets.


Key Findings

  • AR plays a critical role in driving purchases. We found that more than two-thirds of shoppers who use augmented reality for the shopping process say they intend to purchase products after using it. This finding was consistent in all four markets and our product and service categories. Using MaxDiff and TURF analysis, we found that 7 of the top 10 features driving purchase decisions were AR-related.
  • Shoppers feel more confident about purchases after using AR. Buyer confidence is critical, and 80% of shoppers who use augmented reality during their process say they feel more confident in their purchase as a result of using that interactive technology.
  • AR shoppers are less likely to return products. That confidence doesn’t just help buyers make decisions. It also reduces the likelihood that shoppers will return purchases. About two-thirds of AR shoppers follow that pattern.
  • Shoppers will use AR to talk about their purchases. Almost all AR shoppers say they would want to engage with the technology after purchasing as well, either to learn more about the product, share their experience, or give a review.
  • Snapchat is a leader in AR shopping experiences. Over a third of shoppers discover AR experiences on the platform, and Snapchat is the second-largest source of AR discovery during shopping, after store websites. This gives brands a prime opportunity to launch category-specific marketing campaigns targeted to an actively engaged audience.


Augmented reality is the next frontier in shopping, and our clients are at the forefront. You can read more about our work with augmented reality on our blog. If you’re interested in conducting a study on your key audiences and shoppers with Alter Agents, we’d be happy to help.

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About the Author:

Adrienne Lieberman is an Associate Research Director at Alter Agents. After receiving her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago, Adrienne brought her enthusiasm for understanding what drives behavior to the market research industry. With almost 10 years of experience, Adrienne has led multiple projects for clients spanning media, entertainment, apparel, and retail industries. Adrienne strives to tell compelling stories, employing methodologies such as brand tracking, segmentations, awareness and usage, as well as online communities, focus groups, and IDIs.

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