Our research with Snapchat illustrates the powerful impact of AR on sustainability

AR & Sustainability

Our research with Snapchat illustrates the powerful impact of AR on sustainability

We were thrilled to unveil this study with Snap. Read on below for the full press release, or check out more about the research on the Snap blog.


Snapchat and Alter Agents research illustrates the powerful impact of augmented reality on sustainability

Study finds that AR delivers more sustainable shopping experiences for consumers, profitability for brands and positive environmental impacts


LOS ANGELES, CA – 05 June 2024 – Snap, Inc. and Alter Agents today released the findings of research that explores the value of augmented reality (AR) in driving sustainability. The study found that, across categories, consumers are highly receptive to brands utilizing AR to support sustainability initiatives. In addition, AR experiences can positively impact the environment and overall brand profitability.


“Over 300 million Snapchatters engage with AR every day on average, and we know that widespread usage of AR has grown to nearly 75% of the global population. With this in mind, brands need to understand its potential,” said Alexander Dao, Global Head of Agency Development & Sales Partnerships at Snap. “Our study shows that one area where AR can have the greatest impact is sustainability, with tangible benefits such as reduced purchase returns, as well as delivering positive brand perception and trust through increased transparency, authenticity, and reduced waste.”

For this study, Alter Agents conducted a quantitative survey among 7,500 AR users, ages 13-45, across five countries, including France, India, Saudi Arabia, United States and United Kingdom. In addition, the study included in-depth interviews with experts and stakeholders in both AR and sustainability on the following topics: marketing, manufacturing, business impact, and DEI.

Eighty percent of consumers feel more confident in their purchase as a result of using AR, and 69% feel that AR is the future of shopping. They are drawn to AR’s potential to streamline their shopping experiences and contribute to sustainability through features like virtual try on before purchase. Ninety-three percent of consumers have either maintained or increased their purchases of sustainable products over the past year, plus there is an overall increase in public demand for brands to focus on sustainability efforts.

Some specific findings from the research include:

  • AR experiences that positively impact sustainability increase consumer confidence in purchases, with 84% more likely to make a purchase, 71% less likely to ask for a refund and 69% willing to pay more. 
  • AR experiences, such as virtual try before buy, attract consumers across categories like personal care (84%) and clothing (80%). In categories like quick service restaurants, automotive and entertainment, waste reduction and transparency top the list.
  • Consumers see the sustainability benefits (88%) of AR even more than the technology (79%) or accessibility (68%) benefits.
  • AR can power up to a 46% reduction in carbon emissions when online shopping and consumers across categories, consumers would use AR 68% of the time to reduce emissions via things like virtual try-ons, digital menus, product customization, and virtual event attendance.

The research shows that augmented reality can reshape approaches to sustainability and profitability, offering brands an opportunity to lead with innovation and integrity.

Read more about the study here: https://forbusiness.snapchat.com/blog/ar-for-sustainability


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