The Time is Now to Use AR and VR to Boost the Online Shopping Experience

Karen Lee | Sr. Specialist, Research, Digital Performance Benchmarking Lakshmi Kalluri | Sr. Specialist, Research, Digital Performance Benchmarking Introduction Marketers have long faced a challenge in adopting augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) features as consumers view them as primarily gaming platforms. However, Gen Z and Millennials have driven demand for AR/VR features in their online shopping experiences. In light of declining in-store revenue from COVID-19 restrictions, the importance of creating a robust digital shopping experience bolstered with AR and VR features has skyrocketed. Consumers have turned online to make purchases: 47% increased online shopping on desktop in the last two months. In comparison, only 28% have increased shopping on mobile devices,1highlighting an opportunity for marketers to aid mobile commerce by adopting AR/VR to enable sophisticated product browsing and Testing. Marketers in leading categories who adopted AR/VR features before the COVID-19 pandemic have witnessed increased conversion rates.2,3 The rest, however, must now decide how best to incorporate AR/VR features and how to maximize their return upon implementation. To guide marketers, Gartner created a decision framework to help guide marketers in whether or not they should adopt AR/VR features. Through analyzing current consumer demands and brand practices, Gartner determined best-in-class AR/VR adoption strategies. Younger Gens Drive Usage of AR/VR Features Consumers on What They’ve Used AR/VR Features for ■ Gen Z and Millennials ■ Gen X, Boomers and Matures Key Findings ❺ Gen Z and Millennials drive consumer demand for AR/ VR features: 30% want more incorporated in their online shopping experiences, compared to 14% of older generations. ❺ Only 17% of analyzed brands offer AR/VR features on their mobile apps, with less than half allowing users to add products to cart directly. ❺ Best-in-class marketers, such as L’Oreal and Gucci, maximize usage of their AR/VR features by integrating them onto product pages on Amazon or providing commerce-linked filters on social media. Key Recommendations ❺ Fulfill unmet consumer needs for certain in-store experiences, such as browsing and trying on products by adopting relevant AR/VR features. ❺ Close the loop by ensuring AR/VR features either link to product pages or allow consumers to directly add products to cart. ❺ Maximize usage by promoting AR/VR features through social or email and incorporating the features onto e-tailer product pages and social platform filters. Key Recommendations ❺ Fulfill unmet consumer needs for certain in-store experiences, such as browsing and trying on products by adopting relevant AR/VR features. ❺ Close the loop by ensuring AR/VR features either link to product pages or allow consumers to directly add products to cart. ❺ Maximize usage by promoting AR/VR features through social or email and incorporating the features onto e-tailer product pages and social platform filters.

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