How brands are using AR to reach consumers during the pandemic


Italian luxurious vogue home Gucci is letting clients nearly “try on” footwear and see how they give the impression of being earlier than shopping for the identical new Augmented actuality (AR) lens on Snapchat. If you thought the idea of “shoppable” augmented actuality shoe try-ons is just too area of interest, you are mistaken. In reality, main brands like Audi and OnePlus, and even luxurious vogue homes and wonder brands reminiscent of Louis Vuitton and L’Oréal are using augmented actuality to interact consumers and create distinctive and immersive digital experiences during the pandemic. Experts say the international pandemic has generated larger curiosity in immersive applied sciences like augmented actuality in the previous couple of months, opening a brand new channel to reach consumers by means of smartphones, when many want to keep indoors and store on-line.

“Nobody wants to step into a physical store, try on clothes which have been tried out by other people, or touch surfaces. So that’s why we have seen that the uptake for AR has increased multifold in the past year,” defined Gaurav Baid, founder and COO of Avataar.Me, a Bengaluru-based AR promoting platform.

Consumers can strive on Gucci footwear with out really placing them on their ft, thanks to the model’s collaboration with social media large Snapchat. (Image credit score: Snapchat)


Baid, who works carefully with companions like Facebook and Google, says brands are conscious of how important 3D prolonged actuality (XR) and augmented actuality (AR) is to product discovery. In reality, he stated loads of large brands now have a devoted in-house AR/VR staff inside the advertising and marketing unit.

Augmented Reality (AR) is an rising expertise that mixes digital info with the actual. Till now, AR has seen larger acceptance in the enterprise market, however on the shopper facet, adoption has been fairly sluggish regardless of greatest efforts from Apple and Google. Apple, as an example, began closely selling AR in 2017. With an iPhone, you may entry numerous augmented actuality apps for gaming and training, however the world is but to see a killer AR app that has mass adoption.

But, thanks to the international pandemic, augmented actuality is changing into a key differentiator for some brands. All of a sudden, retailers and brands that are hit most by the Covid-19 and prolonged lockdowns in Europe, have discovered new use circumstances in AR.

Leo Gebbie, a senior analyst at CCS Insight, protecting wearables and prolonged actuality units, explains, “AR has proven an extremely valuable technology for certain businesses as they have navigated the turbulent waters of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many companies that had been evaluating the technology for their businesses have made rapid decisions to deploy them to bridge operational challenges.”

augmented regality, AR, AR marketing and advertising, luxury brands using AR, Gucci Snapchat, Louis Vuitton, Google make up try on, AR apps, Covid-19 Audi allows you to use augmented actuality to expertise the Audi A6. (Image credit score: Audi)

Although bodily shops have now began opening in India, consumers are nonetheless hesitant to go to a few of them, like automotive dealerships. In response, German luxurious automaker Audi is using augmented actuality to permit consumers to expertise the Audi A6. Using a smartphone or laptop computer and an internet browser (no want to obtain the app), folks can preview what the Audi A6 has to provide proper in the consolation of their properties. Brands like Audi are turning their consideration to the web-based XR expertise, which is the simplest and cost-effective manner to reach out to consumers using augmented actuality expertise.

Farooq Adam, who co-founded Mumbai-based O2O market Fynd, sees WebAR (brief for Web-based Augmented Reality) as the first step in direction of constructing AR content material experiences, notably in the retail sector. More brands are using WebAR over AR for cellular advertising and marketing campaigns, and whereas some could also be shocked to hear that, this pattern will doubtless proceed.

“A lot of the traffic that comes to retailers today, and especially Indian retailers, is on their website. They cannot leverage any of these things [ARKit and ARCore] because they’re still stuck in the browser world. For them to fully harness app-based AR, they will have to invest in an app. But then the app growth dynamics come in, where you have to get people to install the app, which is a costly affair, so they just don’t end up doing any of that,” Adam explains.

“I expect smartphone-based XR experiences to remain dominant in the mass market for at least the next few years, as it will still take some time before AR headsets reach the market penetration required to become a mainstream technology,” Gebbie stated.

“AR and VR will first get mass adoption in entertainment and gaming, before we can start seeing strong use cases, the use cases being completely becoming native on devices, till then the WebAR will have to play the bridge gap,” Adam stated. He additional added that WebAR has matured over time and can proceed to achieve this. “Web GL features will make acceleration faster, especially when you’re entering these graphics on your face or anyone in the real world. But it doesn’t get the hardware support that you get on the ARKit and ARCore.”

Two sectors which have proven nice curiosity in augmented actuality expertise during the pandemic are luxurious vogue homes and cosmetics brands. Last 12 months, Louis Vuitton teamed up with Snapchat for a singular manner to promote the model. When customers scan its monogram, they are going to be taken to a “virtual installation” that includes LV’s traditional trunks and newest collections. Another high-profile luxurious model, Dior, used the WebAR expertise to flip its invites for the Autumn-Winter 2020–2021 Haute Couture assortment into an immersive expertise. Meanwhile, New York-based vogue label Khaite used WebAR to preview its Spring-Summer 2021 assortment.

“Augmented reality has been able to break and get into consumers’ lifestyles, because once you get into the lifestyle aspect and solve an actual need for them, then it becomes more widespread in terms of consumer adoption,” Baid stated.

augmented regality, AR, AR marketing and advertising, luxury brands using AR, Gucci Snapchat, Louis Vuitton, Google make up try on, AR apps, Covid-19 A brand new augmented actuality try-on mirror is what you want to check out MAC Cosmetics’ lip and eye merchandise. (Image credit score: Mac Cosmetics)

Virtual try-on experiences by means of Snapchat filters or WebAR are already seen as the largest use case of augmented actuality in the retail sector. A number of cosmetics brands and wonder retailers, together with L’Oréal, Mac Cosmetics and Sephora, are betting on a Virtual Try-On function to enchantment to consumers. In May final 12 months, MAC Cosmetics added an AR try-on software for its e-commerce web site. With a digital try-on function, you possibly can strive Mac’s lip and eye merchandise in AR settings. French magnificence retailer Sephora can be investing closely in augmented actuality expertise. Its cellular utility has a built-in AR-enabled try-on function that enables customers to strive on make-up merchandise provided by Sephora, earlier than buying them. L’Oréal, too, understands how crucial AR is to its enterprise technique. The cosmetics large is working with tech firms like Snapchat, Google, and Pinterest to develop its digital make-up try-on capabilities.

Luxury vogue homes and wonder brands are conscious of how shopper preferences have modified over the previous couple of months, and the use of augmented actuality expertise is part of the technique to innovate in testing instances like these. “In the contactless world makeup is the first thing, which you need to see it on yourself before you buy it. And AR is the most obvious solution to do it,” Adam stated. “When we went to the market and spoke about it, the bar to sell beauty products, and especially luxury beauty products is really high. You cannot go and sell a product, which is gimmicky because it is an aspirational product,” he added.

Adam’s Fynd is behind the GlamAR resolution which helps magnificence brands and e-commerce firms to reach out to a broad person base by means of augmented actuality expertise. The thought behind GlamAR is to allow consumers to nearly check out the magnificence and make-up merchandise in real-time on their smartphones earlier than making a purchase order. The resolution is simple to embed on the web site or the app. While Adam didn’t reveal what number of brands have agreed to use the new Glam AR resolution, he stated eight brands are at completely different levels of piloting with the firm. Fynd additionally has a GlamAR Mirror app, which tries to replicate the mirror one finds in the bodily retailer. The firm doesn’t cost for the GlamAR mirror from clients. Instead, Fynd fees for the SKU.

Then there’s additionally the query of the devoted {hardware}, together with AR glasses, and content material wanted to assist AR functions.

“In a few years, XR may begin redrawing our understanding of how we interact with the world around us, and has the potential in the future to become just as important as the smartphone is today,” Gebbie stated. “At CCS Insight we predict that the next few years will see huge names like Apple, Samsung and Google launching XR devices, which we believe will trigger a huge wave of interest in the technology, accelerating sales at a phenomenal pace.”

The use of immersive applied sciences like augmented actuality and digital actuality in advertising and marketing and promoting is ready to develop, although each applied sciences have a unique future. “When it comes to enterprise use cases VR will always outweigh AR simply becomes the fact that you want to create an environment where people can see an office at their homes,” stated Pulkit Mathur, who’s CEO and Co-founder of Gurugram-based AR/AR start-up Queppelin. Mathur believes VR will change into extra standard on the enterprise facet whereas AR will get important traction on the shopper facet. Both AR and VR, in accordance to Mathur, can coexist concurrently.

Integrating the digital and bodily worlds, augmented actuality presents brands, particularly tech firms like Google, Facebook and Snapchat, a brand new income. Google including AR make-up try-on instruments to purchasing app, or Snapchat using AR to develop into social commerce present how tech firms need to money in on the rise in spending in AR advertising and marketing and promoting. Does that imply the AR is the way forward for promoting?

“With AI as a format, your return on ad spend could increase by more than 100 to 250 per cent. This is because of the organic amplification which AR brings into the picture,” stated Baid.


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