By 2025, virtual and augmented reality is expected to become an $80 billion market, according to Goldman Sachs Technology Research Group. The blending of physical and virtual, leveraging AR technology, provides increased opportunities for fashion to: accelerate or shape new paths to purchase; stimulate brand discoverability; connect event and commercial strategies; and tap into an emerging new creator economy.
Held at New York’s Polo Bar under Chatham House rule, the event was designed to educate market leaders on the size and nature of the AR opportunity, backed by data and insights from Snap Inc., before inviting participants to share their own learnings in integrating AR into their businesses, discussing with their peers the challenges they have overcome and those they foresee for the future.
Organized in partnership with Snap Inc. and moderated by BoF’s Rahul Malik, the conversation was attended by a list of top executives from Amazon Fashion, Diane Von Furstenberg, Fendi, Givenchy, Tom Ford and LVMH, among others.
Innovate the buying journey
From AR fitting to using LiDar to accurately estimate a wearer’s shoe size or filters as a frictionless barrier to entry, new technology is emerging as a powerful tool for improving the customer experience. With more than 110 million people in the United States alone expected to use AR at least once a month by 2023, its potential continues to grow. Snap “lenses” are used by more than 250 million Snapchat users every day.
“I think Fendi has [succeeded in] use it to highlight the brand with more awareness and an attractive yet activating essay. A lot of these brands have done a really good job of knowing when to use a highly creative lens versus a simpler one, let’s play and try the products,” were some of a guest’s opening comments.
“Depending on what that point of buying that product is to the reality of how they can swipe the website or even buy – I think there are definitely different models and different use cases to leverage , bringing the world of a brand to the consumer instead of having someone actually play with the whole product,” they continued.
In fact, 86% of US brands that use augmented reality say it helps increase sales, acquire new customers, and improve performance metrics, as Snap Inc.’s “Augmentality Shift” report found. in partnership with the market research group Ipsos.
Augmented reality is also a cost-effective way to encourage consumers to interact with products. Some companies get less than 0.01 cents per trial of their products. For example, through its catalog-powered Shopping Lenses integration through Snap Inc., American Eagle enabled users to actively engage with and purchase products. The result: glasses generating more than 11 million impressions, with the brand being above average in terms of reach and engagement.
It’s not just consumer utility that you’re trying to bring to the brand. It’s also something that keeps your customers excited.
“Our customer advisors have been empowered to share this experience with their customers and use it as a vehicle for product discovery and excitement,” said one attendee.
The conversation shifted to focus on uniting the AR experience with customer conversion and awareness. “We’re seeing AR purchases in the mainstream, having the ability to not just see, but also try it on themselves,” said a Snap Inc representative. “Ultimately, that’s what drives excitement around shopping. Now you have the opportunity to discover product launches, bags, sneakers, jewelry and watches – it’s a convenience factor. »
However, “how do you navigate this tension of using a state-of-the-art and therefore ever-evolving product?” asked one participant.
“Often new things can scare people away. But for us, it’s more about looking at where consumerism is heading, what resonates, and then being able to come back to it with something that makes sense,” a Snap Inc. representative shared with the group.
“I think it needs to happen more frequently and then consumers will basically expect you to do it. It can’t be something you do as a one-off, kitschy idea,” another guest said.
Fusion of physical and digital events
Shopify research suggests that 66% of end consumers want to use AR to help them make purchasing decisions, and by 2025 nearly 75% of the world’s population – and nearly all smartphone users – will be frequent AR users.
Saïd Business School reports how sensory marketing could be key to breaking into consumers who are increasingly indifferent to online advertising – a study by Magma Global found that 84% of smartphone users ignore advertisements while on the go , especially among young people.
As AR glasses go mainstream – Snap’s Spectacles 3 use dual cameras to create 3D photos and videos – consumers will soon be equipped with the hardware to help seamlessly blend physical and digital spaces throughout the game. daytime.
“Based on a consumer experience [standpoint] and cultural relevance as well, I’d be curious to know how you really deliver that kind of authenticity in that context,” said one participant.
vogue X Snapchat: Redefining the Body featured designs from seven fashion brands – Balenciaga, Dior, Gucci, Kenneth Ize, Richard Quinn, Stella McCartney and Versace – and used custom Snapchat lenses to further enhance the experience through try-on in an immersive world with archival, contemporary and exclusive pieces.
New things can scare people. But it’s more about looking at which direction consumerism is headed, what resonates.
“Understand how to use it from a full funnel perspective – [with the] simplifying every shoe and eyewear brand and having a partnership where you have 3D assets – we’re still on the buying experience with Snap for products that are more realistic and buyable, with no impact on the taking process purchasing decision as well. But beyond that, they took the approach from a brand and experience perspective,” a guest added.
Harnessing a New Creator Economy
Snap Inc. has created a Creator Marketplace, empowering over 250,000 creators, developers and partners to create millions of AR experiences and connect them to brands and agencies looking to improve the retail experience and search of AR talent.
“We have already observed that new technologies create friction with consumers. As a leader in AR, our ambitions are well ahead of where the consumer is today,” said a representative from Snap Inc. “With eyewear, we are only now making it available to creators to leverage a creative experience. We strongly believe in the power of augmented reality — it [just] requires patience and time before it becomes widespread and more scalable.
Another example is Landmarker, a unique lens experience that tracks the visual characteristics of a specific physical location, or landmark, at various locations around the world. With this lens, you can create a 3D experience connected to architecture.
“There’s a really strong point about how Snapchat helps condition users around certain behaviors that can then be adopted, independent of Snapchat,” said one participant.
“Thinking about how the video game industry works, because for Gen Z and young millennials, it’s the same way we all watch TV, this applies to millennials and older video games. That isn’t a nerd thing anymore – everyone plays video games, and it’s formed a lot of kids around some [user interfaces]certain clues specific to video games,” they said.
Disclaimer: The executives of Snap Inc. have chosen to exempt themselves from the Chatham House rule for this article.
This is a sponsored feature paid for by Snap Inc. under a BoF partnership.
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