Brands are testing augmented reality's influence on e-commerce | RetailTechPodcast

Brands are testing augmented reality's influence on e-commerce

Augmented reality is far from becoming a mass force in advertising, but more brands are using it as a way to get customers to try out products before mobile purchases. The shift is from using AR for its novelty effect to using the technology where it's a good fit for a retail experience that's increasingly happening on mobile devices. Benefit Cosmetics, Speedo and Lego are among a flurry of advertisers weaving AR into their commerce strategies. "AR should have a big say in the future of commerce and the wider retail industry given how difficult high street stores are finding it now," said Lou Bennett, head of marketing for Benefit Cosmetics. "It's still being tested 18 months after it launched, with Benefit Cosmetics focusing early updates on the U.S."We've not launched the AR tool with any noise yet because it's really important to understand how people are using it so we can make tweaks where needed," said Bennett. Bennett said there were no immediate plans to launch an AR product on either Instagram or Snapchat, but did not rule out investments in the long term. "The in-app route will give companies better performance from a technological standpoint versus using the tools from the platforms because they're able to use the phone's processing power, but the platforms offer so much more immediate use cases because the development barriers aren't there," said Laurie Ainley, chief technology officer at AR startup Poplar. Read more