Consumers Mixed on Shopping with AR

Mass adoption depends on technological advances

August 3, 2018

Emerging technologies like augmented reality (AR) offer new promise for retailers looking to elevate the shopping experience. But are people interested?  

According to an eMarketer survey conducted by Bizrate Insights, which polled 1,150 US internet users in July 2018, most respondents have never used AR while shopping. While there are many (48.1%) who don't intend to, there are also many (42.3%) who would like to. 

“AR is one of the more interesting technologies to enter the retail space of late," eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman said. "Already, there are some compelling use cases like trying on virtual glasses and makeup, or envisioning a new couch in your living room.

"The killer use case will be for trying on apparel, but that requires more than a static overlay image to accommodate different fits and body positions. Once the technology advances to that level, you can expect mainstream market adoption,” he added. 

For some, mainstream adoption has already started to happen. According to a January 2018 survey by Ericsson, 17% of augmented reality and virtual reality users worldwide said the technology is already making it possible to get all the benefits of shopping in a store directly on a smartphone. Another 27% believe this will happen within a year.  

By and large, there are many shoppers who are intrigued by applications like AR-enabled clothes shopping experiences. And other studies, like Ericsson's, have found widespread expectation that AR capabilities are likely to expand rapidly.