- Bollé released an augmented reality (AR) experience to let Instagram users virtually try on its Phantom model of sunglasses. To activate the AR view, mobile users can either scan a QR code included in Bollé marketing materials or visit a link attached to its @bolle_eyewear account on the photo-sharing app, per an announcement shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer.
- The AR experience has a viewpoint for each camera on a smartphone. The front-facing selfie view overlays a virtual version of the Phantom sunglasses on a person's face, while the rear-facing view demonstrates what it's like to see the world while wearing them. Mobile users can choose views for different kinds of sunglass lenses such as high contrast, anti-fog and photochromatic.
- After selecting a lens, people can search for a retailer that sells Bollé products. The A&M Capital-owned brand worked with AR developer QReal and technology consulting firm M7 Innovations on the mobile-based experience, per its announcement.
Bollé aims to reach mobile consumers with an immersive branded experience that provides a more complete demonstration of its sunglasses, and guides them toward an in-store purchase. The AR experience is notable for helping consumers see how the Phantom model will look on a person's face, and for showing how different lenses change what people see while wearing the sunglasses. AR experiences provide a more complete product demonstration, which increases consumer satisfaction and reduces product returns that are costly to handle, Pymnts.com reported.
Retail showcasing is considered one of the most promising marketing applications for AR technology. Before the coronavirus pandemic negatively affected retail sales, retailers were forecast to spend $1.5 billion on augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology to improve the customer experience (CX), per esearcher International Data Corp. (IDC). As e-commerce grows during pandemic-related shutdowns, AR could also get a boost because of its potential to demonstrate products before shoppers place an online order. Bollé's AR demonstration of its Phantom sunglasses follows similar efforts by fashion brands such as Adidas, Burberry, Gucci, Nike and Puma to adopt AR technology in their marketing.
By creating an AR experience on Facebook-owned Instagram, Bollé can reach younger consumers who use the photo-sharing app to find clothing and accessories, and to share their new looks with their friends. While Instagram has added a variety of shopping features to drive e-commerce, Bollé is guiding people to sunglass retailers that it wants to support instead of cannibalizing their sales through channel conflict.
Fashion is a popular category on Instagram, especially among influencers who provide advice on what to buy. Fashion makes up 24% of products mentioned by influencers in the app's Stories feature, per a study by social media analytics firm Klear. Only the beauty category is more popular, making up 25% of sponsored posts by influencers.