- A majority of U.S. consumers who used augmented reality features to try on or test products say it influenced their purchase decision, according to a report by Forrester shared with Retail Dive. However, only 20% of U.S. adults online are comfortable using content within those spaces.
- Younger consumers are more comfortable using extended reality environments, which include augmented, virtual and mixed reality. Forty-two percent of survey respondents age 25 and younger indicated usage of extended reality, compared to 20% of those between ages 42 to 57, per the report.
- Barriers to increased adoption and usage of extended reality environments include the cost of headsets and the lack of perceived need for them, despite the positive impact on purchase decisions.
Virtual immersive experiences can create a positive impact on purchases, but most U.S. consumers aren’t sold on the experience as a whole yet.
Forrester noted that because of this lack of awareness and adoption, retailers who invest in virtual experiences may want to focus more on community building than immediate revenue results. Other digital capability improvements, for things like personalization and store experience, might be a higher priority for retailers right now, per the report.
“Retailers that want to test the waters in virtual worlds now should design the experiences in ways that enable, improve, or enhance other loyalty or revenue-generating programs as a way to offset costs and justify the investments,” according to the report.
Plenty of retailers have been focused on expanding augmented reality try-on features this year, as opposed to virtual reality experiences involving headsets. Amazon launched a virtual try-on feature for sneakers in June. Following the release of new AR tools for its app, Walmart announced it would also acquire AR optical tech firm Memomi last month.
Recent data from an Alter Agents survey commissioned by Snap and Publicis Media shows that shoppers who use AR are less likely to make returns, backing up Forrester’s claim that there is a positive impact for users. The study of over 4,000 consumers found that 80% felt more confident in their purchases when using AR tools.