Consumer Survey: 3 out of 4 Americans Prefer Augmented Reality Experiences to Video Content for Shopping, Gaming, and Entertainment

We conducted a survey to illuminate consumer intent and attitude toward AR experiences. The study shows that AR usage is fairly widespread, and consumers are overwhelmingly positive about the new technology. Of those who’ve already used some form of AR, the majority felt that AR will be most desirable in retail. However, only 1 in 5 have experienced retail-based AR today.  

AR offers a tremendous opportunity for any brand, especially retailers. While most of today’s AR experiences are on Snapchat and Facebook, consumers said they would prefer to use AR to help them with purchasing decisions. To keep pace, retailers need to invest in practical uses of AR to build consumer confidence, and drive sales while decreasing high cost returns.

The survey of more than 200 consumers finds that AR is preferred, with 78% of respondents stating they’d rather interact with an AR experience than watch a 30-second video. The survey also found that consumers are most interested in using AR for shopping, with 57% stating that their ideal AR experience allows them to place items they’re considering purchasing in their own environment.

Additional findings include:

  • Nearly 2 out of 3 respondents (63%) report having had an AR experience. Of these, most have experienced both Face (front-facing camera) AR (80%) and Space (rear-facing camera) AR (79%). The majority of experiences are still within an app: only 22% report experiencing AR on the Web.

  • The most common AR experiences are non-branded (37%) or video game experiences (37%). Other popular AR experiences include entertainment (24%), retail (20%) or food/beverage-related (17%).

  • Consumers are extremely positive toward the new technology with 90% reporting that AR is “fun”. Consumers also credit AR for making them smile  (86%), improving their mood (60%) and engaging them for more time than they initially intended (43%).

  • Intent to share AR experiences is very high. Two-thirds of users (66%) shared their AR experience, and over half (52%) took pictures (often more than one).

  • In addition to shopping, desirable AR experiences include AR games (45%), placing imaginary items in their environment (43%) and trying products on their hands, feet or body (34%). Interestingly, only 1 in 3 respondents said they would choose Snapchat-style Face experiences.

Survey responses were collected online from July - August 2018. Forty-seven percent of respondents reported their gender as female and 53% as male.