AR continues to evolve and take shape. Like other tech sectors, it has spawned several sub-sectors that comprise an ecosystem. These include industrial AR, consumer VR, and AR shopping. Existing alongside all of them – and overlapping to some degree – is AR marketing.
Among other things, AR marketing includes sponsored AR lenses that let consumers visualize products in their space. This field – including AR creation tools and ad placement – could grow from $2.78 billion last year to $9.85 billion by 2026 according to ARtillery Intelligence.
Factors propelling this growth include brand advertisers’ escalating affinity for, and recognition of, AR’s potential. More practically speaking, there’s a real business case. AR marketing campaigns continue to show strong performance metrics when compared with 2D benchmarks.
But how is this coming together? And what are best practices?
Picking up where we left off in the last AR marketing case study, one opportune area of product visualization is art. Viewing framed prints through AR to see how it looks on one’s walls is a use case that taps into AR’s strengths. This is similar to other home decor AR activations.
Covid-era factors have meanwhile accelerated these benefits. Like furniture and other product categories, the art world has been forced to accelerate its tech adoption to maintain sales under lockdown. AR has met the moment and will likely sustain in the post-Covid era.
In fact, AR solves pain points that were prevalent pre-Covid, so its accelerated adoption could be a blessing in disguise. For example, online art marketplace Saatchi Art reports that 70 percent of buyers are hesitant to purchase online because they can’t visualize artwork in 3D.
For this reason Saatchi Art is an art-world exemplar for AR adoption. Specifically, its View in a Room web AR feature lets customers see more than one million works of art in their homes in AR before buying.
Saatchi’s View in a Room works by dynamically scaling each piece of art based on its metadata (size, medium, etc.). Pieces are then rendered into AR on 3D canvases with real-world dimensions. The result is a realistic visualization of how a given piece of art looks on the wall.
But how has that performed in practice? Consumers who purchased art online using the View in a Room feature spent 17 percent more on average than those who purchased without it. AR users were also 4x more likely to convert to buyers than non-AR art shoppers.
Given these results, Saatchi Art is working to make View in a Room more central to its online experience. For example, AR calls-to-action sit on individual product pages as a qualifying tool. But could they get more traction if placed further upstream as a discovery tool?
Saatchi Art will continue to optimize in these ways as the company, like many other brands at these early stages of AR marketing, is testing and iterating. Indeed, the AR marketing playbook is still being written so expect competency to be sharpened in the coming months and years.
- Consumers who purchased art online using the View in a Room feature spent 17 percent more on average than those who purchased without it.
- AR users were also 4x more likely to convert to buyers than non-AR art shoppers.
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