Deloitte Digital and Snap Inc. have conducted one of the largest and most comprehensive global “Consumer Augmented Reality” reports to further understand the potential of Augmented Reality (AR) technology, the findings of which affirm AR’s role as the next frontier of mobile and digital engagement.
The report evaluated responses from 15,000 consumers from around the world including Malaysia, about half of which use Snapchat.
According to the report, approximately 3 million Gen Z and millennials are frequent AR users – people who use AR weekly or daily – as of 2021, and this number is expected to grow by 187% to 8.6 million in 2025.
This is estimated to be half of the Malaysian Gen Z and millennials population in the country.
From toy to tool: shifting consumer use cases
The results also show that AR has made the move to utility: no longer seen as just a toy (used to try out hairstyles or send playful videos between friends), but now as a meaningful engagement tool for users to make their entertainment experience in their daily lives more engaging.
Currently, 64% of Malaysian consumers on Snapchat use AR primarily at home for functions including: communication (98%), media and entertainment (81%), gaming (79%), and shopping (67%).
AR is used the most by consumers to stay connected with their friends and families, with 88% noting they use AR to frequently communicate creatively with one another. The majority of consumers (73%) also find ways to make the media they consume more enjoyable and engaging through the use of AR such as improvising their video content to stand out amongst others and elevating gameplay experience with interactive features.
9 in 10 Malaysians believe that AR will be even more important in their lives in the next five coming years. When asked what they expect to use AR for in the future, utility was cited as a primary driver for their AR usage, with most Malaysians wishing to use the technology to help them stay connected with loved ones, learn something new, and improve productivity levels. As the use of AR grows in the next year, consumers plan on using AR more in four key growth areas: media (70%), shopping (65%), communications (58%), and gaming (55%).
AR provides transparent, “try before you buy” customer experience
The expansion of AR usage is also having a major impact on brands and how purchasing decisions are made, especially as consumers seek a more personalized and engaged experience.
The report noted that companies with branded AR experiences are 55% more likely to be considered by consumers, and nearly 3 in 4 consumers say they are willing to pay more for a product that promises the transparency that AR can provide. It is also changing how consumers engage with products they are looking to buy, with 78% agreeing that AR gives them more confidence about product quality and over half indicating they want to use AR technology to assess products, allowing for a risk-free “try before you buy” experience. In fact, 68% of users expect to readily view information about an item or product as soon as it is scanned with the phone camera to improve the shopping experience with minimal physical contact.
Consumers continuously expect more engaging experiences that enable them to interact with the world. AR is delivering that to consumers, today, but there remains untapped potential for so much more. Brands know the consumer appetite for AR is already here and those that successfully meet the demand for AR experiences may be more likely to gain market share in the future. To unlock AR’s potential, brands, developers, and platforms need to work together to accelerate content development and grow the AR ecosystem.
Try out AR on Snapchat now!
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat