By Brandy Shaul, Published on AdWeek

Respondents shared their opinions about online shopping and AR features

Augmented reality features can improve a consumer’s shopping journey, according to research from Magna’s Media Trials unit, part of IPG Mediabrands, Reprise Commerce, and Snap.

A survey of 8,000 respondents across the U.S., U.K., Germany and Saudi Arabia found 69% of respondents would feel more confident about their purchases if they were able to virtually experience a product before buying it. Similarly, 64% of shoppers would be less likely to return a product if they were able to virtually experience it prior to making a purchase.

The survey found users are interested in using AR features while shopping across a variety of product categories, including clothing (87% of respondents), furniture (85%) and tech products (83%). If AR features are offered, 64% of respondents said they were at least somewhat likely to take advantage of these features to virtually try on or experience products.

“More than 250 million Snapchatters have engaged with AR shopping Lenses on Snapchat, and come to our platform to receive trusted recommendations from their real friends and the creators they love,” said David Roter, vp of global agency partnerships at Snap Inc. “There’s a huge opportunity for brands and agencies to make the shopping experience better by using the power of AR technology to create engaging new experiences that shoppers can share with their close network of friends and family.”

Overall, the survey found social media platforms are the top sources for online product discovery, followed by online marketplaces and search engines. The majority of respondents also said shopping through social platforms feels “quick,” “convenient” and “seamless.”

“What advertisers need to know is that online shopping is already deeply rooted in social media. Most social media users are already using it as a way to discover new products and close to half have made purchases directly on social media platforms,” said Kara Manatt, evp of Intelligence Solutions at Magna. “Advertisers should take advantage of social media tools to reach consumers where they are and consider leveraging social commerce technology like discovery tabs and virtual shopping groups.”

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