The Next Inflection Point: More Than 100 Million Consumers Are Shopping with AR

We're in a unique moment of inflection. A time when consumers are showing they love something and yet, the marketing space around it is wide open. We saw it for e-commerce, search, and mobile. Now is the moment for Augmented Reality. Consumers are excited about it, and brands have a unique chance to boost engagement, elevate consumer experiences and increase revenues. Today, there are more than 100 million consumers shopping with AR online and in stores.1
Snap commissioned a study from Deloitte Digital and talked to 15,000 consumers across Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We set out to understand the top consumer AR trends and what they mean for the future of gaming, shopping, communication, and media and entertainment. 
The report offers a closer look at how brands can leverage AR to create personalized, engaging experiences that consumers expect. It also explores the immense future ahead for AR. Below are the top learnings that marketers and brands need to know to win in the age of augmented reality.
AR usage will increase - a lot
AR adoption is tracking with the mobile usage boom we saw in the mid 2000s: By 2025, nearly 75% of the global population and almost all smartphone users will be frequent AR users.2
Frequent AR consumers based on people ages 13-69 who use social/communication apps
Today’s AR usage happens without realization
73% of people successfully identify AR when they see it, but when talking about it, they have a hard time defining or describing what it is.3
Why do they use AR? Osmosis. 61% use AR for communication, 73% identify AR when they see it
The biggest driver for AR today is fun
65% of AR consumers spanning countries and ages use AR to have fun. The majority are discovering AR through social / communications apps.4
65% of consumers use AR to have fun, the biggest driver for AR use
We’re moving closer toward ubiquity
AR is generally seen as a “toy,” but 76% of people expect and desire to use it as a practical “tool” in their everyday lives.5
Over 3 in 4 already recognize AR as useful; 50% of AR users experience ubiquity
AR leads to staggering conversion rates
Interacting with products that have AR experiences 
leads to a 94% higher conversion rate.6
Interacting with products that have AR experiences leads to a 94% higher conversion rate
AR is the leading edge, because people want to experience products and brands from the comfort of their homes and phones. And the revolution is already underway. Marketers and brands can expect the next wave to bring a full-fledged AR ecosystem. Designers and developers will become AR experts and collaborate with content platforms to refine the technology that will reshape consumer experiences. AR will be able to solve problems that have stumped brands for decades. The possibilities are as endless as the creative canvas AR enables. Brands and their partners need only embrace them.
Click Here for the Snap Consumer AR: Global Report 2021
1 Gartner Press Release
2 2021 Global Deloitte Digital Study commissioned by Snap Inc. Social / communication app user definition from Statista Key Market Indicators, July 2020, internet users who use a social network site via any device at least once per month. Frequent AR Users Deloitte Analysis based on weighted survey responses to question on “Frequency of Use by Reason: Communication.” Responses were netted by generation based on respondents age groups: Gen Z: 13-24, Millennial: Ages 25-44, Gen X: 45-50, Boomers: assumed similar behavior to Gen X since Boomers were not part of survey group. Population data based on United Nations World Population Prospects 2019 (WORLD). Generation population data includes the following ages: Gen Z: 13-24, Millennial: 25-44, Gen X: 45-56, Boomer: 57-69. Forecasted AR adoption based on historical smartphone adoption rates (assumed 2021 Frequent AR Users is equivalent to 1999 mobile subscriptions worldwide since AR is in the Toy-phase of adoption; if we look at where this transition took place with mobile phones, one can argue that this was when games like 'snake' started being available (e.g., 1997: Nokia 6110 device released, 1999: emojis were invented, 2000: Nokia 3310 launched and the first commercially available camera phone launched in Japan). Frequent is defined as daily or weekly AR usage. AR Adoption Rate calculated by dividing Frequent AR Users / Total WORLD Population.
3 2021 Global Deloitte Digital Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base = Aggregate average (n=11,457) | Q: AR Recognition for 9 examples
4 2021 Global Deloitte Digital Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base = Aggregate (n=10,166) | Q: Why do you use AR?
5 2021 Global Deloitte Digital Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base = Aggregate (n=11,938)
Q: Augmented Reality is useful / Augmented Reality is not useful | A: Agree much more with A, Agree somewhat more with A
6 Harvard Business Review Article, “How AR is Redefining Retail in the Pandemic”